Tuesday, 29 September 2020

Harecastle Tunnel

Well we had a little bit of excitement today, as we approached bridge 108 a boat was coming the other way, it was debatable whose bridge it was  but then he pulled over to moor, there are a couple of mooring rings there because that is where the Oat Cake boat moors for the football fans. By the time we were sliding past they had crew ashore bow and stern and we heard a splash at the stern, as I fared the chap had fallen in, how I don’t know as he had the rope through the ring, we stopped to offer assistance but by then he was on the towpath spluttering and shivering. he had dropped his phone so he was going back in to get it. His wife said he is wet so he may as well. The water came up too his chest and he was shivering and hyperventilating, the wife explained it was an expensive phone, I asked if it was worth more than her husband and just claim on the insurance but he dived under and came up spluttering and coughing even more, we dragged him out but he insisted in going in again, same result, under for 5 to 10 seconds out spluttering, coughing and hyperventilating and we dragged him out again, we dragged him out 3 times and each time I urged him not to go back in. I thought he was going into the boat for a shower and left them, but when I looked back he was in again.

There is a rather interesting section in Stoke on Trent where they not only have moorings with loads of cruisers but they also have a shooting range and do line dancing.

One of the few Narrow boats moored there is now supporting quite a healthy growth of plants.

We arrived at Stoke bottom lock to find it half full so Diana turned it, minutes later a boater turned up to come down. Several of the Stoke Locks have quite a good leak rate.

Above one of the locks there was some unusual graffiti on the brick wall, a flock of Swallows.

Once we cleared the top lock I reversed down the Caldon to see Mr. Brindley, well actually I went for water but there is a statue of him almost opposite the services, not the slowest tap on the system but we did have time for bacon butties while the tank filled.

With that taken care of it was off to Harecastle tunnel for the night, as we left Etruria Junction this blond was sat by her shed supping her wine while her son was fishing, I didn’t dally because I could see her boy friend coming round the shed.

Opposite the old Burslem port junction some chaps were cutting down saplings and feeding them through a shredder, the shredder was firing it straight over the boundary fence.

Arriving at the tunnel we were greeted by these signs, I am not sure if boats can catch or pass on Corona Virus so not sure why its felt necessary to keep them apart, there is no other requirement for this at any other C&RT mooring I have visited.

All the way along the Trent and Mersey canal there is a milepost every mile indicating the distance to Shardlow and Preston Brook 

  At one time there was a path across the top of the tunnel and there was a milepost on this path, as the path is long gone a replica milepost is located at the tunnel mouth.


Today's Journey 

8.5 miles, 5 locks 4.25 in hours.

  Map courtesy of Waterway Routes https://www.waterwayroutes.co.uk/


Nev Wells said...

Was there many boats at Westport and the tunnel moorings ?

andrew wright said...

How odd. That milestone is a replica of the one at Lock 26, Aston Lock. Aston is half distance between Shardlow and Preston Brook

NB Priscilla