Distance 8 miles 9.5 Locks
It's official according to the Daily Express. "Today Is Wettest Day for 50 Years". Not quite sure how they knew as the paper is based on a weather forecast, no doubt todays will have actual news. I don't remember the last wettest day (I was only 7) but today was in any event very wet.
Luckily it started out dry and sunny even but as the day wore on the heavens just opened. Ordinary mortals tied up and sheltered except for the British Waterways man who had to go and let some water out of the canal the rain was that bad.
We had arranged to pick up Jennifer at the Stoke on Trent railway station and once committed we had to get there to pick her up. Astoundingly we saw lots of other boats waiting for the locks at the Etruria Junction in Stoke on Trent, you'd have thought they would have had more sense. Apparently not but this made us very late.
Bravely Mary set off in the mounting storm, on foot, to find the station. As you might expect it is neither clearly sign-posted, nor visible from the canal but we did see some clues. (photo). Charlotte and I waved at several trains before realising that we were on the wrong side of the station.
We eventually picked Mary and Jennifer up from under a bridge, they had the good sense to wait for our snail like progress. This left us free to "get out of Dodge". No one fancied a night in the graffiti and yob infested wasteland that surrounds (is?) almost all the larger towns we have seen.
We stopped at the pub and shops in Trentham just a few miles to the south despite the pub being a Toby Carvery, something we would not usually contemplate. It actually turned out a surprisingly good meal at a very reasonable cost but the wine and beer was less than wonderful even after a thorough soaking.
Praise be for the gas fired central heating and hot water. Thanks also to the kindly soul who allows the use of his wireless internet connection.