Canal festival at Etruria.

From bubbles and paradise gardens to bubbles and canal boats. Etruria festival whuch started today and continues tomorrow was abuzz with fun and frolics. There were human fruit machines and storytellers, lions and bonzai. The place was having fun.

You can go and see the flint mill in steam, buy candyfloss and look at the Sculpted Steel blacksmith. I’ve taken photos but not too many. Just enough to give an idea. Good to see Etruria artists and their stall. I’m a member but things have been a bit busy lately.

Anyway it’s on again tomorrow.

X

Singing at Audlem

DSC_1989

Today I went singing with a choir I am in called Loud Mouth Women. We were at a place called Audlem which is in Shropshire or Cheshire I think. We managed to avoid a couple of heavy showers and stayed dry. We sang twice. Once on the canal towpath and then outside a pub called the shroppie fly.

We sang a mixture of songs, from Polynesian to Zulu with a smattering of Latin and Hindi. We learn songs by repetition and also sang a Spanish song called ‘DeColores’. I do like our groups multinational ethos. We also sang ‘Nana was a Suffragette’ and ‘Do it now’ which is a green song about doing something about the Climate Emergency.

A very enjoyable day out at Audlem annual music festival.

 

Middleport photos

We visited the Middleport pottery a while ago on a rainy day and I took a few photos. I liked the atmospheric lighting, the sheen of water on the cobbles and the model of the pottery that is in the museum. I hope to visit again soon.

Middleport pottery is next to the canal in Middleport, Stoke-on-Trent, Staffordshire. It has a museum, a cafe, a shop where you can buy pottery and various events. There are also studios and workshops which make for an interesting place to visit.

Canal boats

Pictures of the Trent and Mersy canal, these photos are by a friend. The painting is up in the warehouse next to the summit lock ,number 42 on the canal at Etruria.

Canal boats allow you to travel around the countryside without having to use a car except for going to your departure point and parking up. Canal cruises are usually circular so you travel around or along a route and return to your starting point. There are famous routes like the Cheshire ring which can be done over a few days. There are also hotel boats where you have a cabin but all the chores are done by a housekeeper.

There are apparently more canals in Birmingham in the English Midlands than there are in Venice.

Some canals and rivers run either side by side or into one another. The landscape can either be countryside, industrial or town buildings, it just depends where you travel. There is much more information available from the Canal and Rivers Trust.

Timothy Trow

_20190308_154245

Sorry for the blurry photo. This is the memorial to a man called Timothy Trow.

I’d known about this for a few years but got a leaflet today and it explained he was a local hero 125 years ago.

Timothy Trow was from neighbouring area of Shelton. He was a conductor on a tram that ran along London Road in Stoke. When the tram reached the West End area of Stoke, at a spot near James Street, he saw a young girl who had fallen in the canal. She was later identified as Jane Ridgeway. He jumped into the Newcastle Canal and rescued her but he then got cramp and despite people trying to rescue him he drowned. All of this happened on 13 April 1894.

There is a memorial stone in recognition of his courage. In recent years our local Councillor has encouraged an annual commemoration. The local West End Methodist Church and local people have turned it into an annual event. One of my friends actually wrote a song to commemorate his bravery and a couple of years ago we walked along the course of the canal (which has since been filled in) and my friend sang the song next to the memorial stone.

Nothing

DSC_1772

Couldn’t resist posting this photo.

On this site sept. 5, 1782 Nothing happened.

The day before had been busy, barges were loaded with pottery to take away on the canal, horses pulling the barges to distant towns along the trent and mersey canal…. . Seven days earlier a load of clay and ground flint had arrived. The pottery has been thrown on wheels or cast in slip. Then into the kilns so that they could be fired biscuit hard. The paintresses had decorated each pot with beautiful designs. These were the pots that were spreading out over the land now.

But today nothing happened.

Mable smiled at  Jeremiah, he smiled back, but nothing happened. Mabels father was not approving of Jeremiah, he was only a lowly saggar makers bottom knocker, making the bases for saggars. These were the pottery cases that fine pottery and china was fired in to protect it from the smoke from the coal. Jeremiah had no prospects. He was younger than Mable. She was the owners daughter.

All she could do was smile. All she could do was hope things would change. But today …

Nothing happened.

Maybe one day it would ..