Shardlow?

Signpost on the Trent and Mersey canal

I have no idea where Shardlow or Preston Brook are, except they were 54 miles and 38 miles respectively from this mile post. Shardlow is South, Preston Brook is North. There is another one of these on the road where I live. Why? because a branch of the canal used to run from the town of Stoke-upon-Trent by the Spode factory, alongside London Road and think it went through Newcastle-under-Lyme. In fact a man called Timothy Trow jumped into the canal to save a child from drowning, but got into difficulties and drowned. There is a stone memorial about it on London Road.

History is strange and interesting. I must find out about Shardlow and Preston Brook and what parts they played in history.

Which way?

A slightly confusing sign if you don’t know where the museum is. Turns out both footpaths lead to the same place, just by different routes. I don’t suppose it matters, but I think they should at least put an arrow on it for one way or the other. This is at the Etruria Industrial Museum, at Etruria, Stoke-on-Trent, Staffordshire.

Not a swimming pool

Through the door of the warehouse looking out over lock forty of the Trent and Mersey canal. Steps lead up from the depths of the deep lock, picked out in white paint amidst the concrete sides of the canal. Behind me on the other side of the warehouse the Cauldon canal flows. It is higher up than the Trent and Mersey canal until lock forty raises it to the same level. The warehouse is slightly damp inside which may be to do with its position between the two arms of the canal. I like ‘views through’ things, like views into windows and through foliage.

Two sketches today

Two sketches in Etruria today. A corner house and the White bridge over the Trent and Mersey canal. Both were done in response to an online virtual sketch out with #uskstoke (Stoke Urban Sketchers). There was a zoom meeting, but I couldn’t join as I was out and about and had no Internet access. These are hopefully going to be included in an online ‘street’ of people’s images that represent the city. They were very quick sketches and I tried to draw the corner house a few times, it was difficult to get it to fit on a small sketchpad page…..

At the white bridge

Over at Etruria this morning to do a little bit of filming for a request for funding for Etruria Artists. I only had a couple of lines to say but it took me ages to get it to sound natural. I don’t know whether we will get the funding but it was fun doing the film.

The request was for money to pay for equipment to prepare clay for people to make pots out of. I think I had to say a clunker and a whisser but I can’t remember….. The idea is if we run a clay workshop outside the participants can keep within their own bubbles and keep socially distanced. We might get the grant, will have to wait and see.

Canal walk.

Blue boat.

Hubby is walking to Barlaston in Staffordshire along the Trent and Mersey canal South from Staffordshire. Here is a photo of a blue canal boat that was passing as they walked along. Its at least seven miles so I hope they will be OK as they might be waking back as well if they don’t contact me to give them a lift. I would have walked with them but I did four up and down hill yesterday and my legs, particularly my knees are very stiff today.

Seeing photos like this makes me realise what a green and wet country we live in. We do get droughts but not as seriously as other countries. Waiting for their call….

Canal view

 

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Photo taken by my friend who went for a walk with my hubby yesterday. The Trent and Mersey canal. Near Middleport pottery heading south west along the canal. He saw a group of swans swimming along the canal. There are apparently Carp, Roach and Pike in that section of the canal.

He actually walked thirteen miles! A half marathon. He’s feeling it today. I’m impressed and amazed. I’m afraid a mile is enough for me. I think I need to do more exercise and seeing the photos I’m jealous of the walk he did.

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Short walk along the canal and Westport lake.

Long title…

We went for a walk along the Trent and Mersey canal, from the road up to Trubshaw Cross at Longport, Stoke-on-Trent, along the towpath, to the lakes at Westport. I was not at my best so we only walked round the small lake, then back along to our starting point.

The day was blustery, but I could feel some warmth from the sun. The old bottle oven round the back of Price and Kensington (facade allowed to crumble so much the council had to demolish part of it). It was sad to see all the rubbish and wood stacked up on the yard waiting to be burnt. The owners regularly light fires, not small ones, and cause a nuisance with smoke. I worry that the buildings may be irreversibly damaged by this behaviour. As you walk along the canal towpath the image improves, although there are places that are derelict and that made me wonder what would happen if the facade of a building were to fall into the canal.

We found the entry to Westport lake easily enough. We popped into the cafe to get some duck food, than a nice stroll round the lake. Stopping to chat with a photographer who had a really long lens to take pictures of the birds on the lake.

I need more exercise and this helped!

Tidying up

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We use a warehouse (old, small, with hardly any facilities) next to the Trent and Mersey canal for our art group. Most weeks we do art, pottery, painting, drawing etc. Thus week we had to clear out the kitcgen/store so that it can be demolished and rebuilt as a kitchen and a disabled toilet next to it. So we had to clear a lot of stuff out, including a lot of clay. This is only half of the stuff. It was quite heavy to move. I was going to take it away in my car but compromised on storing it in the building. It’s pleasing to be able to do something physical for a change.

Painting mugs

At Etruria Artists today we painted mugs, they were blank white mugs and we used on glaze paints that stay the same colour when they are heated. The most exciting thing is that they can be heated in an ordinary domestic oven. They have to be dried for twenty four hours, then heated at 150°C or gas mark 2 for 35 minutes to bake the colours in.

The outside photo is lock 40 on the Trent and Mersey canal. It was a beautiful morning, bright and sunny. I really do prefer coming to Etruria Artists ‘hands on Art’ at the Warehouse next to the lock in the morning rather than the evening. It is on from 10am to 12 noon if anyone wants to come along.

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