Ticking off the Trent and Mersey Canal

We had planned to take things at a more leisurely pace once we passed through Stoke but the lure of cruising in the sunshine is proving hard to resist. And we know “winter is coming”. This section of the canal is new to us. The last time we reached Great Haywood, was June 2017 on our very first major outing. We had turned right under the bridge onto the Staffs and Worcester canal heading southwest to meet friends.

Leaving the Great Haywood mooring

Now we are heading towards the Midlands. Undeterred by the chill in the air, a couple of bacon butties sorted that out, off we set.

Warm clothes and bacon butties

I’m not sure if its just the blue sky, but this does feel a very pretty canal and we both agree we’d like to cruise it more leisurely in the future.

Looking down from Bridge 57, Handsacre

Some people like collecting garden gnomes, it seems that people with canal side properties prefer pirates and vagabonds

Oo arrr me hearties, who’s got the rum

These guys also had a boat moored called the Dancing Sheep with a pink tailed mermaid taking the pose.

Boaters come in all shapes and sizes

Which of course appealed to me, both loving pink and being a fibre fanatic. Back in the spring I treated myself to a new spinning wheel. This one being a tiny wee electric wheel. It is perfect to use whilst we are cruising,

My tiny Electric spinning wheel

It’s manufactured by a small start up company in America called dreaming robots and during September, Maurice (the designer), ran a photo competition called Spin Anywhere. Winner was chosen by a viewers poll, and guess what… a photo I’d taken while in Northwich won.

Winning entry of the “electric Eel wheel” spin anywhere competion

My next spinning challenge is a fun fundraiser spinning marathon called Britspin. I’ve taken part in this event for several years now and this year I am the captain of an “elite team” called the Towpath Twizzlers. Our co captain is Martina from NB Burnt Oak, who is a roving trader selling her own hand dyed yarn and fibre. There’s a link to the virgin money page if you would like to support us raising money for the RNLI. And if you want to join in you can find us on Ravelry.
Of course spinning isn’t everyone’s cup of tea but we were very impressed that the overseers of this lock had left a teapot for us

Wood End Lock just before Fradley Junction

We were now approaching Fradley Junction where the Trent and Mersey Canal continues for another 25 miles to Shardlow and the great River Trent just south of Nottingham

The start of the Coventry Canal at Fradley junction

But we were turning right onto the Coventry canal, back onto familiar territory.