Day 4 of our voyage. Weather overcast cool with occasional showers. Hem Heath to Harecastle Tunnel. total so far 35 miles 20 locks heading north west.
Toby Carvery must have been a fine fellow, they all came back last night quite happy and no treats for me for my diligent care of the long kennel whilst they were gone.
I am exhausted, I have walked my four legs off. They decided this morning that as we were in the area we should visit Trentham Gardens and so I took them. I have to say we were all well impressed. I had to remain on the lead which was a bit of a bore.
This vast area was originally the seat of the Dukes of Sutherland, but since donated to the nation. Here are acres of beautiful gardens around a large lake. My silly owners forgot to take their camera. We walked around most of it and I managed to pee on a huge variety of different plants.
Thus it was after midday before we cast off to continue our journey through Stoke on Trent.
Now here’s an interesting place, I walked through much of the town as it had 5 locks climbing some 50 feet. We were surrounded by the crumbling memories of a proud industrial past. It was hardly worth my getting back on the long kennel and so I stayed with my owners, both of whom were operating the locks today as their brother – in-law David was taking a turn at driving. The archeology and architecture of abandoned Potteries and strange bottle kilns seemed to fascinate them. I was more interested in the fishermen that we passed on the tow path or to be more accurate, their lunch boxes.
As the evening approached we arrived at Harecastle tunnel for our overnight stay. A bit of historical fact follows: This is the second tunnel built here, the first was built by James Brindley in 1770 this has fallen into disrepair now due to subsidence. The tunnel we are entering tomorrow was built by Thomas Telford and was completed in 1827 (it took 3 years) . We will make the one and three quarter mile journey underground first thing in the morning.
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