It was a cracking day with a cloudless sky and it was warm and sunny. A perfect day for a cruise which was very fortunate as we have my bearded one’s eldest son James and his wife Suzanne and his son Jonathan and his dog Rocky, representing just part of his family, human and canine who are visiting us today.
As we returned from our walk and a quick clean up of my kennel, our guests arrived for they live not 45 minutes away. When all were aboard we set off from our mooring out onto The Trent and Mersey and turned north, our destination was Rugeley.
This is to be only a couple of hours or so of cruising, a round trip of maybe just 12 miles and, most importantly, lunch.
Our journey takes us through the village of Hardacre and an extension of this is Armitage. Here there is a prosperous and imposing factory. The name Armitage Shanks is synonymous with toilet plumbing. Their trademark is emblazoned on public and private loos throughout the world. Interestingly in the 19th century (as sanitary ware became a speciality of posh households and was exported to the new world) this factory was in the management of Edward Johns – hence the origin of the Americanism “going to the John” . Not a lot of people know that.
Having ‘passed’ through this area we arrive at Another earthenware landmark, Spode House, now a priory, the home of Josiah Spode, from the famous Staffordshire pottery family.
Our next excitement, the plum pudding tunnel, not, in fact, a tunnel at all but a very long narrows through which can pass only one long kennel at a time.
Then we arrive at Rugeley, noted today for its power station with four graceful cooling towers but infamous for being the home of a notorious Victorian poisoner, William Palmer. This is where Mr Marston now lives at The Ash Tree. Our lunch stop. After a super lunch, we turned around and went back to our base a lovely day.
That is enough history for today, I had a lovely time with my friend Rocky and I taught him a few things about being a long kennel dog. My photos, having lunch at The Ash Tree in Rugeley and taking Rocky for a walk on the towpath.
Love Douglas x