Yesterday we set off from our mooring at Westport Lake for our trip through the potteries, aka Stoke on Trent. We had six locks to navigate on the eight mile journey, including the three at Etruria. The trip was fairly uneventful, meeting only a few boats on route. The amount of canal traffic seems to have reduced dramatically over the last week or so.
We moored just beyond the Wedgwood factory, and after securing the boat we walked to The Plume of Feathers P.H. for lunch. Today we visited the Wedgwood factory for a tour of the site and museum. The factory had moved from its original location at Etruria, to Barlaston due to mining subsidence. Many of the original methods used by Josiah Wedgwood, remain in use today. Some of the machinery however has been updated. The modern kilns for example take just over nine hours to fire the pots, whereas the old bottle kilns used to take up to 48 hours to achieve the same result.
The tour was very informative, not least the fact that there are only two hand painters working at the site. A hand painted tea service has to be pre ordered and will set you back circa 30 K. After the tour lunch was taken in the Wedgwood dining hall, but not using Wedgwood hand painted bone china.
Totals 8 Miles 6 Locks
Running total 337 Miles 197 Locks 14 Tunnels