Saturday, 11 June 2011

We get stoned, sorry I mean we get to Stone.

Running short of milk at breakfast so a move was inevitable. We set off for Stone, the only thing of real note on this stretch is Meaford Locks.

The top lock is number thirty-four and

the bridge at the bottom has obviously had a close encounter with a large vehicle, the remains of the parapet now block the steps down and for the lock worker to return to the towpath they have to negotiate their way through the fence between lane and towpath, all good fun, that's not how Jill described it though.

Above lock thirty-three this side arm actually heads off to the top of what was originally a staircase of three, the canal was straightened and the staircase done away with in 1831 as, as is usual, they had become a bottleneck and were somewhat profligate in their use of water.

The remaining traces are somewhere under this lot, I didn't bother going to look for them.

At the bottom end of lock thirty-three there is what appears to be a run off from the lock chamber, presumably to prevent the water overtopping the gates, I can't recall seeing anything like it elsewhere but it can't be unique, can it?

One of the things I love most about the canals is the way the structures form such interesting geometrical shapes, you won't get a picture like this of a motorway bridge.
At Stone we moored above the top lock, just by Limekiln Basin and walked into town, fifteen minutes to Morrisons.

On the railway bridge below Stone Top Lock there is this vertical roller, a rather more sophisticated way of stopping the horse lines cutting into the stonework than the usual strip of iron. The roller is wooden with iron strips bolted to it, the North Staffs. Railway was obviously not prepared to have the boaties damaging their property.

Below lock twenty-nine the boat horses had their own little tunnel, so how did you get your horse boat out of the lock? Several solutions spring to mind but I refuse to make a fool of myself by making a suggestion and getting it horribly wrong,
The weather forecast for tomorrow looks pretty grim, we may sit it out here.

Watch this space...............

2 comments:

Kevin said...

Hi Graham & Jill,
The bottom lock of the Brades Staircase Pair on the Gower Branch of the BCN has a run-off in the right hand side of the chamber as you are rising. You can see it painted white in the picture shown in this link... http://www.geograph.org.uk/photo/1328235
Kevin

Graham and Jill Findlay said...

Hi Kevin,
There is a similar overflow on the lower chamber on the staircase at Bunbury on the Shroppie but I think these are specifically to avoid flooding the district when you get the sequence wrong. The one at Meaford is just on a normal lock, just one more intriguiging feature on the cut.