a canal wanderer
wanderings on the trent and mersey canal
We have done a number of walks from Preston Brook to the Stoke area on the Trent and Mersey Canal. Our eventual plan one day is to walk the remainder of the canal from Stoke to Trent Lock/Derwent Lock. The Trent and Mersey Canal is 93 miles long with 76 locks and it connects the rivers Mersey, in the West, and Trent and Derwent, in the East. The canal was built in 1766, engineered by James Brindley and promoted by Josiah Wedgwood for its transportation of pottery in the Stoke area.
Trent and Mersey Canal has a number of interesting features including Anderton Boat Lift and Harecastle Tunnel. This article's focus is on Stone, a market town in Staffordshire, near Stoke and Stafford. The canal runs through the town and once upon a time it was famous for its beer brewing because of the quality of the water. The town had two main breweries, John Joule and Sons (brewed and exported from 1780 until 1974) and Montgomery and Company (brewed from 1889 until 1968) and the canal was used to transport and export the beer.
The Star Inn, a Canalside pub, named after the Star Lock, is an interesting pub to visit. The building is considered one of the oldest in the area and the pub has been licenced since 1819. The building in its time was used for stables and also in its time, a butcher shop and a slaughterhouse. The pub is recommended for its wonderful food, and there are a variety of eating areas as the building retains its original differing floor levels.
I painted two pictures, above, of the Canalside in Stone using gouache paint also as known as opaque watercolour. Using gouache brings out the colour and ambience the Canalside brings for both boaters and walkers.