Thursday, 25 July 2013


It was a quiet cruise up to the end of the Leek branch.  We winded before the end of the canal and reversed back into the final stretch before mooring.  Whilst there is a winding hole at the end it’s too small for Waiouru at 58ft.

However I’m getting ahead of myself.  The Caldon Canal splits at Hazlehurst Junction.  Straight ahead to Froghall and slightly right takes you to Leek. 

A little further on the Leek Branch crosses over the top of the route to Froghall.

Both branches have tunnels towards the end.  The Leek tunnel is longer and higher.

What surprised us was there isn’t much earth above the tunnel.  It’s surprising this wasn’t made into a cutting rather than a tunnel. 

Even more interesting was the tunnel appeared to be lined in stone rather than the usual brick. 

We winded Waiouru before the end of the branch and then reversed down it 70 metres onto some armco piling.  The canal terminus was almost disappointing ending in a small overgrown basin beside a scrapyard.  There is a welcome plaque but no signs directing you towards the town.

The nearest supermarket (Morrisons) is a 20 minute walk from the basin and the town centre a further 15 minutes.  Jan and I did a trip to Morrisons and then I walked back into Leek to have a look around.  As usual, much of my time was spent looking upwards to identify any interesting buildings.

It’s a school…. With a rather grim and Victorian look.  I can imagine Harry Potter attending!

Roebuck Hotel.  Not a straight horizontal or vertical line in it.  There is a plaque stating 1649AD.  I love it!

In the centre of town is the rather new looking war memorial clock tower.  I assume it was built after WW1.

By contrast a couple of the churches look much older.

The Methodist church

The stonework on this one looked interesting.  I don’t think this tower is part of a church but unfortunately I wasn’t able to establish it’s purpose.

This is one of the better facades I’ve seen in Staffordshire

The domestic batteries have been consuming a significant amount of water since fitting the automatic top-up system.  The bulk charge usually starts at 165 amps and my assumption is they are gassing at the beginning of the cycle.  Morrisons had three 2.5 litre containers of battery water and we bought all of them.

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