Saturday, 27 July 2013

The Potteries

It was a short cruise from Etruria Junction to Westport Lake.  However before we set off I walked to the nearby ‘Staples’ office supplies store to purchase a folder for my visa application and supporting documents. The return trip was via the Tesco Superstore for a couple of last minute items.  We then moved forward onto the water point at Etruria and topped up the tank.

We’ve previously done this stretch of canal although it was nearly a decade ago.  There have been some changes, particularly on the western side of the canal where many buildings have disappeared and the ground prepared for rejuvenation.  Hopefully it was be something that adds value to the canal.  We passed the Royal Doulton Showroom and factory outlet.  There is a sign beside the canal pointing out that there is a pedestrian access bridge across the canal from the towpath side where there are mooring rings to the showroom.  Jan visited the showroom 10 years ago and was ambivalent about a return visit so we didn’t stop.

The eastern side of the canal does have some old buildings, a number of which are derelict and at least two were being restored.  Not much remains of the early potteries buildings.  Most of what can now be seen apparently dates from the late 19th century.

The Anderton Canal Carrying Company had a large warehouse constructed at Middleport in the 1880’s.  One end of the warehouse was adjacent to the canal and had a lift to move materials and products between the canal boats and warehouse.

This entire area was dotted with potteries, two of which were built by John Brindley, the younger brother of James Brindley.  Some of the local history alludes to canal operations at Longport and Newport.  Subsequently in the 1880’s ‘new’ potteries were built at Middleport. 

There is at least one pottery working in Middleport.  We passed visitor moorings for Burleigh Pottery which appeared to be undergoing extensive renovation.

The Garmin map showed Longport and Middleport but the only mention of Newport was a ‘Newport Lane’.  I assume Newport was located where the lane crossed the canal?

It was also interesting to read about the Pottery Riots of 1842.  Click <here> if you’d also like to read about them.

We’re now on a very pleasant mooring beside Westport Lake.

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