Trustee, John Dodwell, recounts his start on the return leg over the last two days. Including models, a potter and some great altruistic charity work.
It rained last night. It sounded quite heavy but then the sound of the rain on the roof can be deceptive. Anyway, we were snugly inside the boat having supper. It was the first serious rain in almost two weeks of boating.
In the morning the sun was out and warm as we went for a walk up the nearby hills. We followed the 2 hour Blue Path, following along the inclines of some of the old tramways which brought limestone down from the quarries. A recommended pub was closed - and was being changed to a house!
Late in the afternoon we began our return journey and came slowly through the sunlit trees to Consall Forge for the night and had a fine meal in the renowned Black Lion.
In the morning we walked about 10 minutes back along the towpath to the potter a little way above Flint Lock. He opened up for us and we saw his varied stock. One of his specialities is teapots but we bought a small pot to put flowers in.
Back on the boat, we found a photo shoot and models had appeared, together with Rupert Smedley (who does our BSS) and his day hire boat JOSHUA which they were using. They were taking publicity shots for Visit Staffordshire, focusing on the Canal - and, no doubt, the steam railway, the pub and the limekilns.
Moving north, we stopped at Cheddleton to shop. The One Stop shop may be a bit further up the hill but their choice of stock is far better.
Back at the wharf, we saw BEATRICE arrive back from a short trip. She specialises in carrying disabled children and it was a joy to see the excitement in their faces. Going on, we stopped at Denford and ate at The Hollybush.
John Dodwell is one of our 10 volunteer trustees, who carry responsibility for the charity’s policies and strategies. He owns Helen, a 51ft old BCN tug/icebreaker which draws 3ft and is based near Stourbridge, West Midlands. His waterways interest goes back to the early 1960s.
John’s been involved in the waterways since the early 1960s and he enjoys all aspects of the waterways. To pick out one oddity, he was pleased and surprised to see about a dozen herons this June around the BCN Main Line, including two under the M6 motorway!See more blogs from John Dodwell