Wednesday 2 September. 5 miles. 6 locks.
Set of on a 30 minute walk to "World of Wedgwood". We were here back in 2015 and the route was almost direct to the museum/factory. Since then the place has changed hands and a developer is building a large estate of quality housing so we have to walk around this to get there. Talked to the reception about the changes. The Museum is the same. The Factory tour is booked until 1200, that's a bit late and once again we are in the potteries during factory close down week. So we decide to do the Kiwi thing and look around all the free bits. Their new display area is brilliant. The designer of the whole complex has shown off the quality and elegance of the Wedgwood name to the highest standard. The place has only been open 2 or 3 months so there is a lot still to be done around the fringes of the complex. Will visit again in a couple of years. Had lunch on the move as we continued north towards the Macclesfield. The last few locks took longer than expected so cut short today's journey at Etruria. While we were in the top lock I stuck my nose around the corner and saw a couple of spots to moor. Turned the corner and decided stop for water. So while there two boats appear from nowhere and grab my spots. That turned out to be a good thing as there was a boat "Whio" flying the NZ flag so asked to Breast up, which we did. A very social couple of hours with Don & Val from Auckland who are in their 3rd year of no winters.
Thursday 3 September. 0 miles.
The day is a bit grey and cold. Lunchtime before we are organised. Take a walk to Stoke to visit the Portmeirion pottery. On the way we see a sign for the Spode Visitor centre. It is closed but we wander in as the door is open. Get some funny looks but after we say we have come from NZ to visit we are invited to have a look around. One of the Trustees of the preservation society takes us under his wing and explains what they are trying to do. Turns out he retired a few months before the receivers moved in. He was their top engraver so got a very good insight into that side of the operation. Most impressed. We did get to Portmeirion but it was just a factory shop. I had thought we had been to all the potteries but we seem to keep finding more. Diana has at least 2 to visit next time we are passing.