Sunday 11 November 2012

A day in port - Longport

Still at Longport
Total to date : 116 miles, 80 locks, 20 lift bridges, 7 tunnels, 6 aqueducts

We had a fabulous day today!

Yesterday while we were out walking a lady said to us that we should go to Burlsem.  We decided we'd walk there today.  We printed ourselves a little map and off we went, taking a short cut down a walking track.  A lot of the trees are bare now but goodness we saw some stunning autumn foliage today.

As we got back onto the roads we walked through an industrial strip and Mick spied a pair of Eddie Stobart trucks parked down a lane in a yard.  He just couldn't help himself... he wanted a photo!  The fellows working nearby must have thought we were crazy.

Burslem had so many fantastic old buildings and along the canals the old pottery warehouses and buildings are amazing.  Even those left in ruin have a beauty of their own.

Our first stop was a Royal Stafford pottery clearance centre.  If only I could take some of this stuff home when we go! There was some lovely Christmas plates and bowls for only a couple of pounds each.  I thought of my friend Gabi back home.  She would love it here!  We bought a pair of egg cups and I couldn't resist just one of the Christmas dishes.

We started off in the direction of the sign pointing to the Wedgwood store.  We stopped to ask a shop keeper how much further it was and he said it was another couple of miles at least.  Hmmmm... maybe we'll go there when we move further along on the boat.  As we turned back we passed a little shop front - it was called the Fresh Naan Bakery and seemed to be doing a roaring trade.  It was nearing lunchtime so on impulse we went in and bought a naan bread to share.  Another reminder... Ruchi and Jahnvi... it made me think of you both!  We perched on a low wall to share the delicious garlic naan.  People were pulling up in the car park opposite, running across to buy naan breads and getting back in their cars and driving away.  Very popular it seems.

We checked out the store across the road too.  There seems to be a lot of "bargain" type stores over here.  We did find a couple of bargains of our own.  We'd been looking for something like a little round table top to screw onto the top of the rubbish bin.  Mick uses it as a side table when we watch tv and it would certainly look nicer with a timber lid.  We stumbled across a bamboo chopping board just the right size.

There was another win for us today.  We spied a tile store and went in to have a look at what we could use for the walls and hearth around the solid fuel stove.  We found the perfect thing - small square tiles for the walls and large slate looking tiles.  We brought home a couple of the small wall tiles we thought would suit to make sure they fit in.  Mick decided that if we liked them he would walk back and buy them and carry them in the backpack the mile and half back to the boat.

Heading back towards the canal we saw a sign to the Burleigh pottery store.  We couldn't resist another one.  The road heading down there was lined with terrace houses.  The first section was looking great as though it had recently been restored.  Around the corner the reason became apparent, there was another run of them underway.  It's great to see old buildings being brought back to life and they're really nice terraces.  The Burleigh clearance store was in the old Middleport Pottery building.  The building itself is amazing and the opposite side of the street is the row of terraces under restoration.  The Burleigh pottery was rather more expensive but well worth a look.  Absolutely gorgeous.

Back on board we measured up the space, compared the proposed wall tiles to the kitchen tiles and decided they'd do fine.  So we'd need 100 of the small tiles for the walls and 3 of the large slate look ones for the hearth.  It was going to take a couple of trips at least.  I stayed back and did a few hours work while he headed out again to the tile shop, planning that we'd go there again tomorrow.

When Mick returned, he'd actually carried the entire 30kg of tiles in one trip.  He'll have a sore back tomorrow.  He turned his attention to the chopping board which was the perfect fit for the top of the rubbish bin.... but now my little £5 stool looked a bit tragic with its worn top.  I said to Mick that it's a shame we didn't think to buy one of the rectangular bamboo chopping boards for a new top for the stool.  He must be crazy but he walked the mile and half back to the shop to get one!  It was near on dark by the time he returned!  He must have walked 10 miles today.  But, he's thrilled with his handiwork for the day.

We both decided today was one of the best days we've had.  We really enjoyed every minute.... well, maybe not the few hours work!

LOTS of photos today:
1. Our mooring at Longport
2. Look how pretty this walking path was
3. The leaves on the ground worthy of a photo
4. Here it is!
5. This was just a facade left standing - an old Sunday school
6. Wonder how often this bell gets rung
7. Lovely corner building
8. Royal Stafford pottery clearance store
9. Piles and piles of plates
10. How's this for a Fish and Chip shop
11. Amazing ruins left to rot
12. The Fresh Naan Bakery
13. They were good too!
14. Chimneys everywhere
15. A little bridge over the canal - looking left
16. And then right
17. Mick peering in the windows
18. And going back for a second look
19. Burleigh Pottery
20. At the door of Burleigh Pottery
21. A treasure trove inside the door
22. If only the walls could talk
23. Remnants of the working boat days
24. The back of the Middleport Pottery building (now Burleigh)
25. More kilns and warehouses
26. nb Parisien Star moored ahead


In the drink to date : Elly - phone charger (retrieved - it floated!), Mick - sunglasses, Mick - hearth brush, Mick - mooring hook (retrieved with sea searcher), Mick - reading glasses

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