This mooring is at Wolseley Bridge on the Trent and Mersey canal. We decided this would be a nice place to stay and catch up on the washing. As you can see the towpath is very wide here which is what`s needed so our washing line will not get tangled around walkers. The line just hooks on in this case from the rear wind turbine fixing to the centre line rope guide. The boat pole hooks the line angled away from the boat and is held in place by a mooring pin. Seen this done by other boaters, imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, some using the whole boat length and a sturdier pole. Another reason to stop here was to investigate what was seen across the field beyond the bridge over the River Trent that as a bachelor I had seen often. Once when cruising past I asked some boaters who seemed to be in the process of opening a local tip or perhaps it was a themed open air beer garden with central heating(log fire in centre of towpath)....oh yes i asked them if they knew what was over the bridge. In a slurred 70% proof accent they said a garden centre and surprise surprise a pub. So glad I was on the boat and I could just wave my thanks and keep cruising.
This was 2yrs back and I`m glad to say they were nowhere to be seen when we moored, perhaps the local council didn`t approve of their new venture. So across the bridge there is indeed a pub the Wolseley Arms known pre 1960 as the Roebuck. It was long before the railways came a horse changeover stop for the coaches travelling from London heading north and a large number of horses were kept here.
Across from the pub a collection of old farm buildings and machinery have been assembled together and are in use antique, picture framing, soft furnishings and hairdressing. The Wolseley family go back to Norman times and all this area was part of the family estate with Wolseley hall being the family seat. The hall was demolished in 1954 and the estate was sold off in 1996 and it`s this that leads us to the final and best part of this corner of Staffordshire. The Wolseley centre set in 26 acres around lakes and alongside the river Trent was once the landscaped gardens of the Wolseley estate and now managed by Staffordshire wildlife trust. The entrance is the same as the garden centre but as you enter off the road look RIGHT for the Wildlife trust entrance.
|One of the walkways around a lake, entry to the gardens is free.|
So onto Great Haywood where i hoped to take Jaq for a look around Shugborough Hall but it is shut for winter until late March. So we had a stroll around all the places I blogged about HERE back in 2008. Jaq was fascinated but disappointed the hall was shut so a return visit will be on the to do list.
Back on the boat and just a short trip to Haywood Jct. and we turn onto the Staffordshire and Worcestershire canal. We moored on Tixall wide for lunch opposite the old gatehouse below.
The gatehouse was the grand entrance to Tixall hall that was demolished in 1929. Perhaps if we had been boating then the view for lunch would have been more like the picture below.