Wednesday, 22 June 2016

Narrowboat by L.S. Lowry

Our neighbours here outside the Etruria Industrial Museum (which never seems to be open) invited us for coffee this morning. The name of their boat, Gerty, came to them in a flash of Basil Brush-inspired - er - inspiration.

Apparently a catch phrase from the TV show was "Dirty Gerty from number 30". The only one I can remember is "Boom, boom!". We discovered we had a few things in common; Robert and Wendy had lived in Norfolk and Wendy and Jan had friends/acquaintances in common.

As they went off up the Caldon we walked into Hanley, the "city" centre. (Is Stoke-on-Trent a city? Can it be a city if it has no cathedral? Or is it a city because the town city council says it is?

The first thing we found was the Potteries Museum and Art Gallery. And the first thing I came across there was a corner devoted to L.S. Lowry. I have a fondness for his paintings having been to Salford University; among the dozen or so works exhibited was one apparently depicting a narrowboat.

There it is, on the right. The 1938 painting is The Coal Barge.

We traipsed round endless collections of pottery and then went downstairs to the café, where I was pleased to find that they did oatcakes. Two filled oatcakes for £3.10 I thought was very reasonable. I can recommend the cheese and bacon.

I'm very glad the museum's oatcakes were so tasty, as walking on we came across a café, Peter's Tavern in Piccadilly, doing what seem like amazing value cooked breakfasts.

If the photo is still a little small I'll transcribe it for you. For £1.99 you get 2 x toast, sausage, bacon, egg and beans. A pound more will buy you the regular breakfast: 2 x toast, egg, cheese, 2 x sausage, 2 x bacon, hash brown, beans and egg (yes, it does say "egg" twice). And for a fiver you could attempt the "Hungry man's breakfast" consisting of 4 x toast, 2 x egg, cheese, 3 x sausage, 3 x bacon, hash brown, beans and tomato.

Perhaps next time!

We wandered around the town/city some more, then I remembered that the museum was supposed to have a Spitfire in it. We discovered it hiding on the ground floor, with an effigy of the man who designed the aeroplane, Reginald Mitchell.

Why does a museum in Stoke-on-Trent have a second world war Spitfire? Mr. Mitchell came from Stoke-on-Trent.

Back to the boat for a welcome cup of tea, then a bit of a relax while it rained. When it stopped I thought it would be good to move on to Westport Lake, but then we remembered that we hadn't got the new gas bottle from the cheap canalside place here. So we stayed put and had tea. I cycled to Lidl in Boothen, only about a mile and a half away.

We'll get cracking tomorrow, having now "done" Stoke-on-Trent and Newcastle-under-Lyme. (Town centre-wise I think I'd have to say I prefer NuL to SoT.) Through Harecastle Tunnel and down a few locks - that's the recipe for tomorrow.

9 comments:

Adam said...

Stoke is a city -- it was granted city status by the King in 1925.

Halfie said...

Adam, what I should have done was think about the football team - not that I follow the sport. We saw Sir Stanley Matthews (his statue) in the city centre after all!

Sarah said...

I believe a city needs either a cathedral or a royal charter. There's been a bit of a spate of granting them since the millennium.

Neil Corbett said...

Quiz question - Do you know which city claims to be The City and County of __??

Jim said...

I do. It's council may have the powers of a city and a county, although it's hardly alone in being a unitary authority, but it hasn't been a "city" for very long (and doesn't have a cathedral) and if asked most people, including locals, would place it within one of the counties that has a first-class county cricket team.

Jim said...

I do. It's council may have the powers of a city and a county, although it's hardly alone in being a unitary authority, but it hasn't been a "city" for very long (and doesn't have a cathedral) and if asked most people, including locals, would place it within one of the counties that has a first-class county cricket team.

Halfie said...

Lancaster?

Jim said...

No. Rather nearer to my original home town, boyo!

Anonymous said...

Swansea. And also Bristol.