Wednesday, 6 May 2015

Staffordshire school has real narrowboat in playground

We had promised Peter and Julie that we would call in on them at The Taft, an hour and a half further along the canal, so we had to get going even though the wind was creating breaking waves on the canal and it was raining. Ordinarily we would have stayed put until the weather calmed down a bit.

After taking on water at Great Haywood Junction we continued down the lock and past Shugborough Hall.

It was good seeing Peter and Julie - thank you very much for the excellent lunch.

We stopped briefly at Rugeley for provisions, choosing Aldi over Tesco this time. Walking up from Bridge 67 we were surprised to see, in a primary school playground, not a mock-up of a narrowboat but the real thing. It is painted green with a yellow coachline, properly signwritten and has a ladder up to the deck at bow and stern.

Discovery Deck was built in 2014, painted by staff and parents and craned into the grounds of Chancel Primary School to be used as the library. The money came from a £10,000 lottery grant (so I don't suppose they bothered with an engine).

The school's website has a good series of photos from shell to fitout. What a great idea, and a fun environment for reading in.

We tied up for the night just above Wood End Lock; we'll do this and the other two before turning right to go up the Coventry Canal tomorrow. The sun shone for a while this evening - long enough to tempt us to go for a walk. Almost as soon as we'd left the boat the sun went in. Above Middle Lock we found Bendigedig and I said hello to Eric through the window. We hadn't met him and Elsie before, so they kindly invited us in for a cuppa. It was good to see you both, and I hope you get your travel pack problem fixed very soon.

In the Swan I had a very nice pint of Flipside porter.

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