Tuesday, 20 February 2007

Don't Panic!

It's the Trent and Mersey.

In case you were having trouble concentrating on anything else for worrying about this lack of detail, the canal is the Trent and Mersey.

And just in case you need to know more, the lowdown on said canal:

The idea of a canal connection from the Mersey to the Trent ("The Grand Trunk") came from canal engineer James Brindley.
It was authorised by an Act of Parliament in 1766 and the first sod was cut by Josiah Wedgwood in July that year at Middleport.
Less than eleven years later, the whole canal, including more than 70 locks and five tunnels, was open, with the company headquarters in Stone.
It was opened 1777 to link the River Trent at Derwent Mouth (in Derbyshire) to the River Mersey.

And now it lurks beside the Rosie and Jim shop.

The Rosie and Jim shop has a cafe over the top, and some friends, my toddler and I were eating breakfast there one Saturday morning. The local radio was playing in the background, and amid conversation about why toddlers will only eat toast that they have previously thrown on the floor, we heard the name of the village on the news bulletin. The story was one of a canal boat that had caught fire the previous night. Four fire engines had attended and it had taken them several hours to quench the inferno. As we attempted to solve the puzzle of where this incident could possibly have taken place, since we were sitting next to the canal at that moment, and had all been at my house and heard no sirens, disturbances or anything else untoward the night before, my toddler pointed at something through the window and said "Quack".

We all looked at the duck, who was nonchalantly partaking in a morning swim. And then we looked at the black and twisted burned out shell of the canal boat that he was swimming past, yards from where we were sitting, and uttered a collective "Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhh".

So to any readers of this blog who may exist, if you were hoping for keen and insightful observations, perhaps you should steel yourself for the possibility of disappointment.

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