On arrival at Rugeley we were lucky to find a spot on the visitor moorings, nearest to the bridge and the shops. This was handy as it was to be a big shop, topping up the supplies we had used since leaving Yelvertoft a month ago. We were also spoilt for choice between Tesco, Morrisons or Aldi. Tesco won. Rugeley is also famous for some other facts. In the 1800s the Rugeley Poisoner was at large and also an infamous canal murder took place. Christina Collins was kidnapped and murdered by some barge men when she tried to hitch a lift to London. It is also currently the home to possibly the worlds largest producer of toilets, Armitage Shanks.
The Armitage Shanks factory.
After the shopping was completed we had a quick lunch, then set off on the second leg of our journey. This would take us to Tixall Wide on the Staffordshire and Worcestershire Canal, six miles and two locks away. On route we passed the National Trust owned Shrugborough Hall, which we will visit tomorrow. After passing through the second of the two locks we arrived at the junction. Straight on was north, towards The Potteries and eventually The Mersey. Left, the way we were going was heading south west towards Wolverhampton, and the start of the Shropshire Union Canal (The Shroppie).
Once through the junction we had a mile to go to our planned mooring location of Tixall Wide. This area of the canal is four or five times wider than normal. This was apparently because the landowner, did not want a scruffy industrial canal crossing his land, so would only allow construction if it was dug out to look like a lake.
Views across the wide.
The former Tixall House was a medieval building no longer standing. At one time it was used as a prison for Mary Queen of Scots. Although long since gone, it is possible to imagine how it must of looked when you see the surviving gatehouse.
Today we went for a walk around the nearby village of Great Haywood. It is well served by two general stores a post office and a pharmacy. There are also two pubs and a restaurant.
Totals 13 Miles 5 Locks