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Jennifer McM

Hanley Park, on the Caldon

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We moored at Hanley park last night. It's beautiful mooring, right in the middle of a well kept park, mooring rings, rubber bumper along the mooring, mooring lights... It looked great, and perfect for giving our dog a good exercise.

 

Not being on the Caldon before, we thought how lovely and quiet it was. Then at about 6-6.30 pm ish, a convoy of boats started to pass us, one after the other, all 9 (?) of them. It turned out they had been stuck behind Ivy House Lift Bridge which had failed, and they'd had to wait for it to be fixed. Seeing that we're the only boat on the huge mooring, not a single boat stopped to moor here, preferring to go down the three locks (two are staircase) which must have taken a while for all 9 boats to drop down.

 

We started to think if there was a problem with where we've stopped... then it started, youfs started sort of 'nonchalantly' walking passed our boat, glancing in, which felt a bit uneasy. It spooked our dog, so we let him do his 'fierce dog' act on the deck. Then there was a loud crack on the side of the boat, we couldn't see anyone, except the youfs had started to kick a football to each other over the canal. We ignored it. Then there was another load crack, we shot up to see about 6 youfs walking away from us, each one turned around to look at our boat as they moved off, looking for a reaction I think.

 

It's now 8 o/c, we thought about moving, but decided 'why should we'? There was another load crack about 9 o/c. But we couldn't see anything or anyone. All was quiet after, and the dog didn't kick off in the night either.

 

Just wondering if anyone has had a problem mooring here? It's such a beautiful spot, the Council and CRT should be congratulated. 

 

I'm wondering what others would have done, would you have moved?

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Yesterday, I too, was impressed by how lovely Hanley Park looked but I was going past it on a coach (school trip🙄) and could also see  the surrounding area. The contrast between the two was remarkable!

  • Greenie 1

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It is somewhere I've always boated straight past given the reputation of the start of the Caldon.

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Where these cracks very loud and have you inspected the side of the boat? Could be air gun or similar so expect lots of little holes in the paint.

Most boaters would consider the park a "no stopping" area unless you want to buy/sell drugs etc. Go on a bit further where the Calden becomes lovely.

 

................Dave

  • Greenie 1

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Last time we went up the Caldon we stopped near Endon Basin on the way up and the way back and did from there to Etruria.

  • Greenie 1

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5 minutes ago, Rob-M said:

It is somewhere I've always boated straight past given the reputation of the start of the Caldon.

Didn't know about it's reputation. What a shame though, the park's a fantastic area. 

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Just now, Jennifer McM said:

Didn't know about it's reputation. What a shame though, the park's a fantastic area. 

Yes unfortunately it’s not a place I would consider night stopping at.

  • Sad 1

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Just now, nicknorman said:

Yes unfortunately it’s not a place I would consider night stopping at.

It'll be our last too... shame.

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I’m remembering that last time we passed, there was a large population of what looked like Syrian refugees hanging out. All were friendly. So it is not them that are the problem, it is the local white feral parentless bored yoof.

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We did stop there once but after I got all the crap of the prop we quickly moved on :).

 

..............Dave

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We went through around lunch time and there were young families with small children playing in the park and all looked very nice.

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3 minutes ago, nicknorman said:

I’m remembering that last time we passed, there was a large population of what looked like Syrian refugees hanging out. All were friendly. So it is not them that are the problem, it is the local white feral parentless bored yoof.

Didn't want to say it, but they weren't white 😕

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Been moored at Stone for a week and talking to a few local boaters. Stoke does appear to be going through a bad patch (for the last year or so) with even Westport Lake now not considered safe by some. Sounds like one particular gang of youth might be behind much of the trouble but they are probably too young to go to prison.

 

................Dave

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1 minute ago, dmr said:

Been moored at Stone for a week and talking to a few local boaters. Stoke does appear to be going through a bad patch (for the last year or so) with even Westport Lake now not considered safe by some. Sounds like one particular gang of youth might be behind much of the trouble but they are probably too young to go to prison.

 

................Dave

They were bored for sure. 

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There was a post a couple of years ago about someone who got bricked there . It's a shame, but the first safe spot on the Caldon is up by Endon, Milton or Engine Lock. In my younger, hairier days, I usually got offered various interesting substances from lads on the towpath, all friendly enough, mind you.

I 've never had any trouble at Westport Lake, though you do get yobs on motorbikes tearing round it sometimes. 

Stoke is a notoriously poverty stricken area and the atmosphere is often pretty toxic and racist (I've worked round there a lot and have been amazed by the attitudes of people I liked) , so tensions can be high which leads to this kind of mindless vandalism/behavior by all shades. 

In the town, the only places I'd consider mooring are the Lake or by the Carvery. 

  • Greenie 1

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The park is a delightful spot but on 2 occasions as we have passed through groups of Asian youths have stood shoulder to shoulder on the bridge spitting down on us.

I would not consider it for an overnight mooring.

Never had a problem at Westport Lake or Etruria.

Shopping at Etruria is a cultural event with the Koran being recited on the shop PA all day!

Stoke is a difficult area, its extremely good value for shopping but the predominance of poorer housing occupied in the main by Asians who have a completely different social responsibility and outlook make it an uncomfortable place for us.

 

No, I am not biased, its a preference. A large part of my year is spent in Asia and I have no axe to grind but the people in the far east seem to have a different code of life to the ones in the UK. Its very strange when I come home and feel this culture change, never feel it when I go out east, only on the return.

Edited by Boater Sam

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The Caldon in that area is the only place I have felt truly threatened, when I put my hand on om windlass he left. that was at Planet Lock

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There used to be, and may still be for all I know, a halfway house for those about to be released from jail close to the staircase. I met a few guys from there having a smoke by the lock and enjoying a bit of freedom, never had any hassle from them. 

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37 minutes ago, Boater Sam said:

 

Stoke is a difficult area, its extremely good value for shopping but the predominance of poorer housing occupied in the main by Asians who have a completely different social responsibility and outlook make it an uncomfortable place for us.

 

No, I am not biased, its a preference. A large part of my year is spent in Asia and I have no axe to grind but the people in the far east seem to have a different code of life to the ones in the UK. Its very strange when I come home and feel this culture change, never feel it when I go out east, only on the return.

I think part of the problem is not cultural in that sense, but mutual poverty tends to result in people looking for reasons to blame for it, and obvious differences make scapegoating simpler. Once you get this tension starting, it's hard to stop. You then start exaggerating the differences, resulting in an invented culture you can claim as your own instead of the actual shared one. Unfortunately, all shades of skin do it. People, unless they own boats, are basically idiots. 

  • Greenie 3

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At the staircase lock there was a guy sitting on the bench, he was puffing on something, I tried to make eye contact just to show I was friendly, but he was having none of it. Best to ignore really.

 

Halfway to Planet Lock from the staircase, a cheery guy on the towpath said a lad had opened the lock for us. Don't know who he was, but he'd set the lock. :) 

 

About 8 this morning there was what looked like an army of gardeners tidying up the park, and workmen refurbishing the footbridge. We had a chat with a lady gardener, congratulating her about the lovely park. She said £1.5m is being spent on park. She was concerned to hear we had trouble, and she said they 'used' to have trouble, but not so much of late. She encouraged us to phone 101 to make a complaint, ensuring we get an incident number. Which is a good thing really, just in case someone has been popping us with an air gun 'canalside'. Not that it'll do us any good, it's more of a warning to the authorities. She made the remark that if people don't complain, then how would the Council know if there's a problem?

 

It's sad though, there's miles of top class mooring, and no one using it.

 

In our experience, wherever there's a park near a canal, there's always loads of swans, ducks, etc.  We never spotted any water foul at all, not until we'd left the town. Which is a worry for the wildlife.

 

Cruising this morning, it's easy to see the canal is steeped in history, and the wild flowers are beautiful and strongly fragrant. There's a few low bridges though, so 'note to self' remember to top up with water before we return.

 

We've now moored just past Bridge 18 cos we've picked something up, and have hardly any reverse. Unfortunately we've upset a native in a posh house across the way, we were struggling to moor (cos it's shallow and silted up, plus hardly any reverse) and we made a bit of noise  This mooring also looks good for a CoOp.  Internet looks strong, so what's not to like for a weekend mooring :) 

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You may have met Rob the Lock setting the lock for you as he operates around that area and Stoke locks. Sometimes his son is out with him as well.

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Massive amounts of EU money have been spent over the last two years. It was all supposed to be finished by spring but work is still going on. We have moored in the park in the last couple of years and had no trouble. We usually moor down at Etruria and haven't had any problems there either. 

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Nice fellow Rob the Lock, helped us down all the Stoke locks when I was recovering from surgery. Had to be quite forceful to get him to take a bottle of wine and a bit of cash, did accept a brew part way down though.🤭

  • Greenie 1

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8 minutes ago, Rob-M said:

You may have met Rob the Lock setting the lock for you as he operates around that area and Stoke locks. Sometimes his son is out with him as well.

There was no one at the lock, except the guy on the towpath said a lad on a bike had set the lock. The man thought the lad was with us. 

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I remember Rob when he started out ass a youngster, he just liked being out and about. He turned it into a bit of a business and recently had to pay for an expensive bike repair so I usually slip him at least a fiver, though I have never known him to ask for money. He helped me up the Stoke flight this year. Nicest guy you could hope to meet. 

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