Opened in 1777, this canal was seen by its instigators – who included Josiah Wedgwood – as the link between the Mersey and Humber on a route which took it through the heart of the Potteries itself. The canal begins at its junction with the Bridgewater Canal at Preston Brook tunnel.
From there it cuts south-east through Middlewich and Stoke on Trent to join the northerly end of the Coventry Canal at Fradley Junction before swinging north-east to link with the Trent itself at Burton on Trent. Because of the number of canals it connects with, it was, at one time, commonly known as the Grand Trunk. Fish can be small and hard to find in some parts but there is no doubt that the plum section is the piece between Colwich lock and Wolseley Bridge which was exten-sively stocked with roach, bream and mirror carp by the British Waterways Board in the early 70s. This, the Board claims, has restored catches to what they call the glory years of the early 60s. For visitors, this is a ticket section. Clubs wishing to book competitions on it should apply to: Information and Booking Assistant, BWB, Chester Road, Nant-wich, Cheshire (Tel: Nantwich 65122). The other fishable sections are mostly leased to clubs, a number of whom, according to our research, operate on a strictly private basis. Some offer ticket facilities and still others offer seasonal membership. The latter include: Cheshire AA; Derby AA; Derby Railway Institute FC; Fenton and District AS; North Staffs AA and Stoke City and District AA. Rod Licences: NWWA, sections north of Kidsgrove; STWA (Trent Rivers Division), all other sections. Hanley, StaffsC3 miles from Harecastle Tunnel to Lord St. BridgeTP