As time goes by, (sing along if you wish) we become more confused about where (and where not) it is safe to moor. Our downloaded Waterways World article said of Etruria Basin, that "you may not want to stay there overnight." The man we met coming into Etruria from the Caldon said, "It's a bit rough up there." Well it looked OK and we have honestly no idea what he meant.
Tonight tried to discuss this with another boater in The Holly Bush at Denford. His offering on the canal around Hanley was enlightening: "I thought I was the wrong colour." So we are struggling to discern the genuine bits of advice from racism (and probably a host of other prejudices). It's troubling to admit that some, not all, boaters are afraid of different people - be they people of colour, people with dreadlocks, in fact anyone who looks different from them. We asked the waterways man what there was to fear in Milton. He said it was kids throwing bottles. That seems to be main real threat. Not people who look different.
We slept peacefully in Etruria Basin, and met many friendly locals.
Today we met a young lad who looked poor and uncared for. He was fishing by the locks at Stockton Brook with a stick. He'd caught a Bream. This is very enterprising and we congratulated him.