After numerous cups of tea, we set off in good time for our eleven o'clock appointment. Although it was drizzly and grey our spirits were high.
We arrived in Stoke about 10.30 desperate for the loo. We agreed that the Gladstone Museum, which was close to both potteries and with ample parking, would also provide the necessary facility for our pressing needs. Cautiously we approached the museum. We entered an unmanned door and turnstile and clicked our way in. We read the museum tour blurb (quickly) and discovered that the tour required two and a half hours of our time. The entrance hall was devoid of staff, anyone for that matter. We discovered that the toilets and cafe were upstairs. Brilliant, we could use the facilities and have a quick coffee without doing the tour. As we ascended the stairs, the musty museum hush was suddenly shattered by the most extraordinarily loud creaking, it was like an alarm going off. It was impossible to navigate quietly, we had given away our position. The toilets were very clean and noticeably quiet. Our foil of buying something at the cafe to substantiate the use of the toilets was uncovered by the fact that it wasn't open until eleven.
The only way out of course was back down the Noisiest stairs in the World. CREAK CREAK CREAK CREAK and then through the shop where we sheepishly brought a couple of marbles informing the knowing staff that we would possibly be back for the tour later.
Between appointments we had enough time to pop back to the museum, through the turnstile, click click click. Up the Noisiest stairs in the World. CREAK CREAK CREAK CREAK. Into the nice clean quiet loo's, flush flush. (It's difficult at this point not to turn everything into a techno audio soundscape) Into the cafe; where we grabbed a couple of sweet snack things to go. Back down the Noisiest stairs in the World. CREAK CREAK CREAK CREAK. Through the shop, hi, yes it's us again and out the exit.
After our second appointment we once again returned to the Gladstone Museum. Through the turnstile, click click click. Up the Noisiest stairs in the World. CREAK CREAK CREAK CREAK. Into the cafe for a quick pot of tea and a scone. Yum yum yum. Into the loo, flush flush.
Instead of the usual written descent, here is an actual video account of the
NOISIEST STAIRS IN THE WORLD!!!!!!!!