Wednesday, 26 June 2013


A late post today as I’ve just spent two hours after dinner in the garden shed working around the big hot green thing checking the automatic battery watering system.

Jan was up at 5.00am and took this photo out the side hatch.

Morning mist on the water

It was a long day for us leaving our quiet rural mooring around 8.30am after nb The Waterlodge passed us as we were finishing breakfast.  We arrived at the first lock (Blue Banks Lock) just as they were closing the lower gates having passed through.  The crew called out to Jan asking if she would like them to wait at the next lock.  Jan quickly accepted the offer.  As Jan started to fill the lock two “wheel-locking” (a person riding ahead of the boat setting up the lock in advance) ladies arrived and assisted us through the lock.  One of them informed Jan they were off two working boats following behind us and there were a further two boats after them.

We caught up with Paul and his wife at the next lock and continued into Leicester with them until the mile straight where we moored to shop at Sainsbury’s.

Despite appearances the girls did most of the physical work

We were happy to follow Paul as he knows the canal well.  My concerns about Freemans Meadow Lock and the large weir proved to be groundless.  There was no problem with the current, however it was possible to imagine how much water might pass over the weir after heavy rain.

Paul followed me into the lock

After mooring in the Leicester Mile Straight we headed for Sainsbury’s with a long shopping list. It’s no longer there!  Moreover the adjacent Tesco is very small.  Jan was very disappointed, we pressed on with her purse full and our cupboards bare!

Some of the bridge architecture is quite interesting.  The above is a through arch bridge with suspended transoms.  The next bridge and some ornate ironwork.  I’m guessing it’s Victorian.

Jan must have been taken with it as she photographed the stone columns at the ends.

Paul had already warned us the canal could get somewhat ‘ugly’ at the north end of the city.  He was right!  There was rubbish everywhere with numerous urban jellyfish in the canal and the banks littered with it.  Most of the people in the towpath appeared to be ethnically Indian and quite happy to sit amongst the litter.

We almost confused ourselves here (next photo).

From a distance it looked like the canal went straight ahead.  But the low bridge looked strange.  It wasn’t until we got closer that we realised it was a weir.  No chains, buoys, or signs?  I loved the sign on this building “A developers opportunity”.

On the outskirts of Leicester was a lovely looking lock that I wanted to photograph.  However Jan could see something more interesting behind us which I couldn’t see from Waiouru.

A large plastic building.  Actually it’s the National Space Centre.

The river/canal started to get rural when suddenly we were accosted by three groups of noisy vikings.  I had read they used to come up the Trent and Soar when raiding but hadn’t expected to see any.  They were quite fierce and noisy.

Good to see them making use of the waterways…. and having fun!

The plan was to moor just beyond Birdsall Lock and walk up to the large Co-op.  However CRT were working on the visitor mooring and there wasn’t any vacant space.

Birdsall Lock

We pushed on to the next lock (Thurmaston).  It’s another very attractive lock and as Jan worked us through I spotted a potential mooring with bollards on the far left bank.  Jan joined me assisting with the adjusting of the mooring lines before pointing across to the far bank and exclaiming “Look!”  “Look at what?”  Says me!  “Muleless!”  Says Jan.  And there she was on the far bank.

Nb Muleless blog link <here>.  Gary & Della she looks lovely.  There were two guys working on her! 

Clank… Bong…..Clunk!  The penny dropped…… MGM Boats at Thurmaston.  This is where nb Chance was built for James and Doug.

Looking back at the lock with Waiouru in the foreground.

It’s been a mixed day with a mixture of lovely scenery and some disgusting litter.  More cruising tomorrow!


Fran, nb Tamara said...

Tom, If you are ever in Leicester again there is a large Tesco further down the mile. Moor at the secure moorings and walk over the road bridge, it's a bit further on you can't miss it. Doesn't appear in Pearsons or Nicholsons.

Tom and Jan said...

Hi Fran,
I found the Tesco on my map (not the Pearsons). Thanks for the information!