Sunday, 13 October 2013



Wednesday 2nd October
Kilby Bridge - Birstall
11.5 miles and 19 locks
After our lovely evening with Doug, James and Birgit it was time for us to head off and tackle Leicester. We were ready to set off at 8am but it decided to start raining again so a short delay whilst we got into our waterproofs. I took Doug's great advice and set off on my bike to the first lock of the day, just around the corner from our mooring. I arrived to find the lock empty (we were going down) and the bottom gates open, it took a few attempts to get the gates closed but they kept opening by the time I had got round the other side, anyway after running around the lock a few times I managed to get them shut and the lock filled. At our second lock of the day the same thing lock empty and bottom gates open. Just as I opened the gates and James got LJ in a hire boat came round the corner so at least I wouldn't have to close the gates on leaving. The lady came up and helped open the gates for us to leave and told me there was a boat a few locks ahead also heading down, then I knew all locks would be against me! The next one was ok as the hire boat had been up, but the rest ALL the way to Leicester were empty and with the bottom gates left open, the lazy gits we were following weren't bothering to shut the gates. I know some gates don't stay closed but apart from our first one at Kilby I had managed to close them all, it's a good job we didn't catch them up!! We had a quick stop when the rain began again quite heavily to have tea and toast then it was on our way again, with me on the bike. I eventually got onto the boat at Aylestone Mill Lock after about 7 miles, with all locks against us and bottom gates open. We continued onto Birstall going past all the weirs of my nightmares. Needless to say by the time we arrived I was a bit worn out and tired, I slept well that night.

First lock of the day

Here they come

Bit of a tight squeeze, the workmen here were having a bit of a row when I passed

St Mary's Mill

Don't want to go the wrong way here

The weir by Freeman's Meadow Lock

Waterways merge again

Guess it was something to do with the Uni freshers week

Interesting chimneys

Ornate bridge

This lock leaked so much it was tough getting the bottom gates open

Another weir, so easy to go the wrong way

This looks like an inflatable building

Heron in a tree

At last we've reached Birstall

Sunday 6th October
Birstall - Junction Lock 47
3 miles and 1 lock
After a lovely relaxing stay at Birstall, along with a trip by bus into Leicester we were off, just a short hop this time and an overnight stay in a lovely rural location. 

Swan family having a rest on the slipway at MGM boats

Near the weir just before Junction Lock 47

14.5 miles
20 locks


Monday 7th October 
Junction Lock 47 - Loughborough
8.25 miles and 5 locks
James was up and about early this morning, as usual and I was soon up when James had said there was a hire boat stuck across the lock just ahead of us. After watching them we realised that they were well and truly stuck and may need a hand, so off we went. What we think happened was that when they opened the paddles to fill the lock the boat got dragged over and then as the pound level lowered the rear end got stuck on a ledge, with the front wedged by the gate. After closing the paddles and three of us pushing the boat it eventually came free. It wasn't long after we started our journey towards Loughborough stopping just short of the junction down to the basin.

Stuck hire boat

Leaky lock


We shared this lock with a duck family, they all swam out when I opened the gates

Getting wider now

This swan seemed to be racing us

Glad we didn't go the wrong way here

Water levels are lower than the green mark

Very river like now

Horses going for a walk

We passed some beautiful gardens

This was an easy lock!

Having a paddle

Just before the junction at Loughborough

Wednesday 9th October
Loughborough - Basin
0.5 miles 
We decided to move into the basin to carrying on with a little painting, it was ideal for getting to the back where we wanted to get the tunnel bands done. We ended up staying two nights, the first it was full with another three boats coming in after us and the second night we were alone. We had no problems there and it was quiet, but we were told it can get noisy at the weekends.

Friday 10th October
Loughborough Basin - Zouch Lock
3.5 miles and 2 locks
Not a pleasant day weather wise it was intermittently raining and drizzling and the wind was blowing a hooley, but we wanted to move from the basin.

Normanton on Soar

Emergency moorings

Visitor moorings at Zouch

and in front towards the bridge and lock

Saturday 12 October
Zouch Lock - Sawley 
6.5 miles and 6 locks
Fairly early start again this morning just after 8am and headed for our first lock which was just the other side of the bridge we were near, so I set off walking and got the lock ready for James and LJ to get in, when the couple of the boat near the lock raced out to join us. We had company, with Frank and Jane all the way to Sawley which made the lock operating a bit easier.

Sharing the locks and halving the work for me 

Another easy lock 

Can just make out Ratcliffe power station 

Filled in lock

Shame about the house right in front

Heron waiting for his dinner

The houses are all built on stilts here

Leading to the dreaded Thrumpton weir

These signs are massive

Passing the junction

A huge expanse of water

It didn't take these rowers long to overtake us

The paired Sawley locks, i just needed to press buttons here

And moored up at Sawley near the marina

For the dogs that can't translate

A better picture of the power station taken Sunday afternoon, with better weather

18.75 miles
13 locks

363.5 miles
249 locks
8 tunnels
10 swing bridges

1 comment:

  1. Hi Deb and James, thanks for taking the time to write your kind message. Of course I would succeed, I'm a stubborn cow !! LOL :)Yes I/we had been very fortunate to meet lots of lovely blogger friends, including your lovely selves, it's just nice when passing a blogger that you can just get straight into a chin wag. Honestly the kindness of the community has been heart warming, it certainly would not happen in a house on land. I hope you had a great cruising summer, unfortunately I didn't keep up with people's news, as I was elsewise occupied !! If possible can you send a direct email address, as I have verification ? Enjoy Leicester, catch you soon. Luv Jacquie