Monday, October 24, 2011

Logging, then Loughborough

I spent a jolly hour and a half this morning cutting up my foraged wood. I found some more last evening after we’d moored so “liberated” that as well. We’ve quite a bit of cut wood now, and the roof looks tidier than it did yesterday.
With that done it was nearly midday before we got under way.

Looking back as we leave our mooring near Kegworth

Although bright it was a bit breezy, and cool with it. Still, it was very pleasant cruising, a few boats about and fine scenery in the Soar valley.

The wide reach above The Otter.

We passed Carol’s boat at Devil’s Elbow, gave a toot but no-one was home. They must have been out for a walk.
Less than an hour’s cruise saw us arrive at Zouch Lock. A couple of boats had passed us going downstream, so we guessed that the lock should be empty. It was, a boat was just going in, and they invited us alongside.

Good timing at Zouch Lock

BW’s contractors are busy mending the towpath above the lock.

I say busy….. I guess it must have been lunchtime.

The smart houses on the river in Normanton looked well in the sunshine.

St. James, Normanton, is having some work done on the spire. The scaffolding is a work of art in itself!

St. James, Normanton.

It’s been transformed into something resembling an a far-eastern pagoda….

To continue the theme…. one of the many power distribution pylons around the valley.

I guess that’s the unfortunate consequence of having a large power station on your doorstep.
The next lock was Bishop’s Meadow on the edge of Loughborough.

Mags waiting for the lock

Loughborough Lock has a fine lock cottage alongside, of course now privately owned.

Loughborough Lock

At Chain Bridge the Leicester Navigation meets the Loughborough Navigation. The through route up to Leicester is a sharp left turn under the bridge. Straight ahead takes boats a short distance to the terminal basin of the Loughborough Navigation. This has recently been redeveloped, and now offers mooring pontoons and a service wharf, overlooked by university student accommodation.

Looking towards the terminus, Chain Bridge and the Leicester Navigation on the left.

The Loughborough Navigation was constructed in 1778 to take advantage of the coal now coming down the recently opened Erewash Canal from the Nottinghamshire coalfields. It was immediately successful, the price of coal in the town dropping considerably. This encouraged another group of entrepreneurs further south to build another, linking, canal. Like it’s northern cousin, the Leicester Navigation uses a mixture of artificial cut and river sections, with tree-lined broad meanders then abrupt changes of character to sharp edged straight “cuts”.
Heading south from Leicester is the wordy Leicestershire and Northamptonshire Union Canal, leading to Market Harborough and up Foxton Locks to the Old Grand Union Canal, heading to join the Mainline at Norton Junction. All these canals were incorporated into the Grand Union Canal (Leicester Section).

A reminder of an industrial past, a mill complete with chimney stands alongside the canal at Nottingham Road Bridge.

 There’s very little industrial architecture still left along the navigation.

We pulled over just out of town at Millers Bridge.

Surprisingly empty Millers Bridge moorings

It’s unusual to have nobody here. Close enough to the town to be convenient, it’s often the haunt of “continuous moorers”. Then again, there were quite a few boats moored in town. Outside The Albion was full, and there were maybe half- a-dozen just after Chain Bridge.

We’ll toddle off down to Sileby tomorrow, to fill with diesel at Sileby Mill. Then we’re pottering till Friday when we take up a visitor mooring in Pillings Lock Marina for a long weekend.

I’ve sent off my “doorstep” sponsorship for The Great North Run. Together with the online funds donated through Justgiving, we’ve raised £420 for Macmillan Cancer Support. Many thanks again to everyone who helped out. I got an email from Macmillan, a newsletter really, and they’ve received nearly a quarter of a million pounds through sponsorship for this event alone. Wow!

Locks 3, mile 7¼


Anonymous said...

Does that mean no mooring above Zouch Lock then? We're hard on your heels, hope to catch up with you before too long
Mo and Nessa

Geoff and Mags said...

Hi Both
There's still space between the lock and the bridge. They're working on the length above the bridge. Anyhow, this bit will be that bane of all continuous cruisers, "Winter Moorings"!