Thursday, November 03, 2011

Return to Sileby

A drop of rain last night, but it had cleared up by the time Meg and I took a stroll around one of the old gravel pits that now make up Watermead Country Park. Meg loves it round here, there’s lots of dogs to chase around with and the lakes provide the opportunity for a cooling dip and drink.

I had a bit of shopping to do, then we got away around 11:00.

Looking back to Birstall moorings.
SAM_0002 Birstall Moorings

Watermead Park between Thurmaston and Birstall.
SAM_0003 Watermead

As a schoolboy I had to walk about half a mile from home down to the “old” village of Thurmaston (we lived in one of the new estates to the east) to catch a school bus to Birstall. If I was late and missed the bus I had a 1½ mile walk across the muddy fields skirting the gravel pits. Some of these were still working at that time, but most were worked out. I didn’t often miss the bus!
All this area is now part of the Watermead Country Park, which extends from the edge of Leicester to Syston.

We’d seen no traffic at all, so Thurmaston Lock was as we left it yesterday, full and ready to use.

Just below the lock is MGM Boatbuilders. Fairly new on the scene, they’ve already earned a good reputation.  Doug and James had NB Chance built here.

MGM at Thurmaston
SAM_0007 MGM

We picked up a couple of logs buried in brambles on the offside opposite King Lear’s Lake, then swung around the left bend at Old Junction boatyard, heading to Junction Lock.

The concrete Wanlip Lane Bridge, marked LCC 1939. At this time the navigation was still owned by the Leicester Canal Company.
SAM_0008 Wanlip Br

Junction Weir, well clogged with Pennywort.
SAM_0011 Junction Weir
They don’t seem to be making much progress against this very invasive waterweed. Areas that have been sprayed are dying back, but there’s a lot more that’s flourishing. There is a natural predator, a weevil called Listronotus elongatus. Research is ongoing as to the effectiveness of this solution.

Around the corner the “escape committee” is back where it belongs……. keeping well clear of the canal!

Planning their next outing….

Cossington Lock is next, just a little way further on. One of the bottom gate balance beams could do with some TLC….

More than a bit of Polyfilla required….

From Cossington to Sileby is 1¼ miles of delightful tree bordered river, a little bit let down by the shower that came over. We moored above Sileby Lock in the rain, then of course it stopped. It’s been a fine afternoon and evening, Meg and I had a walk around Cossington Meadows, another area of gravel pits, now a conservation area, adopted by flocks of waterfowl.

Locks 3, miles 5


nb Chance said...

Thanks Geoff, for the comment on MGM and Chance. You could be forgiven for believing that MGM are fairly new. In fact they have been going 10 years and have built over 20 boats. Up until recently they have been trading by word of mouth, since building Chance and runner up at Crick, their profile has changed somewhat.... We can recommend them highly for bespoke boat building and we are exceptionally pleased with Chance. Thanks again for the interest on your blog. Best regards. Doug and James

Geoff and Mags said...

Hi guys
You're right, I hadn't realised they'd been around for so long. It's good to know that there are still builders with integrity, following the debacle with Ben Harp....