Thursday, August 23, 2012


Now we’re here north of Leicester, we’re going to be catching up with my half of the family. So we’re not going so far till after the weekend when we’ll resume our journey north.

After a night above Sileby Lock, we dropped down to diesel up at Sileby Mill Boatyard. A boat had come upstream while we were against the fuel barge, and he told us that there was now mooring space at Mountsorrel, the next village down. It’s a bit limited there, strictly speaking there’s only room for a couple of boats without encroaching on the lock landing. I checked it out on my morning run, there were four boats moored there first thing.

So instead of tying up below Sileby Lock, we moved down to moor close to the Waterside pub. We had lunch here today, with my Dad and Stepmum, they celebrated their wedding anniversary yesterday.
They allow dogs in the bar, so we could take Meg, and the bar menu isn’t bad, basic but tasty. I had liver and bacon, and the meat was melt in the mouth delicious! They’ve a resturant as well, but we’ve not tried that.

After lunch we parted company; they headed home and we set off down the lock, heading for Loughborough and the moorings at Millers Bridge.

Leaving MountsorrelSAM_2485 Mountsorrel

The brick built “1860 Bridge” was built to carry a mineral line from the quarries at the top of Castle Hill to sidings on the Midland Counties Railway at Barrow on Soar.
SAM_2487 1860 Br

When the Great Central Line was built further to the west, the line was extended in that direction, meeting the GCR at Swithland and linking the two railways.

The Mountsorrel Granite Company was bought by Redland Aggregates in 1959 and the mineral line closed soon afterwards. Now the bridge carries a conveyor, transporting crushed stone to Barrow and the sidings.

There’s a new housing development on the edge of the village, and the plans included a small marina.
SAM_2489 New marina
There’s only one boat in there at the moment, and I think the entrance will preclude use by narrowboats…

Approaching Barrow we had to weave in and out of the canoes and water bikes on hire from Barrow Boating, and then had a shouted conversation with Maggie, Alex and Dave who moor here in the small mill basin.

Barrow water bikesSAM_2491 water bikes
I’m pleased to see these two girls have life jackets, a lot of the others we’ve seen didn’t.

Barrow Boating dead ahead, the weir to the left and the cut to the lock on the rightSAM_2492 Barrow Weir

Barrow Bridge, below the lockSAM_2494 Barrow Br
This can be an interesting challenge when there’s a bit of a flow on. The river returns, after it’s trip around the lock cut, from the left. It tends to push you over to the right, against the abutment. The safest way in those conditions is to not cut the corner, but to head across the flow, allowing it to turn the bow to line up with the arch. Then swing the stern around and keep your fingers crossed…
No problem today, though. Very little flow coming down.

We shared both Mountsorrel and Barrow locks with NB Campanula. Penny is a solo boater, very proficient, who makes and sells decorative lace from her boat. We ended up moored within yards of each other.

Tomorrow we’ll be picking up a Tesco delivery at Little Moor Bridge, then pushing off into Loughborough.

Locks 3, miles 5

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