Monday, August 27, 2012

Off we jolly well go……

We’re on our way again after a few days visiting and socialising around Loughborough.
Although we could have chosen a better day; it’s been decidedly backend-ish today! Breezy, cool and showery.

After our overnight stop at Loughborough and visit from Kay, Paul, and neice and God-daughter Samantha, we moved into Pillings Lock Marina on Saturday.

Full moorings near Chain Bridge in LoughboroughSAM_2497 Chain Br Moorings This was never a popular spot, but has slowly become so as more and more boats stop overnight.

A bit “Arty”, this one….SAM_2498
I thought it looked as though pylon was scraping the sky clear of clouds..

Birthday party on a day boat out of SilebySAM_2500 Birthday

Into the marinaSAM_2501 Pillings Lock

Clouds had been threatening all day, and by evening we had an almighty thunderstorm.
SAM_2502 Raining

On Sunday we were collected to go to brother Andy’s house for a barbeque in the afternoon, and a great time was had by all. Then in the evening, back at the marina, Paul’s (that’s Kay’s partner) band was playing at the cafe/bar here. Mags stayed on board with Meg and still enjoyed the music from 100 yards away!

The Refusers… L-R, Rob, lead guitar; Steve, bass guitar; Paul, drums; Dave, vocals and our Paul on rhythm guitar.SAM_2509 The RefusersThey have a mixed repertoire, from Black Sabbath to The Beatles, Cliff Richard to The Eagles. Pretty good, too.

Today started reasonably fine, but breezy. By lunchtime we’d had a few spots of rain and it became more continuous later on in the afternoon. We got away from  Pillings at around 09:40, turning left out of the entrance to Loughborough.

Old rolling stock just visible on the sidings of the old Great Central Railway in the town.SAM_2511 Great Central rolling StockThe section from Loughborough to Birstall is run as a heritage railway, the only double track main-line in the UK. The Great Central Railway PLC was formed from the work of the Main Line Steam Trust, a charity which succeeded in preventing British Rail from lifting most of the track, and raised funds for restoration of the rest, as well as for the infrastructure and buildings.

We swung left at Chain Bridge, down into the basin for a quick visit to the handy Tesco, then headed off out of town, now northward. We shared Loughborough, Bishop’s Meadow and Zouch Locks with a crew we met in the basin, Dave and Margaret on NB Moonshadow.

Wide Soar and grey skies below LoughboroughSAM_2517 Wide Soar

12thC  St. James Church, Normanton on Soar.SAM_2519 Normanton

The River Soar is notorious for rapid rise after heavy rain, we’ve experienced this ourselves a couple of times. Extensive flood management schemes have been implemented using automatic rotary gates to supplement the conventional weirs.
A good example is at Zouch, just below Normanton on Soar.

Zouch Flood Gates….SAM_2521 Zouch Weirs

…..and weir.SAM_2522 Zouch Weirs

We were approaching the road bridge just on the extreme right of the above when a boat started coming through. We held back and then the lass on the bow indicated that they were going under the low bridge into the backwater alongside. They’d obviously done it before, very slick.
Just as well, I’d not have wanted to hang around above that weir for long, even with the water being low.

Tight squeeze onto moorings in the backwaterSAM_2523 Squeeze
SAM_2523 Squeeze
They’d not do that with another couple of inches on the river!

We parted company with our locking companions after Zouch Lock. They were pushing on towards Redhill, but we’d already decided to stop at Devil’s Elbow, near Sutton Bonnington.

With Dave and Margaret, NB Moonshadow, in Zouch LockSAM_2524 Zouch Lock, NB Moonshadow

Moored at Devil’s ElbowSAM_2527 Devil's Elbow

Tomorrow we’ll be on the Trent…

Locks 3, miles 7½

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