Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Planned for Loughborough, stopped at Pillings Lock.

After a couple of days on Barrow Cut it was time to move on a bit. We thought we’d head down to Loughborough, mooring this side of Chain Bridge, but finished up stopping here near Pillings Flood Lock instead. I’d picked up a lump of wood, fished out of the lock a few days previously, and the towpath in the middle of the town wouldn’t be the ideal place to cut it up…

First bit of free fuel…. I know, we’re starting small!SAM_6425

Barrow is a good spot for a stop-over, plenty of pubs and shops, but TV reception is poor nearer the lock. In fact I gave up with the aerial and managed to find a gap to the satellite through the trees. Doug and James recommended an SLX Megaboost aerial, apparently they’ve always got a signal with theirs, so I’ve bought one, it’s winging it’s way to Dad’s as we speak. The old one is 7 years old, and looking a bit battered, having been tangled up in trees and squashed under low bridges so maybe it’s time for a replacement anyway.

There’re some pleasant walks across the meadows around the village, too.

The weir stream above Barrow BoatingSAM_6421

We always used to try to moor on the short length of piling alongside the bridge, but this stretch has been leased to Barrow Boating now for permanent moorings.

Our old favourite Barrow mooring.
The small mooring basin and Cafe at Barrow Boating can be seen in the background.

The site was once occupied by a flour mill, in fact a mill was recorded here in the Domesday Book of 1086. The last mill buildings were demolished in 1938.

The most recent Barrow Mill
(Photo courtesy of

Today’s view, taken from much the same spot, is rather different!SAM_6413
Moorings for private and day-hire boats take up the mill basin, but the mill races are still there, used for driving the undershot mill-wheels.

Mill race at Barrow Mill

The left-hand building in the early picture would have stood above this one.

A good 500 yards from the navigation channel, near the river loop, sits a boat that has been there for as long as I can remember.

Noah’s Ark?SAM_6410
The only way it could have got here is on the river around Proctors Park and Quorn, unless it was left high and dry after a flood. The Soar does get a little bloated on occasion….

So, we set off late after an idle morning, down Barrow Deep Lock and under Soar Bridge, back onto the river.

Soar Bridge, the river comes back in from the leftSAM_6424

Less than a mile downstream we pulled in, just below Pillings Flood Lock, so I could cut up the branch. We’re getting short of solid fuel, you see. Lighting the fire at night has eaten into the one bag we had left over from last winter, and we can’t get any till we go into Pillings Lock Marina on Friday.

By the time we’d had lunch, and I’d had a stroll down by the weir with Meg, it was looking a bit showery, so we decided to stay put.

Moored near PillingsSAM_6426
Anyway, there’s a fallen tree in the undergrowth back of the boat which might just have my name on it when it stops raining….

Hi, Lesley, Jill, thanks for the comments, but you really mustn’t encourage Mags. Bubbly, donuts and cushions, and a spiral staircase indeed! Although the staircase is a good idea…. if only I could make it folding to go through narrow bridges and tunnels!

Peter, Jennifer, once in a lifetime is enough, thank you! Have a good winter/summer, we’ll look out for you next year. Give our regards to Dave when you get to Uplands.

Doug, James, this aerial had better be good!Winking smile Looking forward to seeing you later in the month.

Oh, and I can’t finish today without mentioning George and Carol selling their lovely NB Rock’n’Roll.
Well built, well spec’ed and well looked after, it’s a fine boat.
They’re buying a fatarse wide-beam boat in the spring.
No more wintering on the Llangollen, then!Crying face We’ll just have to come down the GU to find you.

Locks 1, miles 1


Adam said...

We bought that ariel on Doug and James's recommendation when we got fed up of the satellite dish. At our home mooring and most of the surrounding Grand Union it was hopeless (although that is a poor signal area). But I recently took the plugs off the cable (you have to do it all yourself anyway), and put them back with much more of the core sticking out. Now it's transformed, and on our current Big Trip we've not had a night without a signal. Often, we don't even have to raise the telescopic pole or point it in the right direction, it just works. So when you out the plugs on the cable, leave more core sticking out than the instructions suggest.

Sue said...

We have the V10-40 logic aerial..

It is absolutely brilliant. We have never, anywhere not got a signal even when others moored around us have failed to do so. At just over £16 it is brilliant, so now you have a choice!

I like it because it lies flat on the top too!