Saturday, August 08, 2015

Easy-peasy through the city (Thursday 6th August)

We had an excellent run down through Leicester today. After the rain overnight the day started a bit gloomy, but it brightened up and it’s a beautiful evening here at Birstall.

Meg and I had a walk around Aylestone Meadows before we left, crossing the old packhorse bridge over the river.

Unfortunately, with the overgrowth, you can’t get to see the side of the bridge.IMG_6689

It’s also very woolly on the main navigation channel, now it’s running in the natural watercourse.IMG_6691

Aylestone Mill Lock was nicely ready for us, a boat had arrived at Kings just as we were ready to go, so I knew the lock would be full. I also knew that the top gates don’t stay shut…

The next down, at St. Mary’s Mill, needed a drop of water in to top it up, but we didn’t have to close up. A group of contractors arrived at the bottom with a pontoon as we emptied the lock.IMG_6695
They’re going upstream to do some bank maintenance work.

The navigation leaves the heavy bankside vegetation as it approaches Freemans Lock, the last before it enters the city.

Freemans Lock, with a large weir alongside.IMG_6699
You can tell how low the river is, very little water is going over.

We struck lucky again here, two boats arrived at the bottom while we were emptying the lock.

A pretty double bowstring bridge carries the towpath over the river as it branches off at the end of the mile straight.

The channel is wholly artificial through the city, passing under several bridges. The oldest is probably Newarke Bridge.
The long straight ends at West Bridge, a couple of gentle bends see the river join then leave the channel, then there’s a sharp right hand bend into the cut again heading for North Lock.

North Lock, definitely canal again!

This canal section continues through Limekiln Lock and only re-enters the river below Belgrave Lock.

Limekiln Lock, the only one today we had to refill. IMG_6714
It was Barbara’s turn, too!

The tall chimney is all that remains of the iconic Wolsey knitwear brand.IMG_6717

Belgrave Lock, our last today as we moored above Birstall LockIMG_6718

Patient angler


Moored at BirstallIMG_6729

We’ll take a day off here tomorrow.

Locks 6, miles 6½

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