Barrow on Soar

On Monday we woke early to make the most of the day since we needed to get to Debdale Wharf by Thursday. The early morning sun and mist made the mooring picturesque. The mist soon burnt off and the start to the day was warm and sunny.

Misty morning sun at Swarkstone Junction

Leaving at 8.00 we made good progress and soon reached Weston Lock where we were joined by NB Silkstone who joined us for locking right through to Kegworth. They were a jolly crew and we enjoyed sharing locks with them. At Aston Lock, for the second time in two years, we had a problem leaving the lock. I won't go into the details here because it deserves a separate post and a bit of research.

By the time we reached Shardlow the weather had deteriorated, the wind had risen and it was cloudy. It is always exiting entering the River Trent at Shardlow. The wide expanse of flowing water makes an impression and passing under the M1 is fun. 

Derwent Mouth, Shardlow

Albert passing under the M1, River Trent

Both Silkstone and Albert went through Sawley Lock together. The only difficulty was that Silkstone had used their BW key to operate the automatic mechanism and another boat was coming up. This meant the crew from Silkstone had to wait for the boat coming up to enter the lock and the gates to close before the key could be removed. They soon made up the delay on the river and they were not far behind us when we got to the first lock on the River Soar.

Navigation sign at Trent Lock

Erewash Canal Entrance

We negotiated the junction with the River Soar and headed through Redhill and Ratcliffe on Soar. Just before Ratcliffe Lock we met a Dutch Barge negotiated the bends. Luckily we met on a straight section. Silkstone had more trouble.

Kegworth Manor

At Kegworth we met up with a single boat ahead. Since we were "on a mission" to get far that day we left Silkwood and teamed up with the other crew who were heading into Loughborough. We had a good run through to Zouch where I did most of my rowing at Loughborough University in the late 1960s and early 1970s. The area certainly brought back memories of our training sessions. There were far fewer boats around then, an no narrow boats.

Normanton on Soar

We had contemplated stopping in Loughborough overnight but recognising that we still had some way to go we decided to press on to Barrow on Soar.

Wide beam about to negotiate a bridge near Loughborough - will it won't it

We arrived at Barrow around 6:00PM and moored up on the single 48-hr visitor mooring close to what is now a canal centre. Back in 1966 the centre building was the University Rowing Club. In 1967 the club left for the Loughborough Boat Club at Zouch transporting all their boats (fours) by rowing them along the canal  through the town.

Riverside Café & Canal Centre at Barrow on Soar
(formerly Loughborough University of Technology Boat Club)

We  finished the day by shopping in the village. Deciding that we deserved a take-away, we got a couple of Baltis.