Kilby Bridge

On Tuesday, continuing our  mission to get to Debdale  Wharf by Thursday, we rose early and were boating by 8:00 in glorious sunshine. Unlike Monday, the sunshine was to continue through the whole day. Our first day of warm Spring weather.

Mountsorrel Bridge - easy to tell when it was built!

Mountsorrel Lock

Mountsorrel looked very pleasant in the sun. The waterside area was quite different from the aspect Maggie used to see when she travelled daily along the congested old A6 to her teaching job Birstall when we lived in Loughborough.

Sileby Mill

At Sileby Lock we met a hire boat going our way. This meant we could tackle the wide locks together. They kindly waited for us to lock up.

River Soar near Birstall

Travelling along the Soar meandering through the meadows and lakes towards Leicester in good spring weather was delightful. At last the grass appeared to be growing and the trees coming into leaf after this exceptionally long winter. The only negative was the large amount of plastic debris that had come down river on high water levels and was either caught in foliage or floating in reeds.

Space Centre, Leicester

The river was full of rubbish south of the city and when we reached Belvoir Lock Albert's prop was fouled. We struggled to get into the lock chamber. It turned out to be a large cushion, along with a length of strong binding tape. The cushion came out of the weed hatch as large lumps of wadding.

Once you reach the mile straight in the centre of the city the riverside scene improves.A long time ago I once competed for Stratford upon Avon at Leicester regatta which was held on the straight. The rowing club, much improved, is still there.

Leicester Mile Straight
Leicester Rowing Club

By Freeman's Lock we met a volunteer who helped us through this and all the other locks that day. He went ahead on his bike lock wheeling. We had originally intended stopping at Kings Lock, Aylestone, but spurred on by the other crew, the lock wheeler and the good weather, we forged on to Kilby Bridge. The only real problem we had was we lost our forward (short) chimney on an overhanging willow tree near Wigston.

Horse on the lockside at Double Rail Lock

At Double Rail Lock we found that horses had come right up to the lock side. Quite a shock when first sighted. Good job they were friendly. We finally stopped at Kilby Bridge at around 7:00 - 11 hours boating! It was quite a day but the sense of satisfaction for getting right through from Barrow was great. It left us with only a modest journey on Wednesday to reach our destination.

That night we just had to go for a pub meal. Luckily  the nearest pub, The Navigation does good food. We really enjoyed our meals and dropped into bed exhausted, maybe we are getting old.