Wednesday, 25 September 2013

Big Trip - Day 30

Last night we had drinks and nibbles on board Chance on the slipway where the boat is being blacked, so everything was on a bit of a slope!  Then we walked down to the local pub, which last week Doug and James discovered didn't do food on a Monday; this week they discovered it doesn't do food on a Tuesday either.  Plan B was the Chinese take away, where we ordered a wide selection of dishes which we took back to Briar Rose to share.  We had a great evening catching up with D&J, and talking as boaters do, about toilets.

This morning is was very misty when we looked out.

We set off shortly after 8am, and Doug and James came to see us through the first lock.

The locks on the northern outskirts of Leicester are pretty grubby, although there wasn't as much rubbish as we'd been expecting.  It was still very misty, so misty that we could barely see the National Space Centre, which looks a bit like a giant inflatable.

The river through the centre of Leicester is the Mile Straight, and has some impressive bridges.  Near the first one, West Bridge, is where the Union Navigation from the south met the Leicester Navigation from the north, in 1794.

There are also some buildings which we're sure weren't here last time we came this way in 2006.

Freeman's Lock is the first after the Mile Straight, and was where a hire boat we'd met the other day joined us.  It's opposite Leicester City's ground.

There's a huge weir above the lock, but the flow was negligible, and certainly nothing like what we remembered from last time.

We shared the next few locks, before the hire boat stopped for lunch.  We carried on, eating on the move -- although the spacing of the locks means there's not really enough time between them to do much.

After the city, the canal goes through the suburbs of Aylestone, Glen Parva, and South Wigston.  There seem to be quite a lot of new houses, which often face the canal in a rather attractive way; and there are plenty of back gardens to examine.

At the last lock of the day, Kilby Lock, one gate was blocked by a huge floating island of weed.

Shortly after leaving the lock, a large plane flew directly overhead.  Adrian identified it as a VC10, although they're supposed to have been retired.

Rounding the corner to the Kilby Bridge moorings, we saw a long line of boats, so decided to grab the available space at the end.  I'd been wondering for the last little while whether there was something round the prop, or whether Briar Rose was simply protesting about being back on shallow canals, rather than deeper rivers.  As we'd been through plenty of rubbish and weed today, I decided to have a look down the weed hatch, and removed some kind of elasticated garment, which may once have been someone's knickers, a selection of plastic bags, and quite a bit of weed.

13 miles, 17 locks.  (383 miles, 227 locks)


Dave,Beryl Bradshaw said...

That was the final in service flight of a VC 10 doing the rounds of various remaining RAF stations
The Final 2 of 101 sqn finished today You may find this interesting
Dave Nb Sokai

James and Debbie said...

Hi Guys, where are you planning on getting to tomorrow? We're at the bottom of Foxton having just popped down to Market Harborough.

Adam said...

Dave, thank you for the info.

James and Debbie, we're aiming for the bottom of Foxton, so hope to see you tomorrow!

Graham and Jill Findlay said...

Hi Adam, hadn't realised you had slipped through the net. Have now added you to our list of blogs we follow. I was just going on the info. from the BBC about the VC10's. I think the 20th was the final operational flight. Frightening, I remember when they were state of the art airliners.

James and Debbie said...

Look forward to it. Chicken curry tonight, do you fancy coming over? Should be ready about 7ish - just let us know :-)