Victor takes a slow one

Published: Wednesday, 13 September 2017

WITH Ervin's Lock on the Leicester Section closed for this week, there will be no getting to Kilby Bridge in a hurry, so it really is a slow one this time.

two Cut

Vacating Sawley Marina the first thing noticed was that 'the two' overstayers on Sawley Cut had actually moved—I estimated 60 yards on the 48 hours moorings.  But as many do the same on the Kennet & Avon I expect this now constituted 'movement every 14 days'.  Or in their case 'movement every four months!

One volunteer at Sawley Lock told me he had to report them to the police for their behavior.  And I hear Canaltime are not happy as they moor just where the instructors show hirers how to turn the boats, their getting glares from the two.

Aren't they just making a mockery of Cart's supposed 'efficient enforcement procedure'?  Talk about 'cocking a snoot'!

Redhill SaleWorkboat gone

With time to spare owing to the lock closure  we meandered just up the Soar to Redhill, wondering if there would be any vacant moorings. The short length before the bridge was taken up with one moored right in its centre and as usual a Redhill 'For Sale' (pictured) boat taking up space on those beyond the bridge.

Then luckily perhaps my complaints about the old rusty workboat being moored on the remaining moorings had being heard, as it had gone, leaving us space at the last moorings on the river at Redhill.

I wouldn't imagine many boaters will be aware but there is a massive chandlery come farmers' supply store round the back of Redhill Marina that puts the rest to shame, with every bit of chandlery and ironmongery you could imagine. We wanted a new pole—and there was a choice.

Then an uneventful cruise into Loughborough, with a boater at Bishop Meadow Lock telling us he had left the single available space at the moorings in the basin, so in we went.

LoughborouhJust made it

With a new big Tesco within yards of the Basin at Loughborough in addition to the original Sainsbury's, a stop in the basin was essential in view of the lock closure, and so we welcomed the only available space. .

There are just five spaces here, with the wall being for services, but of course we were told that there were boats that has 'overstayed their welcome' as was to be expected—the narrowboat in the picture being the current culprit.  I thought this a bit selfish as this basin was the only mooring near the supermarkets, and with endless linear moorings through Loughborough, it would have been just as easy to leave it there allowing the sort stays for shopping.  But alas some people just don't care about others.

Pillings1Once again Alan Tilbury joined us for the day, meaning that Thomas had an easy one, with the rest of us doing the work, and Alan's help appreciated, though this time there were not so many locks. 

 Most impressed

Thomas had a appointment with Paul Liiie at Pillings Lock Marina, but some problem with the time meant Paul wasn't there when we called, and as we had to get Alan to his train, couldn't wait around.

Anyway we found it larger than expected and packed out with boats. and most impressed with its facilities and a very attractive café overlooking the marina.  Perhaps in the future we will manage a conducted tour, and perhaps learn more about the various spats with the intractability of Cart...

PennnywortWe were joined at the broad locks with the boat King's Gambit, with its owner also being moored at Sawley Marina whose wasn't very complimentary about it at all complaining of its lack of services.  He had viewed the marina at Wigram's Turn on the Oxford and told that it was far superior, so he was on his way there for a permanent mooring.

Pennywort back

All the way from the mouth of the Soar there were infestations again of pennywort, that causes so many problems, not only to boats but from cattle straying on what to them looks like a green field, and drowning. Once when we cruised this way, one lock in Leicester was so chocked with it that workers had to clear it onto a workboat.

It seems to be lower down the river than previously, so there is not much hope as we get further upstream.  We shall see.

moored BarrowThe old problem

Where there are bollards it seems there is a type of boater who can't resist them, and as most are at lock landings we found that of the four locks worked during the day two had moored boats on the lock bollards and left there.

The one pictured at Barrow-on-Soar Lock was particularly awkward, the moorings being curved as can be seen, meaning that a boat waiting for the lock to empty would have ts bow in the fast flow from the very deep lock.

The  other on the bollards of the lock mooring was at Sileby, and like the one pictured seemed as if it had been there a while. But again, some boaters don't care about others.

And alas, as we must now all realise, Cart enforcement has gone to pot.

towpathLakesThe lakes

And so on to  Syston just past the Hope & Anchor pub to moor for a couple of nights on handy bollards by the lakes, but more important a real old fashioned towpath with no mad cyclists tearing along.

As the picture shows the tarmac path swerves from the canal side into the park with the lakes, going by its side, cutting the towpath off from cyclists.

So it is ideal for dog walking.  I wonder that with so many towpath walkers being worried about the fast cyclists on the upgraded towpaths, there are now fewer of them, but needless to say next year Cart will add another 10 millions or so to its silly figure of towpath visits!

Victor Swift