Victor: A hasty retreat

Published: Sunday, 29 September 2019

IT WAS a hasty retreat indeed from the Soar at the end of our cruise.

As the rains came so did the river that flooded, but a day in hand was our salvation as we were able to escape being stuck, yet again, and would have been stuck ever since with the river well and truly in flood.

Obviously another reason for the Leicester Section's unpopularity.

Wrong figure—again

One thing that a couple of weeks on the waterways proved, that CaRT's figure of 98% of its boats licenced is way out, as time and time again we saw 'batches' with ner a licence amongst them, and one or two green ones still on display.

And the excuse 'I haven't a printer to print them out', doesn't wash, as they can still be sent out if requested.

NavigationKilbyBridgeGive it a miss

Having moored overnight yet again at Kilby Bridge, we decided to take lunch in its pub, The Navigation, and really, wished we had not. 

The service was virtually non-existent, with the sole lady undertaking all sorts of jobs and the food terrible.  That will be our first and last time.

In favour

One thing that was in our favour at Kilby Bridge was the taxi service of Go Cabs who charged us a mere fiver for a journey to South Wigston to the supermarket, and contacting it after the shop the cab took only five minutes to arrive and charged just another fiver. So impressed. For the first time ever here's a telephone number: 01163 400 500.

Mind you he did cause a bit of consternation with Thomas, the driver asking if he wanted Lydl or Tesco Extra, to which he had an ear-full, being told that Lydl was an ordeal at checkout having to mess about so much loading and unloading shopping, ending up using a bench, in such a haste to clear you out.. At Tesco Extra you scan the items yourself and put them straight into your bags in the trolley then scan the barcode on the machine and paydone!

So that really was a no-brainer.

And another

As mentioned, that was the first contact I have ever given, but whilst in the mood, here's another. It's that of Newton Crum Insurance, that has handled our two boats insurance for now well over 20 years with no problems whatsoever, and would you believe, still at the same yearly price!

From other boaters who have made claims from the company, nothing but praise at the help received with none of the now usual 'backing-out' of paying that is so common these days. So very much recommended, its number: 01424 718800.

StMaMillLockLeakNot bad enough

Remember my comment, backed by Helen Cripps about the state of St Mary's Mill Lock in Leicester?  Of how so many top gate paddles had to be opened to get the water level to be able to open the gate.  It is not yet bad enough however for winter maintenance, though North Lock, Belgrave and Birstall  locks are getting attention as they are leaking...

The constant leak at St Mary's throughout the winter will obviously make it worse, so I reckon it will be near impossible to get those top gate/s open.  But who cares?


I do wish that some boaters would use a bit of common sense when passing another boat in broad tunnels, as with such as the long Braunston you can guarantee there will be others coming the opposite way.

Though we put a few revs on to prevent ricocheting from side to side, we always slow right down and take the boat up to the rubbing strake on the side, thus making sure there is room to pass.

One boater obviously thought he could barge his way through clouting us in the process, then blaming our light for blinding him—though ours was only a tungsten whilst his was one of the new bright white ones, so was obviously his usual excuse.

The other, a hirer, panicked and stopped the boat it then of course drifting into the middle and another clout. Can't really blame the worried steerer, but the local hire company in not giving a bit of instruction, that must have realised the likelihood of the hirers using the tunnel...

Not maintained

There's a notice from CaRT telling that Pillings Flood Lock on the Leicester Section cannot be used 'because of rubbish', that is total crap (no pun intended).

It's a flood lock that protects Loughborough and has not been used for a while, and there was certainly no rubbish at the front of the gates when we passed through.  The only rubbish is the lack of maintenance as the gates were in a terrible state, without thinking there would be problems when the flood came—and so it proved.

And Loughborough floods...

Victor Swift