Sun 31st May
Barrow to Loughborough
There was evidence of the demise of a mouse as we surfaced this morning.
We all walked up the hill to Barrow Baptist Church to share in their worship service. We took up two rows. The church was fairly full, particularly as they had other visitors following someone’s anniversary party the previous day.
Barrow Baptist worship band
BCF at BBC
Barrow Baptist Church
We met BCF member Judith Morrison, who had been very helpful to us a few years ago.
After the service we set off through Barrow Deep Lock and under the road bridge, heading for Loughborough.
Barrow Road Bridge
There were no more locks before Loughborough where we had some difficulty banging in the mooring stakes and holding a rope, with high winds.
There was a convenient stone block where James straightened one of the mooring spikes.
Moored at Loughborough
Hazel went to B&Q for a new clother dryer pole. James went to Aldi for some oddments.
Gospel Belle, Trinity, Mistol went past.
1 lock, 4 miles, 1 mouse
Mon 1st June
Loughborough to Kegworth
We decided to visit the facilities at the end of the town arm !!! There were several problems.
Firstly, there was a nice low quayside which would have been ideal for mooring onto, except that it was bare of mooring rings or bollards, and the tap was too far away.
The only place to tie to was a series of rings in a wall as high as the boat roof. There were two sets of steps, neither of which lined up with either the bows or the stern of the boat, so Hazel was unable to get off. The steps were also sticking out beyond the fendering, all lined up to take paint off the boat side.
Projecting steps ideal for scraping the boat
The wall was topped with railings, and the cassette would not fit underneath, so it had to be carried to the nearest steps. This meant carefully walking along the gunwale, with no hands to hold onto anything.
The elsan disposal had the often encountered silly brick wall round the top, presumably put there to stop the splashing, but which actually causes worse splashing, because the contents have to be dropped from on high instead of being gently tipped down from the edge.
We needed to dispose of our rubbish, and there were three wheelie bins clearly visible, where we put our litter. In hindsight these may have been for one of the local businesses.
Three bins - whose were they?
Then we saw a pair of locked doors marked Refuse Area, and a notice asking us to put rubbish in the bins inside. The notice gave no clue as to which organisation had written it. The doors were locked, and someone else had put rubbish against the wall.
Inaccessible refuse area
Then we spotted another locked caged area ideal for bins, but there were no bins. Then there was an unmarked locked door, which opened with a C&RT key. Inside was a bin, absolutely full.
Locked caged compound
Anonymous C&RT cupboard
Inside C&RT cupboard
None of the doors or compounds had the usual rubbish symbol. There was one on a post, which had an arrow pointing nowhere in particular.
Bin sign. Oh, is there one?
Bin sign closer. There it is!
So where are boaters meant to put their rubbish? Come on, C&RT, get your act together and make it clear! This facility is relatively modern, and money has evidently been spent, but were any boaters consulted about the design?
At least we had managed to fill up with water, empty our cassettes and dispose of our rubbish. We left the basin in the company of Sue and Eric on Remus, and cruised out of Loughborough, past Gospel Belle, Trinity, and Mistol.
Passing Mistol, Gospel Belle, Trinity
When we reached Bishop Meadow Lock we discovered that the elsan and toilet there are closed, although the elsan sign is still displayed. The water tap and rubbish bins are still operational.
The elsan sign
A little further on we met Tupelo heading south. Last seen at Ellesmere a year ago.
After passing Normanton-on-Soar, we entered Zouch Cut and discovered that a boat had just pulled out from the moorings and was setting the lock. This was Lion Heart, with a pleasant couple on board. We helped them through Zouch Lock, and then helped a boat coming in the other direction.
The next lock, Kegworth Deep Lock was more than two miles ahead, and we had caught up with Lion Heart, who were evidently going slowly. We helped a cruiser up first, very slowly as the lock is aptly named, and there is considerable turbulence from the gate paddles. Then we helped Lion Heart down, then helped two more cruisers up, before at last it was our turn to go down.
Lionheart in Kegworth Deep Lock
Strong flows from the gate paddles
Locking down - our turn at last
We moored on the bollards at Kegworth Shallow Lock, which is a flood lock, normally kept open. A little later Gospel Belle, Trinity,and Mistol went past
We spent the afternoon practising songs and getting them in order, before going for a meal with Eric and Sue on Remus.
It was very WINDY.
4 locks, 6 miles
Next: Kegworth to Cotmanhay