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Wednesday, 7 May 2008

From Loughborough

Well, I said we would move off on Tuesday. We managed about half a mile and went into the new canal basin at Loughborough where we first attended to essential services, emptying things and filling the water tank. It was a lovely day, bright sun and warm, so we moved away from the water point and tied up and went shopping.

Carol is a great cook and we both like spicy dishes, but unfortunately our plates were showing the signs of being nearly 20 years old. When we ate food that contained saffron or turmeric, we were left with discolouration that needed bleaching because the glaze was worn and less than perfect. So it was off to Tylers in Loughborough, a lovely shop & well worth a visit, and some new stuff bought, more modern in shape, but we can't fit so many in the plate racks.

I enclose a pic of the new wharf. The multi coloured buildings are student flats and the "balls" are art works with carvings to some degree reflecting the past of Loughborough. They have merit in being different, and are certainly worth studying to identify features of the town and its industrial history, though I didn't see a stocking frame or a Cottons Patent knitting machine. The nice flat area around the balls was much appreciated by the skate boarders! The student flats were the subject of a great many objections at the planning application stage as they have no parking spaces and the students are supposed to sign an undertaking not to use a car, though how this is enforced heaven knows.

We moved off about 100 yards before mooring for the night. Ian went to the NHS Drop In centre as he had a problem with his ring finger. An injection might have worked, we'll see, if not it will be a small operation.

So Wednesday dawned, bright, sunny and warm. A bit of clothes drying first and off we went at 11. We needed to do some washing and when the boat was fitted out the boatyard had an old washer dryer it dropped in, it helped the balance, but it was beige and we wanted white, so the beige one went to a flat we let out and the new white one was for the boat. Getting them in and out was not easy. The doors are only about one inch wider than the machine, so one person heaved at the bottom, two others pulled on ropes and out it came onto the back deck. The doors off the back deck are even narrower, so to get it off we had to lift it over the top. The new one works well and we have a nifty way of fixing a rotary clothes line to the boat to get the clothes dry.

We passed through just 5 locks, all of them double width and with quite large falls in them. We have difficulty with Bishops Meadow Lock at the edge of Loughborough as it is a bit short. The only way we can get out the lock is to open the gate on the side opposite to that where Lily lies. We understand British Waterways are going to do some work to get the lock up to 72 feet long soon.

It really is lovely on the river Soar, beautiful sweepig bends and pretty fields alongside. There is a gorgeous house on this bit of our cruise, I include a picture. Heaven knows what it is worth, but it certainly is way beyond our means, and it has planes from the nearby East Midlands Airport passing close by with great frequency.

We have moored for the night at the entry to the Cranfleet cut. We are right at the junction of the river Soar and river Trent, and the Cranfleet cut takes boats past Thrumpton weir. We are unfortunately near to the bridge where the Sheffield - London rail line crosses the cut so it is a little noisy, but I expect the fresh air will see us sleeping like tops.

Nottingham tomorrow. We are in the process of working our way to Burton on Trent where we are to enter a dry dock and have our hull blacked. We have allowed time to get there in case the river goes in to flood, rest assured if we see heavy, prolonged rain is forecast then we shall dash off to Shardlow and off the river very quickly.

More later

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