Wednesday, 6 April 2011


What a pleasurable journey ‘Futurest’ and I have had today, plying our way quietly and slowly north through the green rural countryside of Leicestershire. The weather has been glorious, the Sun has shone brightly and everybody’s spirits have been sky high. People along the towpath passed happy greetings and remarks and even the normally sombre anglers wore a smile. Some of them actually spoke to me! What a difference the Sun makes and how dependent upon it are we, even for our psychological disposition.

Moored opposite British Waterways services at Kilby Bridge

We left Kilby Bridge at nine o’clock this morning in the company of Chris on ‘French Holly’. We had met originally at Market Harborough and last night he caught up, arriving a little later than us at the mooring.
It was good having him there today to share the work at the twelve heavy double locks that we had to descend in order to get to Leicester. He has been this way before and while I had planned to miss staying in the city area, though much to my disappointment as I know there is so much to see here, he recollected that there was a very safe pontoon mooring right in the heart of the city, which it would be well not to miss. 
And he is right; it’s a wonderful safe berth, behind a locked gate. There is room for three sixty footers behind a large British Waterways work lighter and when we arrived two of the spaces were already occupied. So Chris took ‘French Holly’ alongside and ‘Futurest’ is now snugly breasted up against her. As soon as one of the other two berths becomes available I shall slide astern into it.
Like me, Chris is a single handed live-aboard and is not only travelling down the River Trent but is journeying up the Ouse to York and Ripon this summer as well, just like me. So it is quite likely we shall be in each other’s company for some of that passage. It’ll be most pleasant company.

‘Futurest’ at Kilby Bridge.
She hasn’t sprouted a tall chimney. This is a BW information post on the towpath.

As we came up towards Leicester, the River Soar, barely a brook at this stage, meandered its tortuous way across green flat water meadows, spread generously with the buttercup yellow of Lesser Celandine and the light green foliage of Weeping Willows and joined us eventually in a great tumbling swirl, down from the large weir at Freeman’s Meadow Lock.
The last stretch into the city was wide deep and eminently voluptuous and beneath large ornate bridges, we came quietly to our mooring.

Blackthorn, bridges and Blue Sky

Looking back at the lock

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