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In 1977 we hired our first narrowboat from Anglo Welsh at Market Harborough.From that moment our destiny was set. In 2006 we finally purchased our own brand new 57' narrowboat which we named 'Free Spirit'. Our aim is to travel the length and breadth of all the navigable rivers and canals of the UK. This will be our story as it unfolds.

Saturday, 3 June 2017

Leicester..so different now.

What a time to leave...6am....but how magical is this time of the morning.


Not so good was finding all these the seeds covering FS's roof! That will teach us to moor under a tree!


Nb Zulu was also an early bird, leaving his mooring at the top of Birstall lock and, even though it took an age for us to get through that lock, we managed to catch him at Belgrave Lock.

National Space station on the right.
Amazing graffiti (or should that be street art?) at Frog Island North lock




I have to say how pleasantly surprised we both were travelling through Leicester. In the past it was a city to get through as quickly as possible, not just because of the youths and drunkards hanging around the locks but because the river was full of rubbish with many derelict buildings along the way. Now it seems the city has been given a new lease of life with hardly any rubbish and plenty of regeneration. There is even secure new pontoon moorings at Friars Mill just before Castle gardens (upstream) We saw no sign of youths or drunkards even though it was a Saturday so I take back what I said yesterday. From now on Leicester is on our mooring places list.


Finally we made it to the 'straight mile'. Full of boats attending the Waterways festival and it was here we left our locking companion on Nb Zulu. Apparently the cost of mooring was £10 a night but that included a night watchman to keep the boaters safe.


Approaching Freemans lock


Leicester City 'Foxes' Football Club


But we did have some dramas on the way to Kilby bridge.  At Saint Marys Mill lock we again had to resort to FS's bow pushing the gates open. The top gate paddles were up ever so slightly and try as I might, no amount of raising and then closing would get them to shut properly. So equalising the water in the chamber was again an impossibility and even with combined efforts on both Ian and my part, it was not going to happen.  We hate forcing the gates like this but luckily it only took a small amount of thrust for them to part company.


Still have toe rags on bikes tearing along the towpath.

Hmmm. No wonder the towpath was closed.

And these signs were on the fencing from Blue Bank lock to Whetstone lane bridge. Did something happen here?

Low water coming into Kilby Bridge lock.



And to prove I do occasionally do the locks,



And wildlife,





 This made me laugh. The Swan was determined to remove the branch. Only trouble was it was still attached to the tree!






2 comments:

KevinTOO said...

Ahem... from Wikipedia... https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Leicester_City_F.C.

"Leicester City Football Club, also known as the Foxes, is an English professional football club based at the King Power Stadium in Leicester."

Sorry Irene :(

Ian and Irene Jameison said...

See...just a women who 'knows nothing!!!' Thanks Kevin. Not sure why I thought it was Tigers. Have a feeling Ian mentioned it. Anyway, I have now amended my post. Xxx

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