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Friday, 4 July 2014

Between a rock and a hard place.

We set off expecting rain later but he day was still very warm. We passed through the Loughborough suburbs and were soon out into the country. There seems to be many marinas and permanent moorings on the Soar Our first lock was at Pillings and as it was a flood lock we went straight through. The River was straightaway very rustic with meanders and weirs coming at frequent intervals.

Pillings Flood Lock, River Soar.

The water meadows came down to the bank and it was wonderful. We have only seen a few moving boats today too.

River Soar approaching Barrow on Soar.

At Barrow on Soar there were some nice houses that had large gardens that were beautifully landscaped down to the water, and many with little cruisers moored there too.

This owner decided to defend his home as every man's home is his castle. Barrow on Soar.

We passed under the A6 and approached Mountsorrel. There was a group of new houses with a little marina in front. They looked like they had been transplanted from Holland.

New homes at Mountsorrel.

As we arrived at Mountsorrel Lock a couple of boats were just leaving, and a Peter Le Marchant Centre charity boat came up astern. I waved them through ahead of me. We were going to moor just above the lock boat the charity boat moored there for a short time and we didn't want to crowd the lock landing. There was also to be a heavy rock festival in a field just by the moorings over the weekend so we decided to move on to the next moorings and have a walk from there. We tied up just by Sileby Lock and went off for a walk into Mountsorrel. The place is known for a huge quarry that provides road stone for much of southern England and we were hoping to be able to catch a glimpse.

The village War Memorial built on Castle Hill. A castle was built here in 1080 and was destroyed in 1217. The war memorial was built in 1926 out of local  horneblende granite and has a commanding view.

We  walked round the back of the village hoping to see the quarry but no luck. We saw an old section that had been filled in with rubbish and topped over and the gas was been collected off it. The quarry produces about 3 million tonnes of stone every year and has around 160 million tonnes reserves, making it one of the top ten quarries in Europe. Th e rock is from a volcano of the past.

Down in the village in the Butter Market that was built in 1793 to replace the old cross that was moved to the estate of the Lord of the Manor. I replacement was created for the anniversary of the Council and is erected close by.

Just so you get some idea of the size this is the working quarry from the air. The village at the top of the picture is Barrow on Soar, and Mountsorrel is off to the right.

We walked back to the boat via the tow path stopping at the Waterside pub for a pint of Everards. It was a nice pub but pricey. On the way back we saw a narrow boat in the weeds and they had there pole out. I asked them if they were okay and if we could do anything to learn that they had run out of fuel. I offered them a tow and they accepted. We got back to the boat and winded in the lock mouth and headed back to them. The river is very sinuous hereabouts but we were soon upon them. We put the bow in the reeds and there was plenty of room to turn and approach them to take the tow. We were soon making good speed back to the lock, where there is Sileby Mill Boat yard and diesel. Just our luck meant that just as we were rounding a good bend another boat came towards us. By good steering one the part of all three boats we avoided each other and were soon bring 'Peregrine' alongside. No sooner were we moored that the rain start to come down softly.

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