Is There Anyone Behind You? 28th August

Barrow Upon Soar to Zouch Lock 55


Finding a gap in the traffic would be our problem this morning. Cars, canoes and paddleboards were everywhere. We managed to push off just as the cars were returning at the end of their time, this also coincided with all the paddleboards deciding to stop for some refreshments and tying up at the service point! Thankfully someone came along and pulled the boards to one side giving us enough room to tie up both bow and stern.

Traffic chaos

Water, yellow water, rubbish etc, all the chores done, we could be on our way again.


Barrow Deep Lock is as it’s name suggests deep. It took quite some time for a boat to come up, not helped by there being a ground paddle out of action. Then it was our turn to go down. Some gongoozlers asked questions. Now either I was thick or they were. They really couldn’t understand about the water having to be level before the gates would open, they repeatedly kept asking ‘Why isn’t it level?’ as if it should be an instant thing.

Pillings Flood Lock

Below we now followed the course of the river to Pilling Flood Lock which sat with both sets of gates open waiting for us. Our schedule had us mooring on this side of Loughborough today, but we wanted to visit the shops in town, so we passed by a stretch of nice looking armco and carried on along the cut.

A couple of boats came towards us. The cut here fairly wide and no sharp or sudden bends. Both boats asked if there was anyone behind us. We’d have understood them asking on the Llangollen or the Oxford summit, but here?! Not to our knowledge, and they were possibly in a much better position to see than us!

At Loughborough Junction we turned left, making sure to say hello to a group of lads at the bridge who’d been throwing stones into the cut. Only one boat was moored in the basin, we winded and then reversed onto a pontoon. Despite Tilly being excited at arriving somewhere she was left in charge as we headed into town.

No market today

A new sim card for the router at the house was needed, our original provider having fobbed Mick off with a solution to solve the poor connection which he knew wouldn’t do anything. A chat with the chap in EE and an explanation of why we only wanted a sim for a few months and we left with an envelope addressed to our current lodgers a new data sim enclosed. Back to Oleanna via Sainsburys for a few bits, then via Tescos for a post box. Sim on its way and so were we. Loughborough may have an interesting side to it but we hadn’t found it.


But where to moor for the day? We could head back to the junction then reverse the way we’d come for a mooring. Or we could continue straight on, which is what we did.

Certainly a meadow on the gates

Down Loughborough Lock and on to Bishop Meadow Lock where I helped a lady bring her cruiser up from the river section. They were looking for a mooring outside a pub for a Bank Holiday Monday meal, they’d not been having much luck.

Now on the river again, pennywort and some gentle bends. No-one here asked if anyone was behind us and they didn’t offer us that information either.

Passing Normanton on Soar you get the wonderful view of the church, a few big houses with their lovely gardens. Then you get the little summer houses, I prefer these. My favourite a green one, people inside waved to us.

My favourite

A rowing boat, paddleboarders what a shame it wasn’t sunnier.

If only the sun had shown itself

Passing the emergency flood moorings we wondered how you were meant to read the instructions in an emergency situation. We’d not noticed rings and bollards to tie to .

Photo taken for future emergency reference

On through the flood gates and onto Zouch cut. Blimey it was popular. We managed to find a space with a ring for the bow but ended up using a spike for the stern. Despite it being quite late and normally Tilly’s dingding time I allowed her half an hour of shore leave. She took longer, only returning when she did as Magpies were complaining about her on the towpath. She said something about a stamp of approval, but at the time she had a mouth a full!

4 locks, 7.5 miles, 1 left, 1 wind, 1 full water tank, 1 empty yellow water tank, 4 car traffic jam, 2 cooked breakfasts, 0 behind us, 2 North Lock boats passed, 1 new sim, 1 busy river, 30 minutes extended to 65, 1 woofing woofer neighbour!

4 thoughts on “Is There Anyone Behind You? 28th August

  1. jetpackwaterwayroutescouk

    Boaters know that by when we say “level” we mean the same level on both sides of the gate. Non boaters know that water is always “level” and we sometimes need to be more explicit about saying on both sides of the gate.

    One “clever” spectator once remarked that when you open the paddles to let water into a lock then the water in the lock isn’t level and it will be a millimetre or two higher at the end you are letting water in at, which is probably true but confused everyone else even more.

    1. Pip Post author

      I did explain about both sides of the gates and how just an inch difference can make it hard to open the gates. They still didn’t get it!

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