Back at Trent Bridge – on match night!

Yes, we is back. Solar panels ON. The Chinese restaurant we’d heard so much about (the Orchid) was closed for a week. So we went to the Trent Bridge Inn, a Wetherspoons pub but it was match night, Forest v. Charlton! And it was heaving. Still we had a good mooring down from the bridge.  Might not be so quiet when the match finishes! Panels look neat.

We faced this boat all last night – needs a catchphrase, like:

“Staring Eternity in the face”, “Facing the whole of Eternity” . . 

Day Ten – Solar Array Installation

Tim turned up from Onboard Solar to fit our panels as arranged and it drizzled all morning – poor chap.

A very professional job – all panels placed on deck and aligned, holes drilled, marine sealant applied …

This is a 400 Watt array with the MPPT controller – all very neat:

Unfortunately, this was the weather!  Typical. Not good for Tim and not good for a demo of what the panels can do either. Still it had put 20 Ah’s back into the batteries, which was nice.

Still, the rain did stop and they look cool and fairly discreet too.

Time to return to Trent Bridge – a bit easier mooring.

Day Nine – Out onto the Trent

A later start saw us move Adagio all of 1 mile further into the city of Nottingham. We moored opposite the famous Fellowes, Clayton and Morton warehouse (now a pub) and walked into town. We visited Gauntley’s:  Steve’s favourite tobacconist and bought a new blend “Bootlegger’s Delight”. They had turned the entire main square into a beach, with sand, amusements etc – bizarre!

Back on the boat … and the short journey down to the Trent.

bit of a dingy route …

and the final Meadow Lane Lock … huge and stiff

out onto the Trent and Notts Forest F.C … . we remember Brian Clough!

look hard and you’ll see the flood markings of past years … all calm today

photo of the day – driving under Trent Bridge! Cricket ground off to the left

no pix of the river cruise, which was about 40 mins down the massive but tranquil Trent and then sharp right towards Holme Lock. Beside this they take off a bit of the river to feed the white water, canoe slalom course … nothing was stopping us from taking a right turn and down onto this …

this is where the course between those red & white posts leads to:

a large boom across the weir . . 

you can see how close we are to the course! The youngsters in the boats go down this course, drag their boat out and then paddle up the river (past us) and then back down again.  Such fun!

We’re a bit low down in the water here but ideal for Tim Davis of Onboard Solar to visit us tomorrow and fit solar panels! Yippee, no more worries about batteries and running the engine to top em up.

This will be the turning point for our cruise – we will head back Tuesday and retrace our steps but we’ll visit the Erewash Canal for a few days – quite a lot of industrial heritage there I believe.

That’s all folks!

Day 8 – The Mighty River Trent

After a wonderful evening ..  .  G&T, bottle of Rioja Reserva and a homemade chilli (yes, Steve’s little tree gets used at last), we had a good night’s rest and were ready to bimble on to Nottingham. We lived here, in Keyworth for three years (1990-3) and were keen to re-visit old haunts.

We waited at Cranfleet lock for another boat – Twilight, to share the lock. Then out onto the Mighty Trent for a swift but serene trip:

So strange to be out on a giant river – it flows! But with the sun out, it was sublime.

Time to go to warp factor 9 – not too keen to over do things – it is SO different when the boat is actually yours and not a hire boat.  Our stern gland is a water jacketed one, not a grease one, which is the usual case.  It means we don’t have to faff about greasing our glands (no, not a euphemism) but the faster we go the greater the chance of spraying the engine room with water.  Still we did get the old girl sprinting along.

After nearly an hour of river cruising, Beeston hoves into view and it’s time to get back onto a canal.

A different type of water user is found here.  Her coach was shouting encouraging remarks from the towpath – on his bike.

Our final resting point for the night – looks very tranquil does’t it? But it is probably the nearest mooring to Sainsbury’s, on a busy cycle/footpath, 500 yds from a big gastro pub and then there’s a major road t’other side – Castle Boulevard. But it’ll suit us tonight.

Tomorrow’s lock – right in the centre of the city

Best wishes to all our readers!

We’re changing our email – losing all the ones soon and sticking with the gmail one,

Toby sends his regards too …

Trent Lock – Day 7

Moved off from Loughborough around 9. Enjoyed a nice evening with a kind visit from my old University friend, Dean Onyon.  Hadn’t seen him for 23 years, so good to catch up. Thanks for coming over. We teamed up with the boat Anchilla and made friends with John & Jill from Sileby, who were out for a 4 day trip. At last we get to share a lock and they even waited for us whilst we took on water – cheers guys!

After the day of rain, the sun came back out and we had a marvellous sail down the river Soar.

Past the lovely villages of Normanton, Zouch & Kegworth.

We passed many large boats – maybe this is the one Chris should have bought (phone number’s on the window!). And then on to meet the mighty river Trent. This must be the largest expanse of water we’ve encountered:

Easy to spot where to go:

Two pubs here, the Trent Lock (biggest and serving Doom Bar & 6X) and the smaller (Steamboat, serving Triple Hop, Liverpool Styrian and 3 others!) – no contest!! This is a great grockle spot and it is Saturday and so every man & his dog was here – gongoozling!

We moored 200 yds round the corner a nice quiet spot until a dozen other boats turned up, well it is Saturday night. Here’s our “room with a view” photo:

And of course Toby got his reward – dozens of swims in the river . .

Sunday is another beautiful day and we’ll head off “cruising down the river on a Sunday afternoon …” to well, Sainsburys in Nottingham.

Day 5 & 6 – Loughborough

Another short day today – more river Soar … through Mountsorrel, Barrow-on-Soar and Sileby Mill – all possible flood risk country but calm & serene today. Hardly saw another boater and we’ve yet to share a lock – weirdly quiet. We moored at the Marston’s pub for lunch but quickly moved on to moor outside the Albion, outside the town. Hmm, first impressions . .. well, you could be in any town – looks all the same … so far, thumbs down I’m afraid.  We also gave the pocket-sized basin a miss too. We do like a quiet spot. A quiet spot with a pub  – even better. Homemade spaggly-boggly tonight. We plan to stay put here as there’s a lot of rain forecast tomorrow.

view looking back at Mountsorrel

one of the awfully nice houses coming into Barrow-on-Soar

and it was deep too …

more than Seven swans a swimming . . 

final mooring – fairly quiet and the famous Albion pub just 100 yds away

Very friendly, old-fashioned pub with all home-made food (lunchtimes only).  They were serving Nottingham’s “Legend”, Hopback’s “Groovy Mover” and their own Albion.  Keith, the landlord was very friendly & welcoming.Their steak & kidney pie was smashing, so glad we stayed the extra day.  It also rained all day – as promised. So, some good planning.  Off we soar to Nottingham tomorrow, well Trent Lock anyway.

Day Four – or is it? Who’s counting?

Well, we really must be getting the boating way of life – TV hasn’t been on once. We both lost count of the day (a common problem with the G&T diet). Viv went off shopping Tesco’s (Goodbye, dear, have a nice time), whilst I pored over the laptop doing this blog … I then went off for a quick tour of the city centre – bought about 3 lb grapes for a pound in the market! And some licorice …hmm, combine that with last night’s curry … explosive! We then decided to push on for a quieter night at Wanlip – nice water park there and a chance of a good walk and swim for the dog. A 3 hour trip which was about right – from grotty backside view of Leicester, to the large weirs with no signage! Luckily there’s no flow today.  The river Soar was serene and with the amazing hot weather, made for a lazy, hazy day of Summer:


Belgrave lock  – with the National Space Centre in the background plus our friends on Silkwood, returning to base.  

The Soar river was soporific – a very enjoyable cruise with all manner of wildlife

A helpful father & son at Birstall eased us into the lock …


And Toby – hot & bothered gets his promised swim at Watermead Park

Day Three – BumbleBee to Leicester

Tuesday, 11th August. Just eight miles and twelve locks today.  These locks are big uns; stiff, heavy and always a bit leaky. A real mixture of wiggly, rural waterways to industrial areas, then the river Soar and into the Mile Straight at Leicester. Very poor facilities here – in fact a whole day with NO facilities (come on CRT & Leics City Council!).  They have provided a small floating pontoon by Castle gardens, which has a secure mooring but no water or owt.  Still very handy for the shops, pub and the plethora of eateries .  .

Some leaky gates

Joining the river Soar – no flow at all – very dry … nice signage

And always some modern signage too

and now the back end of Leicester – industrial units and  shed loads of Himalayan Balsam . .

more run down mill buildings

final lock … note the huge weir – with no flow over it …

Just after this – lovely view of Leicester football club

and into the Mile Straight to our overnight mooring

There’s Adagio, on the outside in the middle. Very welcoming family on the inside hire boat (Emerson Speedway No 78).  Many thanks for helping us moor up. They were off to Bobby’s for dinner and then the next day – the Space Centre!  We were off to the Black Horse (Foxon Lane – nice Everards pub) and then Namaste – the landlord’s recommendation for a takeaway.  Brilliant end to the day. Great to be in the city but it was very noisy and full of people shouting, swearing and drinking. Chucking stuff into the river … shame.  Off to Wanlip tomorrow after a shop in Tesco’s and hopefully, some peace n quiet.

Day Two – Foxton to BumbleBee


With a forecast of heavy rain later in the morning, we set off at 8 ish for Foxton locks, just a mile away.  There were already 5 boats going down the flight but they let us go as long as we “waited in the middle” for two to come up. No problem. Never been down these locks before – a double staircase with 2 groups of 5 locks, taking you down a height of 75 feet. It took about two hours.


Halfway point


vast lock gates 


Viv does all the work


looking back up  …

nearly there . . 


turn left and head for Leicester – water levels were very low – after this lock we went aground … luckily, Viv was still at the lock and I could radio for help . .  “Let more water out!”.  It was then a case of moving along African Queen style at 1 mph … Viv then had a long walk to the next lock.


Our destination – Bumblebee Lock. 21 locks and 10 miles today. Quite a long day but gorgeous weather, lovely fields of wheat and a quiet rural mooring for the night. And a beer!