Today we made the short trip up river to Leicester. At Belgrave Lock we could see the unusual building of the National Space Centre but the river and weir looked too narrow to try and go and moor near to it.
The section up to LimeKiln lock was shallow and full of floating debris which is such a shame as it does not create a good image for the city. However, at Frog island the local companies seem to have paid a graffiti artist to paint these great pictures of Frogs and Foxes on the canal facing walls.
Next to Evans’ Weir is a small hillock and a raised platform which gives great views over the weir and the city.
At Friar’s Mill the city council have begun to develop the site of the Grade 2 listed Mill and Pump House into offices and a restaurant and in conjunction with C&RT have put in about 75 mtrs of pontoon mooring with water and electricity laid on. They are also building a shower and toilet block behind the pump house. We were able to moor on the pontoons but the site is still under the builder and H & S rules apply. However the kindly builder escorted us to and back from the exit gate so that we could go and visit the city. The site is also locked up at 5.30 when the builders leave. When finished it will be a secure site using the watermate key. I believe we have to thank the City Mayor for the initiative of putting in the very welcome pontoon mooring, he is I also understand a boater. I do hope that the facilities are suitably monitored.
Walking into the city we passed this feature which reflects on the passed use of the site for dying wool and the like.
We came and saw his Tomb last September but did not notice the trick of the light when you look down the central slot in the top as it gives the impression of there being a sword in it.
Almost hidden amongst the Continental Market was The Sporting Succes Statue, a most interesting and popular piece of commemorative public art. The bronze statue depicts three interlinked figures of sportsmen in action, namely a cricketer, a footballer and a rugby player. It celebrates the outstanding success of local teams in the three sports in 1996 - 97. In the space of twelve months, Leicestershire won the Britannic Assurance County Championship, Leicester City won the Coca Cola Cup and Leicester Tigers won the Pilkington Cup. The sculptor was Martin Williams, and the statue was unveiled in 1998.
The Haymarket Memorial Clock Tower is a major landmark and popular meeting point. It is located where five popular streets meet; Gallowtree Gate, Humberstone Gate (A47), Haymarket (A607), Church Gate (A6) and Eastgates (A47). The Clock Tower was constructed in 1868 and was built mostly in Ketton stone with a base of Mountsorrel granite, and incorporates column shafts made of polished Peterhead granite and serpentine. The statues were made from Portland stone.Officially a memorial, the Clock Tower has four statues of sons of Leicester, one at each corner. The figures are Simon de Montfort, William Wyggeston (spelt 'William Wigston' on the tower itself),Thomas White and Gabriel Newton.
After exploring a little more of the city and its lovely old buildings we wended our way back to the boats and spent the rest of the afternoon relaxing in the sunshine on the pontoon and watching the skulls speeding by.