Sunday, 5 June 2016

Surprise Lunch & Steam Engines - Sunday 5th June

Despite being under the flight path of East Midlands Airport we had a good nights sleep and did not hear a plane until about 6.00am.IMG_7800

Continuing up stream we passed through a flood lock and above this were mooring dolphins for use in emergency flood conditions when it is not safe to travel on the river. There are some beautiful houses along this stretch as well as this lovely church at Normanton on Soar.z1

Could not resist these lovely red coloured cows and calves.  Harvey is a Russian Black Terrier and at 14 months old still has to grow another 3 inches in height and put another 5 stones in weight. he lives next to Bishop Meadow Lock and is as solid as a brick wall with feet the size of a full grown lion.


Loughborough Basin is quite small and overlooked by a hotel and student accommodation so we chose to moor outside and enjoy the lovely sunshine. The top picture shows Bishop meadow Lock and Harvey’s house. The Facilities Block here is no longer in use the Watermate key locks having been removed.z3

We spotted Lynroys pub by the side of the canal offering Sunday Carvery Lunch with 3 courses for £9.95 and decided to try it. The staff were very friendly and the food was excellent both in quality and range. They have run the pub for the last 37 years which tells you something about their success and son Simon who is front of house is charming and seemed to know a lot of customers suggesting that they use it on a regular basis, always a good sign.  z4

After Lunch June wanted to watch the French Tennis Open Final so I went off to find the Great Central Railway station to see if they had a steam day on. As it happened there was a 3 day 1940’s Wartime themed Weekend in progress.

They had 2 steam engines and a Diesel motor unit running a frequent service from Loughborough to Leicester and back. On the station were lots of people dressed in wartime clothing and a group of girls singing 40’s songs. At one end of the platform the Home Guard were showing off their weapons and first aid facilities. I caught the 15.05 steam train.z5

I got off at the first station which is Quorn & Woodhouse (famous for its Hunt) and was amazed to see so many people and so many wartime vehicles of every sort and age. The platform was lined with British Legion Flag Carriers, Sea and Army Cadets as well as other forces personnel and the Land Army Girls.z6

There were some fantastic old cars and motorbikes all in pristine condition.z7

In the centre of the area was a Spitfire where you could have your photo taken and enter a competition to sit in the cockpit whilst they started up the engine. Some lovely Steam Traction Engines were on display as well.z8

About 15.45 a Biplane flew over and circled a couple of times and then did a Poppy Drop onto the top field.z9

The steam trains continued to come and go through the station bringing more people to join in the fun.


At around 16.15 a Spitfire arrived and started to dive bomb the train I had just boarded and then began to do aerobatics over the station. It was spectacular to watch and he came really close.z9b

I got off the train at Rothley which had been turned into a German train station with swastikas every where and armed soldiers patrolling the platforms. Again there were lots of people in period dress and many more in WW2 uniforms, both German and Allied. z9c

I caught the 16.45train back to Loughborough which became standing room only after Quorn.

It was a great afternoon out and I would recommend anybody to try one of their other events.

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