In line with the partnership proposals (see Previous Projects) the society feels that the best approach to restoration is from the ends working towards the middle. That is not to say that if an opportunity came half-way along the route it would be encouraged rather than the opposite. However, recent months have seen efforts to make inroads at either end both politically and physically-with varied amounts of success.

Maintaining the Melton Ring

In Melton Mowbray plans have been passed, after much hoop jumping, to build a double dock for our two workboats adjacent the slipway in the Town Estate compound. The present mooring to the rear of a local hotel is not ideal, as it is adjacent a local footpath with its uncertain security, and after many years there we felt we had imposed on the good nature of the owners for long enough. With plans passed it just remains to raise the funds to build it, but at the time of writing nothing has happened on that score just yet.

Thrussington Lock

Members are involved in a long-term project for the restoration of Thrussington Lock which was Lock 6 of the 12 on the Navigation and had a rise of 6ft 3in.

It is on the Leicestershire Round footpath and during summer weekends hundreds cross the lock’s bridge. Together with the landowner, who is very supportive of the Society’s work, the plan is to develop it as a “model lock” to show visitors how the locking system operated.

It is situated between Hoby and Thrussington and is just across the Melton Borough boundary in Charnwood Borough.

When Society volunteers began work on the restoration three years ago, little could be seen of the lock which was hidden by vegetation and large sections of the one remaining wall had collapsed.

Little can be seen of the other wall as it was used by the Army’s Royal Engineers for explosives practice in 1938 but it is thought the base will be uncovered when further excavation takes place.

Syston to Lewin Bridge Restoration

Fourteen miles away at Syston the stretch between the new Three-Way Bridge at the Junction and the Gate Hangs Well pub continues to command our attention as this length contains a location for the first winding hole, the first lock site and possible overnight moorings outside the pub.

The Landowner at the Junction has expressed an interest at rebuilding the old toll house as a visitor centre, with canoe storage and camping to the rear, whilst several other riparian owners in the vicinity are known to be interested in our work. The present plan is to contact all owners along this stretch and elicit their feelings toward future navigation, and to invite them to forthcoming partnership meetings.


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