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  • Writer's pictureDean Macken

Evans Weir Loop - June 2020

Wednesday, 17th June 2020

Written by Clive Edwards

After the long lockdown weeks of sunshine, the rain was welcome and water levels were on the rise. Many of The Club will be familiar with this loop, upstream along the canal from LOPC to Evans Weir and back down The Soar, taking in three weirs.

Six paddlers set off and were showered by large rain drops that thankfully soon abated, while Jamie completed a roll to make sure he was germ free(?). Dean (who lead the trip) quickly got us into Belgrave Lock and we sat and chatted as the lock filled. Sophie artfully used her paddle as a scoop to ladle water into Dean’s empty kayak (kids!!). Eventually Dean summoned up enough strength to open the lock gate and we paddled on towards Lime Kiln Lock.

This stretch of the canal had got to be the dirtiest in our area, mainly due to the Morsey (local name, I was brought up around this area), which passes through a large part of the inner city. Sophie spotted a dead rat on its back, but Dean told her it was ok and was just practising back stroke (dads!!)

Into Lime Kiln Lock and again we sat and chatted as water flooded in.

We chatted some more, and water flooded into the lock.

We chatted some more, and water flooded into the lock.

We chatted some more, and water etc, etc.

One eagle eyed paddler noticed that the water level wasn’t rising. “Dean have you closed the downstream lock paddles?” “Erm????”

So, problem solved, and we went on onwards to North Lock and although this is a deep lock we were in and out quickly. Dean seal launched off the bank and managed a perfect endo, having the kayak almost vertical, very impressive.

On to Evans Weir and after a quick check to make sure it was safe, we were onto the lower stretch, The River Soar. We stopped off at the slide as Dean wanted to cut back the undergrowth. Not only had he got the lock key tucked away in his kayak but also some loppers. It didn’t require much encouragement for Sophie and Jamie to get out to do the slide as well. Sophie was down first and managed a nice straight entry to the water with a good skid. Jamie was next, but for some reason came down without his paddle (Dean was involved (kids!!)). He used his hands to control his descent and like Sophie, got a nice straight entry and skid. Another quick check showed all his fingers were still there!

Dean now had to get back into his kayak from the concrete step - this is very high and badly eroded underneath. Rather gingerly he lowered himself down, and he either got his legs crossed, crushing his particulars or the lock key entered a bodily orifice -- Both eyes showed white and as there was no smile, so I suspect the former. A rearrangement of Dean’s items and we were off again.

The next two weirs were debris clear and so we were back at LOPC before the night drew in. Thanks to Dean, Naomi, Mark and the children - Sophie and Jamie (I may have the body of a man but I have the heart of a child).

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