This is Friar’s Mills which belonged to Donisthorpes wool and cotton manufacturers. It is thought to be one of the oldest mills in Leicester dating from the 18 th century, now most of it has been demolished ready for building 165 new dwellings.
This is the area amusingly known as Frog Island next to Lock 42, probably the most difficult lock on the system. On down Memory Lane Wharf there are the remains of several mills in varying states of dilapidation. Many of these old mills were concerned with making hard wearing worsted cloth. One chimney still has the name Wolsey painted down it, they produced men's underwear there.
As you can see Fred Dibnah didn’t demolish all the chimneys, in fact he may have restored some of these. From Belgrave Lock we could see the national Space Centre looming up out of the trees like a big silver finger.
We are now moored at the delightful village of Birstall where there are many old flooded gravel pits that are a haven for water birds. There is a gentle flow on the river and we have just seen a duck go floating past us on a log, comedian!