Thursday 1 October 2015

Soaring – not

Perhaps there should be a competition for inappropriately-named rivers. If there were, the Soar might easily win.


The flood-plain through which it gently meanders could be the origin of the phrase "level playing-field".

The main roads, and the riverside properties, are on stilts to keep them out of the drink. The flatlands extend in all directions. You can see for miles when the trees don't get in the way.

Now I have to be fair – it does every so often have a weir-lock pair, and one is even called a "deep" lock. This weir had even less protection than the one I posted yesterday.

But "soar". I don't think so. Someone will no doubt tell me that the name owes it origins to some Anglo-Saxon word that means "the wide expanse of water that you have to wade across if you want to get anywhere". Mind you, we've been spoilt. In the summer we came over the Pennines!

Be that as it may, the Soar has a reputation for flooding, and a couple of the locks we've come through have been for flood prevention. In the summer months they don't normally dignify a change of level, and are left open.

One such is Pillings Lock, after which is named a local marina that hit the headlines for the wrong reasons a few months ago. I won't go into the issues here. But the marine engineering section, as usual, is a separate business from the marina itself, and we popped in to see if we could get that service done.

We could! At first Andy thought we'd have to wait to tomorrow, but then he decided he could fit us in there and then.

He removed the old oil with a pump / siphon device that extracts it through the dipstick tube. Very clever.

So Andy earns his place as today's "Person earning Honourable Mention on the Erin Mae blog". Thanks, Andy, you're a star! I shall sleep easier tonight. And better lubricated.


  1. Martin, the sucky thing is amazingly easy to use and pays for itself after a couple of self-services. I'd seriously recommend that you get one and give it a try. And even replacing the oil filter isn't hard.
    We went into Pillings Lock for diesel a few weeks ago and were pleasantly surprised. My only complaints was that the signage for the services area was overgrown with weed/shrubs/unpruned somethings and, as a short person I couldn't easily see where to go.
    Cheers, Marilyn (nb Waka Huia)

    1. Marilyn, thanks for your comment. I feel encouraged to go the DIY route!