Monday, August 20, 2018

North Kilworth and the landscape of middle-class affluence

When I blogged about the Erewash Canal at Long Eaton, I said I looked for shabby charm on the canals.

There is still some of that on the Grand Union at North Kilworth, but it is already dominated by the new marina that is being constructed there.

Like a modern golf course, this is the contrived landscape of middle-class affluence.

Such developments are inevitable given the popularity of canal cruising today, but they are hard to love. Perhaps it will look better when it is finished and hosting hundreds of boats.

My perceptions must be warped by having had childhood canal holidays in the days when they were still unusual and rather adventurous.

I remember this Leicester Line of the Grand Union in 1971 - my last middle-class summer for many years. It was choked with weed and my father had to stop the boat every few miles to free the propeller.

Later my stepfather was to moor his boat at North Kilworth, though I don't think I ever visited him there.

I had a chat with the woman in the office at the wharf there and played with the dog until it decided it had won the game and held on to the ball.

Is there a complex set of rules they play to which we have never worked out?


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