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Thread: Eye on the Pies - a Pork Pie Paddle into Melton Mowbray - contains nuts and violence!

  1. #1
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    Default Eye on the Pies - a Pork Pie Paddle into Melton Mowbray - contains nuts and violence!

    As well as paddling, young Hippo and I are wont to ride trail bikes around the byways & green lanes of fair England - occasionally we cross a small river and think 'We'll come back and paddle that'!

    So we did, the very next day - starting at Ham Bridge over the River Eye near Stapleford - yesterday we had met an archaeologist there who warned us of nasty landowners - a prophetic remark!



    Immediately upstream is a nice lagoon which acts as a sediment trap & every so often it is dredged and put on the fields



    But, to the task in hand, the Eye into Melton Mowbray to buy a pork pie - it's the home of pork pies and, oddly enough, Stilton cheese - so that was the idea but it was not going to go to any sort of plan and for the first time in my paddling career I was to be threatened with violence.



    It was a bit reedy at times but in the remaining channel there was good depth & flow



    With some nice little pools





    It then started to go a bit ditchy - with something like the following pics every 30 yards for a mile or so.


















    There are no photos of me in this blog cos I've faded away to a size zero such was the physical effort involved and the dawning realisation that we wouldn't be back for pub closing time let alone a pork pie shop (actually Hippo is unable to operate a camera without falling in, off or into something so we don't bother often)

    To help you work out where we are



    Brentingby - a fleeting glimpse of something over than vegetation





    Some way past Brentingby we were approached by this farmer along with his daughter and young grandson - the angriest, ruddiest, most apoplectic farmer you can imagine..........I will leave out most of the swear words.....lovely dog though!



    We were very patient and tried unsuccessfully to get a word in sideways but the following words seemed to set him off on another tirade each time....

    Navigation........Magna Carta.......Ordnance Survey.....You may own the land but not the water....No, we can't paddle back to where we started.....I appreciate you may not share our interpretation of the law but......We believe we have the right.....etc etc

    This chap's biggest fear seemed to be that we would go to the pub tonight, tell all our mates and next thing he'd be inundated with oiks like us armed with chain saws...........hmmm!

    At the height of his indignation he threatened to confiscate the boats and put holes in them with an iron bar to stop us ever coming back down 'his river' and the daughter started photographing us to show the 'authorities'



    He was told that doing so would put him on the wrong side of the law which just set him off on a rant about the law instead.

    So I pulled out the negotiators' favourite play.... 'So how would you like to resolve this then?'

    'I'd like you to f**king p*ss off' was the response - so we did, off down to Melton Mowbray as intended!

    OK - back to the paddling/clambering tale - approaching Brentingby Dam - built as part of the MM Flood Alleviation Scheme



    Our ranting farmer had brought this up as well in his anger but quite how Hippo & I were responsible for his land flooding I don't know - heavy duty bit of kit though



    Plenty more boat dragging



    Reed bashing



    ...and lots of tree scrambling but we were both so knackered now we did it sitting down!



    .....continued
    Last edited by Patterdale Paddler; 30th-May-2018 at 12:38 PM.
    A ship should not ride on a single anchor, nor life on a single hope - Epictetus

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    We had done some overnight research about the approaches to Melton Mowbray - finding what appeared to be a monster weir shown on the satellite pics



    With the detailed OS maps showing a complex of weirs



    Well it all turned out to be a bit of an anticlimax - the weirs seemed to lead into yet another jungle



    ....or drop off rather alarmingly



    The monster weir was a bit of an optical illusion and was a huge concrete platform you could play football on





    But we're glasses half full sort of guys and either side of all these yucky bits it was quite pretty on the run in to MM





    By now it was starting to get dark so the photos may not be brilliant





    There were plenty of old pilings and wharves indicating a more industrial/commercial past than is now associated with a country market town



    Just about journey's end at Wilton Park



    Where I met the loveliest lady in Leicestershire - the car park had been due to close & lock two hours earlier but thanks to a 5-a-side footie match and her doing some food prep, Hippo and I avoided spending the night in the car together - tongues might wag!



    When we told her about the farmer she offered to go and sort him out for us - a formidable woman indeed.

    Well, that's about it folks - a bit of an epic in ditching annals and it won't be one we repeat, with or without chainsaws and crowds of pub oiks!

    Regards to you all. Dick
    Last edited by Patterdale Paddler; 30th-May-2018 at 12:24 PM.
    A ship should not ride on a single anchor, nor life on a single hope - Epictetus

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    Who says you need to go to far flung parts of the world to grapple with jungles and fearsome beasts!

    Nice one chaps. There does seem to be certain type of person, unfortunately many of who appear to be landowners or fisherfolk, who go into instant apoplexy on sight of a canoeist paddling quietly and responsibly down a river. Well done for staying calm (though I'd expect no less).

    By the way, have you reported the incident on the River Access for All site, or to CE?

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    Wild exploring in the heart of England's green and pleasant land! Like it.

    Farmer sounds thoroughly unpleasant. But you handled it well. I like the mutant grandson.

    It's a steady job but he wants to be a paperback writer

    Crow Trip Log

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    Amazing where you can still find adventure.
    Pity about the farmer as it tends to take the edge off enjoyment.

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    I like my over night camping trips on lochs but I do love a ditch type paddle with some obsticles to navigate. Not sure why but looks like you had a cracker. As to the farmer let’s just say he added a bit of colour to the trip

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    Nice one chaps.

    I've done the Wreake from Melton to(wards) Leics - down as far as Birchcanoes anyway, a couple of times, but not the Eye. Paddling round the footy pitches/park on a Sun is a great way to pickup footballs.

    Deffo an interesting looking trip.

    Today, the River Eye is a relatively unknown part of the English landscape. Like many rivers it has a long history, much of it unwritten. It is still vital as a water source and drainage route and has a leisure focus for fishermen and those who walk the rights of way that criss-cross its route. The Eye has given its name to the UK's first community radio station 103 The Eye which has been broadcasting to Melton Mowbray and Vale of Belvoir since 2005.
    Source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/River_Eye,_Leicestershire

    Guess some bits more leisurely than others.

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    An heroic effort and much to be admired if not exactly replicated. I think I saw a spot of white water and several yards of clear river in one of your photos which must have been a bright spot in what seemed to be a rather trying day at times. Am off too the Wye this weekend and feel much put in the shade by such industry.


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    I was so looking forward to the pictures ... of pies
    Lovely blog, shame about the aggro you encountered en-route
    DCUK
    Can't ytpe or roopf read

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    Amazing bush bashing

    Pity about the irate farmer

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    Nice little trip, apart from the stroppy farmers. Hippo, have you thought of permanently installing a chainsaw on the bow of your craft?
    Simms ..

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