Thursday, 16 May 2013
#113 Shoulder of Mutton, Foxton, Leicestershire : 1986 to 2012
My first visit to the Shoulder of Mutton at Foxton was a lunchtime stop on Wednesday 23rd July 1986.
We'd travelled from our overnight stop at Husbands Bosworth and negotiated our descent of the magnificent Foxton Staircase Locks, so we were due a cooling pint of lager. The Shoulder of Mutton was a perfect choice, even though it was a Mann's pub (as were most pubs in that area at that time!). As I recall it was a proper English country pub with a large garden at the front.
Our next visit was on the evening of Tuesday 19th August 2003, again after a trip down the Foxton Staircase.
In the intervening years the pub had been extended forwards at the front and it was no longer a Mann's pub. I don't really remember what it was like inside, but I suspect it had become a bit more food oriented.
Our next and most recent canal visit was on the evening of Tuesday 8th September 2009 following a rapid 35 minute transit up the ten locks of the Foxton Staircase. We were the last boat up for the evening. I was steering and with the assistance of the lockkeeper, Will and Andrew were like a well oiled machine as we moved through the flight with barely an error in the operation of the lock gear and gates. I don't know if anyone has done it faster, but I reckon that 35 minutes from closing the bottom gate to closing the top would be hard to beat.
By this time, the Shoulder of Mutton had become a Chinese restaurant with a bar. So we had just the one pint and moved on to the Black Horse just up the road.
My final picture was taken on Sunday 16th December 2012 on a visit to see the repairs being made to the Foxton Staircase.