Leicester Canal is part of the Grand Union Canal system. The main line stsrts in London and finishes in Birmingham, streching for 137 miles with 166 Locks. The Grand Union Canal was the original name for part of the Leicester Line, but is now gemnerally referred to as the Old Grand Union.
Canals were becoming obsolete with the threat of railways and road systems becoming cheaper and able to carry larger loads. Vehicle technology was constantly improving. Railways had taken a large share of trade from the canals in the second half of the 19th century and the road networks were becoming a huge threat in the early 20th century. The canal owners had reduced the transport charges but still were losing trade. The Regents Canal and Grand Canal agreed that amalgamation and modernisation was the only way to remain competitive.
In 1929 The Grand Union Canal was completed and then further extended in 1932. Various canals were joined making it over 286 miles in total, 137 miles long with branches extending out to various locations. The Leicestershire canal being once such branch. It runs from Norton Junction on the main line to the River Soar Navigation at West Bridge in Leicester. It provides a link to the River Trent and then on to the Trent and Mersey Canal.
The section that passes through the centre of Leicester is known as the mile straight and is home to the Leicester Rowing Club, which formed in 1882.