The canals I imagine could tell many stories
and sing many different songs
An information highway of sorts
With coal and iron
Being the source
All 4,500 miles many years ago.
We had an early summer in the United Kingdom, well for a few days we did. Leicestershire is a good central place to stop in our travels from the south to the north. On our way up we had made a mental note to visit the Foxton Locks on our return, and that’s what we did.
I must admit the squire had more enthusiasm to seek out information about all things of the watery kind than I did. Though once there I soon became enthralled with what was once a thriving life on and around the water. Now I sense it is an escapism of sorts for many who have found the stagnant life of a home on land not quite doing it for their wandering spirit.
Whatever reason there are still many people who have a love affair with the canals around the UK. Those with more passion have set up charity’s to keep alive this wonderful lifestyle and recreation areas. https://canalrivertrust.org.uk/
So what is so fascinating about Foxton Locks?
Firstly there is only one other system that is similar, and that’s the Panama Canal. Next is that it has moved with the times, no pun intended! How? When the Foxton Canal was first started it was done by a system called the “Incline Plane” the boats were lifted and lowered up the hill and onto the canal. To read more detail about this scheme go to this website http://www.fipt.org.uk/. Or if you out and about in the area, head to the Foxton Locks and visit the museum at The Boiler House, [pictured below].
These canal locks are so fascinating to watch the canal boats go through and up the 20 plus locks. One of the locals informed us that it can take up to 45mins to 1 hour. Patience is differently required when you live in a canal boat. Well, the couple that we spoke to are dealers and were in the process of moving narrow boats from one region to the biggest inland boat show in the UK http://www.crickboatshow.com/
After walking around the paths watching the narrow boats move gracefully through the perfect fit of the canal, it brought back to us a marvellous period in our lives. This was when the squire and I were motorhomers.
We lived full time off and on for 10 years in a converted bus. I know there’s a small part of us that misses the cosy, simple days where we shared a tiny space which had everything we needed and nothing more, and every morning marked a new adventure each time the engine roared into action.