Sunday, 1 April 2007

Lovely day for locking.

10 locks, and 4 miles now moored at bottom of Foxton Flight.
Total of 185 locks and 1721/2 miles and 3 Tunnels since 5th Nov 2006

On Monday 26th after a very quiet and peaceful night we set off mid morning for the Foxton locks

Foxton Staircase Locks

Upon arrival at the top lock Dot refilled the water tank while I went off in search of the lock keepers. I found them 3 locks down escorting a hire boat through. As there were no boats waiting to ascend the flight they said it was OK to start descending as far as the midway cross over pound.

Foxton Incline Plane is still visible

However by the time we reached the midway point they said that we were making good time and to complete the flight. At the bottom we turned right onto the Market Harborough Arm where we stopped at Foxton Boat Services for diesel (50p per litre) as the Nicholson book doesn’t show any refueling facilities at Market Harborough. We moored up and walked back to visit the museum and the inclined plane boat lift.

New basin at foot of Incline

Contractors are just putting the finishing touches to the basins at the top and bottom of the incline and a new swing bridge across the Market Harborough Arm which has cost nearly ₤2m. The next step is a feasibility study to rebuild the actual boat lifts which I think must be a forgone conclusion considering having spent so much money on the basins or they will just become very expensive moorings. After the success of the Falkirk Wheel in Scotland as a tourist attraction as well as a canal asset the Foxton Inclined Plane boat lift is a must for completion.

New swingbridge for the Market Harborough Arm

Apparently the Foxton flight is already a big tourist attraction with regular bus services from Market Harborough.

We have found that there is a museum in Market Harborough which used to be a factory producing the best corsetry, especially Liberty Bodices in the world from 1908 to 1974 so this should be worth a visit.

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