Another gorgeous day today and we decided we all needed to be out, mainly i think to stave off a serious nosedive in sense of well being in me and stage nerves in the girls 😕 Couple of jobs to do first; Maddy helped break down the boxes and clean out the rabbits and Fran, who had already provided cups of tea and made everyone warmed croissants, made all the sandwiches for a picnic and i just helped her get a few other bits of it together.
So then we set off and made it over to Foxton Locks in Leicestershire, where max actually took the girls last year on a day when i needed some space. it is a rather fantastic string of 15 locks in a row, on a stretch of canal that links Birmingham, Leicester, Northampton and Peterborough, among other places. The lock designs are Brunel ones, with pools off to one side i’ve never really seen before – rather clever.
There was a nice little museum, a bit basic but being upgraded and clearly run by enthusiasts. Weren’t really saupposed to take pics except of this bit, which was a mocked up narrow boat to play in.
Plenty of info about; talked about the industrial revolution, ‘legging’ canal boats, the birth and death of the canal system, how it is being revitalised, fuels, Victorians and then, having looked at a model of the ex “inclined plane” which used a counterweighted system to lift still floating barges up and down a slope of ground, they had a go at their own.
At this point we realised that the model of the inclined plane was actually of a place behind the building we were in and that it had been dismantled and scrapped in ages past; however, bits of it had been uncovered and there is now a large scale restoration ongoing, apparently to be finished in about 4 years. So we went out the back and climed about on the ruins, looking and being awed by the sheer scale of the thing.
We’ve made a bit of a family promise to go back and watch the restoration and then do a holiday on a narrowboat that means we can use it when it is done 🙂 The engineers in the family got extremely excited – and the historians liked it too 🙂
We decided this sounded like a wrestling move 🙂
I took a good few photos of my gorgeous children… but failed to get any of Fran, except her bottom, because she wiggles about too much.
Edit: Oh no, i found one, look 🙂
And it was cold, so we needed some of these…
This is what it looks like to stand at the top of 15 locks.
This is what Amelie looks like, shortly before being silly next to an empty lock and nearly falling in, thereby getting a thick ear and managing to momentarily dislocate the top of my finger…
And then we went to Granny and Gramptys for tea, which was lovely.
And DaddyBean installed the Flickr/Wordpress widget for me, so you can expect far more photos from now on 🙂 Thank you DaddyBean.