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Wednesday, 29 August 2012

Foxton Locks and Market Harborough

Bank holiday weekend we met up with father, picking him up at Market Harborough station after his journey from York, we left Norfolk in the car at 7 to reach Market Harborough at 9-30. No lie in for us.
We drove into the town, had a quick breakfast then walked up to the Market Harborough arm of the Grand Union Canal and down the arm to Union Wharf to look at the basin, first time here without a boat so today we are gongoozlers (Definition: A gongoozler is a person who enjoys watching activity on the canals of the United Kingdom. The term may have arisen from the Lincolnshire dialect: gawn and gooze, meaning to stare and gape)
The visitor moorings where not very full, different when we last came here when they where chock full and we moored in the basin on the permanent moorings.
Nice boat with riveted detail on the visitor moorings.

Union Wharf.

Pristine Jag Mk 1X parked outside the CaRT offices.
Market Harborough's most famous building, The Old Grammar School.

We then drove up to Foxton Locks, a flight of locks in 2 staircases of 5, again, first time for a long while we have visited here without the boat, it has changed a fair bit, there is now a Canal and River Trust car park at the bottom of the locks which must be quite a money spinner, the car park at the top of the locks is Leicestershire Council owned so no income to CaRT.
Foxton locks has changed since our last walk round, obviously some of this is health and safety related, tarmac paths and railings for example, it is now a very commercial enterprise, with shops at both top and bottom lock, and a boat moored selling sweets where the lock keepers used to moor.
The museum and inclined plane has been tidied up, and the chuggers where out for both CaRT and the Inclined Plane Trust with prominent gazebos, trying to sign up new members. The Foxton Lock Inn seems to be have been extended and has a planning application in to turn a residential garden into a beer garden. It used to be easy to get a meal here, but no more.
New paths up to the inclined plane and exhibit description plaques.

View down Inclined Plane to trough basins.
Gongoozlers galore watching a boat go down the staircase locks.
Looking up the lower staircase of 5.
Entrance to lower arm.
View across side pond to Inclined Plane Engine House, housing the
 revamped museum.
Bottom lock, canal to the left goes to Leicester and the River Soar, to
the right the arm to Market Harborough.

It was a dull day, but plenty of people about watching boats up the locks.

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