The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #45638 Message #675846
Posted By: Dave Bryant
25-Mar-02 - 08:09 AM
Thread Name: Anderton boat lift reopens
Subject: RE: Anderton boat lift reopens
Following on from my previous posting, the proposed "Restoration" of the Foxton Inclined Plane is a different kettle of boats entirely. It was closed in 1911 and virtually completely dismantled in 1928 and sold for scrap. All that reamains of the original structure is the basin (currently residentual moorings) and the earthworks. The current "Engine House" museum is a new reconstruction.
Is there really a good reason for re-building (almost from scratch) an expensive construction that never worked well in it's heyday and was closed because there wasn't enough traffic for it ?
One of the pleasures of cruising the Leicest Arm is the trip down the 10 narrow locks at Foxton. With the side-pond operation, it's quite fast and easy - I once got "Panacea" all the way down in 28mins. Then at the bottom there's a chance of a good pint of ale at "Bridge 61". Except that Tony Matts' cosy bar (with it's many folk nights) is going to be replaced by a big new Havester/Beafeater type establishment.
I gather it's all part of a new scheme by BW to open up the Soar/Leicester Arm to wide-beam hotel boats (that'll make Husbands Bosworth and Crick tunnels fun). After all these years they're going to widen Watford Locks. If the original company had done that in the first place, perhaps the original Foxton Inclined Plane would not have been dismantled. I wonder where they hope to find enough extra water on the Welford summit to handle all the extra traffic.
Why not spend the money pushing through the proposed new link between the GU Main Line at Milton Keynes and the River Ouse at Bedford - that would be worthwhile !