Thursday, 11 April 2013

The X72 Bus to Sells Green, then back past Foxhangers Marina and up the Flight to Devizes.

The new marina at Foxhangers opened in 2011, and provides moorings around the year for boaters at the bottom of the Caen Hill Flight of 29 locks.  This lift bridge reminds me of several Dutch paintings, and the similar bridges that are built on the Dutch canals.  I have dust on my camera lens, hence the grey blobs in the blue, cloudless sky! A Dutch barge is moored just inside the entrance to the right.  I have friends whose narrowboat is moored here, and I must pay them a visit and see the lovely facilities available to boaters on the site.  There is a laundry, shower block and a small grocery store, together with a chandlery  selling gas bottles, and other small pieces of equipment for boaters.   I must have a look around one of these days.

 Bob Preston, the lock keeper in his yellow jacket, checking lock 21 on the Caen Hill flight. 

Just out of view to the right of the photo is the Lower Foxhangers Back Pumping station, that pumps water to lock 50, at the top of the flight in Devizes.  Before back pumping was introduced in 1990, the only source of water for each lock was that saved in the large side pounds of each lock.  Water shortages was common on the whole length of the canal, except in places where either the River Kennet or Avon had been canalized.  In the 19th century boats worked continuously for 24 hours, and the flight was lit with oil lamps during the night.

A Solar Farm at Lower Foxhangers providing some electricity for the pumping station.

I hadn´t walked this section of the towpath for some months, (it kept raining!) and I was very surprised to come across this new addition to green power production.  This will become a common sight, as more land is used to produce power for future generations.  The sign board to the right of the photo gives information about the Caen Hill flight, and a short history of the canal.

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