DigitalCanal Blog

It’s Live!

screenshot of digital canal projectOur MuBu digital canal project is now live. Part one of the plan is now complete the web designer has finished his work (we are very pleased with the results). We have added some of the photographs and info to the site, but over the summer volunteers of all ages have been snapping digital pictures of our waterways to add to the site. The hardest job is identifying the exact place on the map the pictures were taken, especially where trees obscure the view on Google Earth.
Over the winter, volunteers will be adding more pictures and information.
Part two of the plan is to purchase and install a dedicated computer so that visitor to Foxton Canal museum can also view the digital map.
Go to to view the project live.


New Boat Building Book

Bob Hakewill started putting this book together as the History of Springer Engineering. He soon realised that Harborough’s boat building industry had never been recorded and the facts were slipping away along with the people who started the companies. Springer’s alone were responsible for over 3,000 boats, add Harborough Marine, and Fernie Steel and the influence of Harborough in the pleasure boat industry has been very substantial. They were not just canal boats either. This story includes boats built for the continental waterways, sea going boats and even a giant bottle which crossed the Atlantic.
I am very pleased that this book has been written. No doubt there will be some new information come out when people start to read it and we will be able to produce a revised version, but this is a first class edition to our range of publications.
Whilst Bob wrote most much of the text there are contributions from several other people. This is a unique well researched and very readable publication, and Bob has generously given us the rights so that we gain the profit.
The book is ring bound A4 with colour covers, with 56 internal pages on high quality gloss paper, which makes the internal pictures look good. It is priced like most of our books at £4.50 per copy. We can post a copy for you for £ 6.00 of which £1.50 is large second class postage and packing.


Festival Success

Foxton Festival a big success, despite Saturdays rain.


BTCV work at Foxton 28 July 2010

British Trust for Conservation Volunteers have been working at Foxton. This week they are removing redundant fencing materials, cutting back plants, which are intruding on to the paths and generally tidying up.


Mini monster visits museum

Mini monster visits museum

Mini monster visits museum

Mini monster visits museum

With the showers overnight we had a mini visitor to the museum, hoping very fast across the floor, this penny sized mini frog had wandered in out of the rain. It in danger of being trodden on. Before we could rescue it did manage to get tangled up in a cobweb. This is not the first time, at this time of year when weather conditions are just right the baby frogs seem to move home, and as they can hop under our door, we find them inside. Last year we had half a dozen at the same time. It is amazing how quick they move, when groan up they tend to freeze when in danger but the mini version seems to try to make a run for it.

The second picture shows our frog looking for a safer home.

How big is it? The first picture is taken on a smooth concrete slab, the patern is the grain of the concrete, it would fit on a penny!

How big is it? The first picture is taken on a smooth concrete slab, the patern is the grain of the concrete, it would fit on a penny!

How big is it? The first picture is taken on a smooth concrete slab, the patern is the grain of the concrete, it would fit on a penny!


New info at Harborough

Old Union Canals Society Navvies

Old Union Canals Society Navvies

New info at Harborough

A new information panel has been erected at Harborough Wharf. the panel funded entirely by the Old Union canals Society was designed by Edward Moody Designs of Leicester and erected by members of OUCS with the assistance of a local resident.

The panel is of a very durable and high quality costing £2,000 but is considered to be good value because it should last a long time and be very vandal resistant. Planning permission was necessary because the wharf is a conservation area and this took some time. A mock up was on display at last year’s LNU 200 festival celebrating the 200th Anniversary of the canal.

The panel tells the history of the wharf, linking it to the local waterways.  It contains pictures from the OUCS archive, which is housed at Foxton Canal Museum. It is hoped that more panels will be erected along the Old Union Canals in the next few years. The society would welcome suggestions as to where they might be useful and offers from sponsors.

The Wharf is the terminal of the Old Leicestershire and Northamptonshire Union Canal, the last five miles of which have been  known as the Harborough Arm since 1815 when the Old Grand Union opened to traffic and completed the link to Northamptonshire.

The OUCS is the local canal society and often works in partnership with the Foxton Inclined Plane Trust. For more information go to and look at local canals.


MuBu Project moves forward

Old Union Canals Society Map

Map of the Old Union Canals covered by this project

Our MuBu Project is steadily becoming a reality.  The Database is nearly ready to go live so that our volunteers can start populating the map with pictures and information. The photographers are out there snapping pictures of historical scenes, which will be linked to our archive photographs. When project leader Mike Beech was out on the canal with a couple of the volunteers we came up with an addition to the site, we want to provide access information along the canal so that you can see how easy or otherwise it is to get on to the canal at various points. Access can range from difficult for an able-bodied person to very easy for anyone, but until you get there, you don’t know. We want to change that, and hope that our web site will help.

We are still looking for other groups, scouts, youth U3A’s etc who would like to help us in the project give us a call at Foxton Canal Museum for more information.


Warring the OUCS Hat

In October 1809, the Leicestershire and Northamptonshire Union Canal opened to Market Harborough, with a convoy of boats, a procession to the Angel Hotel, and a meal. OUCS re-enacted this in October, with the LNU200 event.


About this Sponsor

Foxton Inclined Plane Trust, runs Foxton Canal Museum. We are a voluntary run organisation promoting the Victorian Boat Lift and Leicestershire's canals.