Uphilldowndale

Watching nature take its course, from the top of a hill in northern England

Float your boat

6 Comments

You can’t leave canals out of the history of  the Ironbridge Gorge, for transporting all those delicate and valuable china goods, to hauling the coal to fire the kilns, it was by far the best option, the only other way was pack horses on unmade roads.

Brick bottle kiln coalport

The canal at Coalport was frozen over in part, on the day we visited, the ducks waddled along as best they could, occasionally falling through the ice, or swimming along in the style of an ice breaker

Now I may be the ‘creative’ of the household, but I know cracking engineering  solution when I see it. This is the Hay inclined plane, we have few of those nearer to home, but none as impressive as this, ours were used for hauling trucks full of limestone or coal to or from the canals, here they simply moved the whole boat.

Inclined Plane_

The Hay Inclined Plane is a canal inclined plane with a height of 207 feet that is located on a short stretch of the Shropshire Canal that linked the industrial area of Blists Hill with the River Severn. The inclined plane was in operation from 1792 to 1894 and can be visited as part of the Blists Hill Victorian Town and is also a waypoint on the South Telford Heritage Trail. In operation box-shaped tub boats 20 feet long were taken up and down the plane on twin railway tracks, an empty boat would be loaded into the river at the bottom and a full boat would be loaded into the canal at the top, a rope would connect the two so that gravity would drop the loaded boat down to the river counterbalanced by an empty boat being raised to the canal. At the bottom of the incline the rails went underwater allowing the boats to float free.

I participially like the wiggle in the rails

Inclined Plane 3

 

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Author: uphilldowndale

Watching the rhythm of rural life, from the top of a hill in northern England. Having spent most of my life avoiding writing, I now need to do it! I am no domestic goddess, but if I were expecting visitors to my home, I would whisk round with the duster and plump up the cushions and generally make the place look presentable. I hope that by putting my words where others may see them it will encourage me to ‘tidy up and push the Hoover around’ my writing. On the other hand I may just be adding to the compost heap. Only time will tell! Pull up a chair, sit yourself down, I’ll put the kettle on.

6 thoughts on “Float your boat

  1. Is the “Wiggle iin the rails” origonal? Over here (NZ) we’d put it down to earthquake activity!

    RP

  2. It is very sad that canals have fallen into disuse when they are such excellent constructions.

  3. Good post, wonderful pictures and interesting links. xx

  4. I’ve never seen such a thing. Of course, I’m a flatlander, and almost always have been, apart from a few temporary stints in places like San Francisco. We have flood gates on a couple of rivers, but not even any true locks. There just isn’t enough elevation change. This really is creative, and interesting.

  5. Such an interesting post, thank you x

  6. There is a working version of the plane linking Lynmouth and Lynton on Exmoor. There is a little passenger train that takes tourists up to Lynton. The motive power is tanks of water, the carriage bringing people down has a full tank which is emptied when it reaches the bottom. Fortunately Exmoor is very wet….it is great fun but it can get a little busy, very good views from the top as well.

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