Wheely great reward for popular waterway

Unveiled...curator Mike Beech, British Waterways regeneration manager James Clifton, Catherine Osborne, vice Lord Lt Richard Everard, chairman Peter Osborne, transport trust trustee Peter Stone and chairman of transport trust Stuart Wilkinson unveil the Red Wheel scheme at Foxton museum. (Picture: Andrew Carpenter/001373-96)
Unveiled...curator Mike Beech, British Waterways regeneration manager James Clifton, Catherine Osborne, vice Lord Lt Richard Everard, chairman Peter Osborne, transport trust trustee Peter Stone and chairman of transport trust Stuart Wilkinson unveil the Red Wheel scheme at Foxton museum. (Picture: Andrew Carpenter/001373-96)

FOXTON Locks are celebrating after receiving a top award from the Transport Trust.

The popular tourist attraction was given a Red Wheel plaque from the trust in recognition of the historical interest of the well known landmark.

Richard Everard, vice lord leieutenant for Leicestershire presented the award to Foxton Locks outside the waterway’s museum on Monday.

The Red Wheel scheme is a programme, much like English Heritage’s Blue Plaques, that commemorates transport sites of historical interest.

A nationwide scheme, it was launched in 2009 to mark sites of historical interest with the Red Wheel plaques.

Peter Stone, Transport Trust trustee, said: “Foxton Locks is a wonderful example of Britain’s working heritage and the site thoroughly deserves its award of the first Red Wheel in Leicestershire.

“Our waterways and the engineers who built them played major roles in the Industrial Revolution and, 200 years later, the Transport Trust is delighted to be helping to commemorate then and highlighting their exciting legacy.”

The flight of locks at Foxton, which is still in operation today, was built in the 1800’s by canal engineer Benjamin Bevan to overcome a climb of 75ft.

Lord Everard said: “Thanks to the wonders of 19th Century engineering and the perseverance and foresight of the Foxton Inclined Plane Trust, Foxton Locks remains as one of the most exceptional landmarks on the South East waterways network.

“This Red Wheel plaque recognises the efforts of those that built and restored the canal as well as those who continue to promote and interpret it.

“Their combined efforts have ensured that Foxton Locks remain a fascinating and unchanged aspect of local life.”