Sunday, 17 April 2016


I enjoyed my day out expedition to the Falkirk Wheel yesterday.  We went to see the 'ship lift' i.e. canal boat lift near Bonnybridge and then 5 miles further on to see Andy Scott's sculpture of The Kelpies (2 horses heads).

Feats of engineering are always a pull for us and no more so than this wonderful construction. The canal boats (Forth and Clyde Canal) arrive on the top of the photo and go into a capsule at the end which rotates 180 degrees in order to lower the vessel to the canal basin below... (and, of course, vice versa).  The central 'rod' in the middle is the pivoting point around which the Wheel rotates.

The sculptor, Andy Scott, designed and built these structures.  They are quite stunning and much bigger than I had realized.  When he was making them about 20 years ago I visited his workshop on Maryhill Road in Doors Open Days.  I recall the talk being about where they were, eventually, going to be sited.  There was a lot of indecision (read 'hassle') and to-ing and fro-ing I recall.  Also I think they were supposed to be on rafts in the canal basin that rocked at mid-point thereby having the heads move up and down.  If I have this right, it ended up that he got the site but there was not enough water to take the rafts.  Be that as it may, they are on dry land and evoke one single response when you see them ... "Wow"!

The whole place is a visitor's 'experinece' with walks, play areas etc.  Inside the Visitor's Centre is an Educational Room with two heads constructed out of Lego.  Here are Alastair and Ishie making a Lego carrot to stick into the left Kelpie's mouth (above Alastair's head).

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