The centuries old industrial aged highway,
Calved open from the ancient earth,
Threaded through Leicestershire’s fields,
For the coal fired boats narrow birth,
A wonder of an era of booming business,
Mechanisation growing owner’s profits,
But leaving luddite labourers languishing,
As the poverty and destitution hits.
A flowing highway of heavily ladened hulls,
Transporting textiles from the big city,
Alongside the towpaths and wild hedgerows,
Through tunnels of oaks looking pretty.
The dappled light illuminating the smoke,
From hundreds of coal fired engines,
Beating with the rhythm of the canal life,
A hard one shown on workers skins.
The hillside at Foxton fastened by beams,
Ten locks making a watertight seal,
Wood from trees hundreds of years old,
Making each knot have an historic feel.
Every crack widened by a thousand hands,
Roughened with the tons of cargo,
Floating uphill with each turn of the key,
Barges forever going with the flow.
But industry moves forward in high gear,
Much faster than the canal’s pace,
Railway’s steamed in to take their business,
And do it cheaper to win the race.
The locks were tightly shut for decades,
The wood weathered smooth by rain,
The grooves of hard graft filled with moss,
As the canal water started to drain.
But a century later new life flowed in,
A boom in tourism flooded its docks,
Traffic returned and businesses grew,
Around these ten timeless wooden locks.