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Tuesday, August 02, 2011

England's Motor Homes - London Canal Museum

About 1 mile north of our flat is the Regents Canal. For 200 years - it was the center of commerce. It brought raw materials to the mills and finished products out to the world. For years - Lodnon was heated by coal fireplaces in each room - and this is how they got their coal.

Up until 1930 - canal boats were pulled by a horse being led by usually by a boy. After that - single cylinder diesel engines were used producing 9 horsepower. Today canal freight traffic is virtually gone. But the government keeps the canals open for recreation. People have converted the 7 foot wide canal boats into campers.

There are 3500 miles of canals still open to these old boats. Some of them are over 150 years old - like a floating history book. People have build long skinny cabins on the once open cargo vessels. Each boat is able to haul 40 tons.

There is a London Canal Museum that presents the history and the mechanics of the whole thing. Several companies offer rides.

A canal boat would be an excellent conversion to an electric engine. Hauling all the batteries would be easy. A golf cart motor of about 4 horsepower would be more than enough to keep you going.

This picture shows the end of an era. A 4 MPH canal boat is being passed by a 30 MPH locomotive.

These colorful boats used to haul cargo - now they have "luxurious" cabins.

This is a sample boat at the museum.

Guinness used to bottle their beer in that big brick building. If you look closely you can still see the cranes by the upper doors.

Entrance to a canal boat cabin.

A little hutch in the canal boat - closed.

Hutch opened to a supper table.

This bed goes from side to side. You flip it up and out of the way.

This little coal stove was for cooking and keeping the cabin warm. In the old days - canal families lived in a space about the size of a car. Kids did not go to school - they worked on the boat from age 6.

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