Today was the first day of the summer holiday for me, even though it rained a lot I had a fun day. David took me to the Kelpies over in Grangemouth and the Falkirk Wheel. This was to walk the dog and also to learn a bit about something called regeneration.
The sculptures are massive but really cool. David spent most of the time taking photographs but did tell me that they were created as a tourist attraction to bring people to the area. That brings more money and status to a town that is mostly known for its heavy industry with oil refining. Sometimes when regeneration happens in an area it is called gentrification but not here. Gentrification is when an area is thought to be made better by getting rid of poorer people from it so richer ones can stay there. David said this happens a lot in Glasgow. It’s also a hard word to say.
The area that the sculpture is in used to be an old part of canal that was full of sludge years ago and there is a huge gate, or lock, that connects the canal to a river next to it.
The site where the Kelpies are has a lot of wooden buildings and nothing concrete or steel. This is because wood is a more sustainable material and it suits the feeling of the marina.
This was the same at the Falkirk Wheel. It’s really massive and impressive to look at and I didn’t think it would be in use much but in the hour we were there it was used 3 times. There was more to do at the Wheel because there is an activity area as well as an information centre. It was just shutting down so we had a look at the activity part. Here I learned about principles of raising water throughout the ages. I had a go on an Archimedes Screw that you had to run on top of to raise water from a pool below. This all linked in to the use of the Wheel as a lift for boats on the canal.