The Millennium Link (1999-2002)
an information and picture resource of the restoration of the
Forth & Clyde
and Union Canals in Scotland, 
including construction of the
Falkirk Wheel.

at this site:
Webcam & AVI Archive:
Review the construction.
Visit the Drive Chamber:
Makes the Wheel go round!
Travel on the Falkirk Wheel:
The virtual experience!
Doors and Seals:
Sealing Falkirk Wheel caissons.
Buses Elephants & Kettles
Falkirk Wheel statistics.
Royal Opening May 2002:
The Link is now complete!
Picture Gallery:
the memorable images.
Leamington Lift Bridge:
The last bridge raised again!

First Rotation

See the Falkirk Wheel go round.

Re-instating the canals is a landmark project, bringing life back to the waterways, making them an attractive place again. Where the canals were once joined by a flight of locks a bold and imaginative boat-lift is the center piece of the whole project.

UK Canal & 

The objective of this resource was to capture and collect material and links in one place. The resource has 100s of images of the works included, as well as links to other sites to try to provide a complete record of the project.

Many of the links that were given here have rotted and have been removed, however there is still a wide range of data on this site, and some data copied from other sites (mostly with permission), like the site, which is now available here . Rotten links are removed, however I have details of ALL material on the project that was available at the end of the construction phase as a "snap-shot in time" record, contact me if you are interested. If you are interested in any image used on this site or full details of further resource material (which we have been unable to publish here) please get in touch.


Logo of the Millennium Link ProjectContents


Concrete Detail, new bridge at Lock 16, FalkirkBeginnings

The following items detail the history of Scotland's Lowland Canals:


Concrete Detail, new bridge at Kingsknowe EdinburghConcepts  (1994 - 1999)

Although the seeds of the project were sown in the 1980s, British Waterways officially launched it's plans for the Millennium Link in 1994, and secured sufficient funding by 1997. Even at this early stage there were bold plans for a landmark boatlift at Tamfourhill near Falkirk. 

The original Ferris Falkirk Wheel idea was put aside in favour of the current design. Details of the Ferris Wheel are available, originally posted on the now defunct site, which (fortunately) hadn't been updated since ~1998. There are also some details of wind-tunnel testing at this early stage, this page is duplicated on this site although it originally appeared on the web-site of BMT Fluid Mechanics. Material from Nicoll Russell Studios Architects concept material can be found on their site also.

It is also interesting to note that most published material contains an image created at this concept stage, mainly the view from the NW. This rarer view from the air shows the whole complex, but is still based on early concept drawings. Only this view from the NW (which the image at the top of this page is based on) and this view from the NE appear to represent an artist's impression based on detailed engineering drawings.

Various simulation video clips of the Union Canal and the proposed Falkirk Wheel have been removed from the British Waterways and RMJM web-sites.

There was also an interesting article with perspectives from the Client, the Architect and the Engineer from e4engineering, unfortunately this site now only serves back-issue material to registered users.

An award winning technical paper on the Regeneration of the Canals from the Institution of Civil Engineer's Civil Engineer magazine contains much engineering history and detail of the proposed works. This was published in 2000. If you want to understand British Waterways corporate strategy towards canal regeneration there is another paper from the Institution of Civil Engineer's proceedings: Municipal Engineer, Urban regeneration opportunities for leisure, tourism and recreation, written in 1998.


Concrete Detail, new bridge at Lock 16, FalkirkConstruction: Pictures & Stories  1999 - 2002

A series of mainly photographic stories, charting the progress of the Millennium Link and the state of the canals through 1999, 2000, 2001 and 2002. There are a lot of compressed images in these stories, please be patient when they load, normally you can start to read the start of the page whilst the bottom of the page loads.

There is a good record of the construction project, on the former site copied into this resource .

BLACK bullets are material on this web-site, BLUE bullets take you to material on other web-sites. To give an idea of location there is a red dot on this maplet click here for a larger version from the Millennium Link website... of the Glasgow - Falkirk - Edinburgh corridor.

There is a good record of the construction project, on the former site copied into this resource . There is also an Excel Spreadsheet (PDF) of the obstructions and works, with details of progress and projected completion dates. This information was taken from British Waterways Millennium Link quarterly newsletter, The Link.


Wheel logo proposal, click for larger versionConstruction: The Falkirk Wheel Webcam (February 2001 to May 2002)

British Waterways, in conjunction with provided 2 web cameras on site at the end of February 2001, a fixed camera and a camera moving through several preset positions. The webcams were withdrawn in May 2003. Over 240 archived images on this resource were saved roughly fortnightly. There are multiple images per day when there was major activity on site. Although there was no copyright notice on the British Waterways website, this material is presented here for private and personal purposes only and not for commercial gain:

Images collected by James Gentles, Jim Swift, and Peter McCulloch.


Union Canal, Division Marker WinchburghOpening Events  2000 - 2003

Within a year of opening, in the Spring of 2003, extension work to the Visitor Centre, improvements to the facilities for boaters, and a major path upgrade had begun, this is only the end of the beginning!


Partially funded by the Millennium CommissionPress Releases

The following is a list of press releases, mainly from British Waterways and the Millennium Link organisation, and sources of broadcast material about the project.

If all this is too much there is a single page of Media Quotes for your to browse!


Union Canal, Milepost at Lins AqueductMaps

Where to look for maps, and aerial photographs of the canals.


Bridge renovation, Masons MarksReference Information

A selection of resources, giving background information on the Canals and the Falkirk Wheel. This is a much reduced list. It only contains items that were available at 2002 AND have not rotted.


British Waterways main logoLinks

The following are links to sites with a valuable Millennium Link content.


BW Falkirk Wheel LogoCredits

Most picture material on this site is credited to James Gentles, Peter McCulloch, Jim Coyle, Richard McCulloch, Derek Sneddon and Robert Walker. You can view highlights in our Picture Gallery. Other material is linked to public access web sites. Please respect the ownership of all the material and the images!

Falkirk Wheel by Richard McCulloch, 20-Aug-2001The thumbnails in this page are mostly details taken from the new concrete bridges built during the Millennium Link project (taken from the new bridges at Lock 16 and Kingsknowe). There are also mason's marks from the refurbishment of the existing Canal bridges and details of original mile posts or division markers on the Union Canal. The Swan & Bridge logo was used for the Millennium Project, and the logo of the biggest funder, The Millennium Commission.

The Falkirk Wheel logos are in addition to the British Waterways family of logos.

The picture, by Richard, on the right, sums it all up really:
Engineering, Elegance, Enterprise, Environment.

since 19 Jan 2002

Where you see this logo, it takes you back to the top of this HOME page

November 2008 home pageIntroduction

Gentles Home Page

The UK Canals Web-Ring
Millennium Link Resource site owned by James Gentles

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