When I visited the Falkirk Wheel last year, I was fascinated and thought their tea towel was brilliant. It captured the beauty and artistry of the Wheel, as a piece of technology and mechanical engineering but also as a piece of landscape art (See Tea Towel Blog dated 27/10/16). I went back a couple of weeks ago, having persuaded Lynn and Helen that this was something they wanted to do. I had no intention of buying a tea towel because I already had one. I didn’t take into account the fact that they might have a new one, one I didn’t have. I love a tea towel that informs, gives you something to think about, could be useful in a Pub Quiz and this one fits the bill nicely. It reflects one wall in the Visitors Centre with all these fascinating facts.
One of the most frequently asked questions must be: “So how does the Falkirk Wheel work?” If you go on the Falkirk Wheel, the Guide will tell you. Whether you actually understand, if you do not have a background in mechanical engineering, is another matter! Helen asked me that very question. I was able to talk about Archimedes Principle of Water Displacement, obvious really, but that wasn’t the answer Helen wanted. The answer is that it is powered by the energy of 8 electric kettles, moving the Wheel 180 degrees in 4 minutes, carrying loads of up to the weight of 100 elephants, moving up to 8 boats 35 metres high and held together by 14,868 bolts. “Yes” says Helen, “But how does it work?”. I tried with the fact that it is the only one in the world. “Yes” says Helen “but how does it work?”. “If you don’t understand it, read Archimedes and Wikipedia!” says I. It’s a bit like asking how do planes stay up in the sky? The reality is, if you are a mechanical engineer then you understand these things, if you are not, you make it up. Does it matter? No. It happens, the Wheel moves, you can ride up and down and I loved it, as did Lynn and Helen. This tea towel will always remind me of a great holiday in Scotland with Lynn and Helen.
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