I'd always been a mechanic but I wanted to get into something totally different. When I saw this volunteer job come up at Foxton Inclined Plane Museum, now called The Boilerhouse, I thought I'd like to get involved. I've know the museum for years anyway, and when I saw the exciting changes that were happening to it I knew I'd like to be part of it. I love so many things about being a volunteer here, but for me I think the best thing is the people who work here – they really are a nice bunch of people!
I'm the newest volunteer at the museum, but I have memories of this place that go back to before the museum was opened in 1989. Before all the renovation work had started on Foxton Locks there was only a rough track full of potholes to come here by. Now there are all the pathways and roads and the car park, as well as the pubs and cafés.
Since the canal's restoration, this place has become really popular with the public. All sorts of people come here now - some come miles and some are local. We get all the boats cruising through as well as lots of families on the towpaths who come for a great day out. We're out in the countryside and yet Foxton has become a real tourist attraction, and the museum has been extremely busy this year.
Museum visitors have doubled since last year and I think events like our exhibitions help attract people. We've got a new photographic exhibition which we're working on at the moment. Photography is one of my many interests and I've lived on a boat for six years so I've got a collection of canal photos that I've taken – everything from the dawn rising across the water from my boat in the morning, to catching two kingfishers perched perfectly along the canalside. I guess there are lots of ways that I enjoy canals. Sometimes we can take it all for granted can't we - but I know how beautiful it is here.
Chris, Foxton Locks, Grand Union Canal Leicester Section