The Ellesmere Port Boat Museum has some interesting displays. One is a collection of wooden patterns for metal items like lock gate hinges, and mile posts. The milepost pattern is adaptable, the places and numbers could be changed for each mile.
The patterns were made out of different woods, yellow pine, box wood, lime wood or jelutong. These woods were easy to carve and could be given a sharp edge and a smooth finish.
The patterns would be usually in two parts and slightly bigger than the size of the finished casting. They would be put into a mould box full of sand and the sand mould created with their impression.
Mile post pattern with changeable numbers and place plaques
As well as the patterns there are examples of different metal boundary markers and mileposts.
Mile posts were important for calculating tolls.
Boundary markers marked out the extent of canal company property. There were often disputes with local landowners or locals using canal property as tracks or for grazing.