Sunday, 7 April 2013

A wander around the Edgelands of Newbury

With forty minutes to spare before kick-off for my son's football match this afternoon, I decided to go on one of my usual walks out the back of the Northcroft Recreation Centre car park. Heading westwards along Moor Lane which, after changing from town to countryside along the way, eventually comes out on to a beautiful footpath, just after where the Lambourn Valley railway used to run. Moor Lane is classic Edgelands territory, representing "those familiar yet ignored spaces which are neither city nor countryside", according to Michael Symmons Roberts and Paul Farley in their excellent Edgelands book. It starts on the outskirts of Newbury, just past the Leisure Centre, and heads out into the countryside, passing a few isolated houses, a water pumping station, an enclosed area full of road works signage, and a crumbling brick bridge carrying a disused railway. The more observant of you will of course notice that the first picture was taken in a different time of the year when there was a bit more greenery around, and in fact it was also included in a previous blog entry for this walk, an unexpected weekend treat on the River Kennet.

Brick bridge carrying the former Lambourn Valley railway line over Moor Lane, Newbury
Brick bridge carrying the former Lambourn Valley railway line over Moor Lane, Newbury

The next two photographs however were taken today. These were both taken on the return leg of the journey along the Kennet and Avon canal, and feature all that's left of the bridge which carried the Lambourn Valley railway across the canal. There is no sign of the railway at all on the other side of the canal, and what would have been Newbury West Fields Halt has been covered over by houses.

Supporting wall of brick bridge carrying the former Lambourn Valley railway line over the Kennet and Avon Canal, Newbury


Supporting wall of brick bridge carrying the former Lambourn Valley railway line over the Kennet and Avon Canal, Newbury
 Supporting wall of brick bridge carrying the former Lambourn Valley railway line over the Kennet and Avon Canal, Newbury

So, this really is the end of my week off, and tomorrow I have to set the alarm for stupid o'clock to catch the early train into London. All is not lost however as I'm hoping that the warmer weather is now here to stay, for a while anyway, and that I'll be able to continue my Urban Wandering around London, on the look out for mews and ghost signs.

    

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