Wednesday, 31 August 2016

A Wander Along the River Thames near Reading, Berkshire

I thought twice about posting these pictures as although, to my mind, the subject matter is interesting, the sky was overcast and the photos do not perhaps give the impression I was hoping for. However, I eventually managed to persuade myself to share them. They were all taken on the short stretch of the River Thames between Thames Valley Business Park and Reading. It's got a gasometer, a railway bridge, a water tower and a ghost sign ... what more could one ask for.

So let's start with a ghost sign, on what I assume was a former pub, or maybe an off licence.

SIMONDS ALES & STOUT, WINES & SPIRITS


Ghost sign of former pub along the River Thames, near Reading
Ghost sign of former pub along the River Thames, near Reading

And now on to various pictures of the gasometer against an unfortunately dull and dreary sky. Although looking as though it's seen better days, the railway bridge in the foreground of this picture is still in use and carries the line south from Reading. Just peeking out behind the gasometer a water tower makes its presence known.

Gasometer and railway bridge, near Reading, Berkshire
Gasometer and railway bridge, near Reading, Berkshire

The next couple of pictures give a better view of both the gasometer and the water tower.

Gasometer and water tower, near Reading, Berkshire
Gasometer and water tower, near Reading, Berkshire

Gasometer and water tower, near Reading, Berkshire
Gasometer and water tower, near Reading, Berkshire

Perhaps not obvious in the previous pictures, but these structures are massive, as the next couple of shots hopefully illustrate. And for anyone with an interest in gasometers, I can highly recommend the book London's Lost Power Stations and Gasworks.

Gasometer near Reading, Berkshire
Gasometer near Reading, Berkshire

Gasometer near Reading, Berkshire
Gasometer near Reading, Berkshire


    

Friday, 19 August 2016

A Rural Wander along the Kennet and Avon Canal

One of the last rural wanders I managed before I started my new job was out to the west of where we live, along the Kennet and Avon canal. I'd cycled this route many times but generally veered off from the canal beyond Great Bedwyn, so this was all new territory for me. The weather was perfect, we had no time constraints, so all we had to do was enjoy ourselves.

Kennet and Avon Canal, near Crofton
Kennet and Avon Canal, near Crofton

As with many of my rural wanders, I'm constantly on the lookout for disused railways. I knew there were a couple in this area but was surprised in how much was still evident after all the years. This is the former Midland and South Western Junction Railway, built as a north-south link between the Midland Railway and the London and South West Railway. There's not much of the track bed remaining south of Marlborough (north of Marlborough it's a cycle path extending to Swindon), but plenty of parts of former bridges to see.

Remains of a bridge carrying the Midland and South Western Junction Railway over the Kennet and Avon Canal
Remains of a bridge carrying the Midland and South Western Junction Railway over the Kennet and Avon Canal

Remains of a bridge carrying the Midland and South Western Junction Railway over the Kennet and Avon Canal
Remains of a bridge carrying the Midland and South Western Junction Railway over the Kennet and Avon Canal

Remains of a bridge carrying the Midland and South Western Junction Railway over the Kennet and Avon Canal
Remains of a bridge carrying the Midland and South Western Junction Railway over the Kennet and Avon Canal

Track bed of the Midland and South Western Junction Railway
Track bed of the Midland and South Western Junction Railway

Shame about the focus in this next picture, but this happy little chaffinch was singing his heart out in the trees alongside the canal towpath.

Chaffinch
Chaffinch

Remains of a bridge carrying the Midland and South Western Junction Railway over the Kennet and Avon Canal
Remains of a bridge carrying the Midland and South Western Junction Railway over the Kennet and Avon Canal

Remains of a bridge carrying the Midland and South Western Junction Railway over the Kennet and Avon Canal
Remains of a bridge carrying the Midland and South Western Junction Railway over the Kennet and Avon Canal

Remains of a bridge carrying the Midland and South Western Junction Railway over the Kennet and Avon Canal
Remains of a bridge carrying the Midland and South Western Junction Railway over the Kennet and Avon Canal

Remains of a bridge carrying the Midland and South Western Junction Railway over the Kennet and Avon Canal
Remains of a bridge carrying the Midland and South Western Junction Railway over the Kennet and Avon Canal

Not a railway bridge this time, but a small bridge carrying a farm track across the canal. There are plenty of these along the Kennet and Avon Canal, but I never tire of seeing them.

Bridge over the Kennet and Avon Canal, near Burbage
Bridge over the Kennet and Avon Canal, near Burbage

I'm not sure what building these ornate tiles were on. They have definitely seen better days but it just amazed me at how much intricate detail went into what is essentially the outside corner of a garden wall.

Ornate tiles on a wall near Burbage
Ornate tiles on a wall near Burbage

East Grafton village green
East Grafton village green

Old street lamp, somewhere between East Grafton and Wilton
Old street lamp, somewhere between East Grafton and Wilton

We finished the walk in Wilton where we stopped for a wonderful pub lunch and a well deserved pint.

    

Wednesday, 10 August 2016

Doorway mosaics from Guernsey and the Isle of Wight

Once again it's been far too long since I've updated this blog. I thought it had perhaps been a couple of months but was somewhat surprised to discover that it was in fact way back in April, so pretty much four months. Rest assured I have been urban, rural and coastal wandering during this time, but I have been very busy outside of that, moving from being a long-term, permanent employee to a freelance consultant, setting up my own company, landing my first contract, etc., and have just not found the time to blog.

I've amassed a fair number of photos from my wanderings over the past four months and have been considering how best to lay them back here. I think that rather than producing what might come across as a travel diary, I'll focus on common themes covering several locations. So without any further delay, here's my first post for a while and it features doorway mosaics from Guernsey, Isle of Wight and Somerset.

Doorway mosaic, St. Peter's Port, Guernsey
Doorway mosaic, St. Peter Port, Guernsey

Doorway mosaic, St. Peter's Port, Guernsey
Doorway mosaic, St. Peter Port, Guernsey

This was probably the most impressive doorway mosaic I saw in Guernsey but unfortunately there were a couple of black bags of rubbish in the doorway. It was quite a bust street and I would have felt a little conspicuous taking the bags out to get a better picture.

Doorway mosaic, St. Peter's Port, Guernsey
Doorway mosaic, St. Peter Port, Guernsey

On to the Isle of Wight now. This was the first time I had been to the Isle of Wight since I was at junior school, far too many years ago to reveal. The whole place really felt like stepping back in time, to a 1970's England, in the days before out of town retail parks, and where high streets still had shops other than charity shops. And in terms of doorway mosaics I suspect I only scratched the surface, I felt the island had many more to offer.

I'm not sure that this first one from Cowes is strictly a mosaic, but it's close.

Doorway mosaic, Cowes, Isle of Wight
Doorway mosaic, Cowes, Isle of Wight

Doorway mosaic, Cowes, Isle of Wight
Doorway mosaic, Cowes, Isle of Wight

Doorway mosaic, Cowes, Isle of Wight
Doorway mosaic, Cowes, Isle of Wight

Doorway mosaic, Newport, Isle of Wight
Doorway mosaic, Newport, Isle of Wight

In other news, I have been managing to find some time, although again not as much as I'd like, for reading. Two of my recent reads include A Field Guide to Getting Lost by Rebecca Solnit, and the wonderful Common Ground by Rob Cowen. I really cannot recommend the latter enough.

    

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...