Saturday, 28 January 2017

A lunchtime wander around the other end of Hook, Hampshire

Before we get into the pictures, I have become a bit curious about Hook as it's quite an odd place. Thousands and thousands of houses, only a few shops, and a relatively small train station at which the central platforms have been removed a while back, leaving just two remaining platforms, and many trains simply spped through on their way to London or Exeter, and do not stop there. I've come across a book called The Planning of a New Town written in in 1961 which describes a private new town, sponsored by the London County Council (LCC), to be built at Hook in Hampshire; a scheme that innovatively combined Garden City/New Town traditions with sensitivity to modern design. It would not appear though that the Hook of today is a result of this study, and that perhaps efforts were diverted to Basingstoke instead. Anyway, on with the show ...

Following on from my earlier wander around the less well trod paths surrounding Hook, today I wandered in the opposite direction, south along Holt Lane until it petered out into footpaths, eventually reaching and crossing over the busy M3 motorway. The day was bitterly cold but gloriously sunny. The ground was frozen and crisp underfoot, with just a few sticky patches where the weak sun had managed to thaw out some of the frozen mud.

Looking south along Holt Lane, Hook, Hampshire
Looking south along Holt Lane, Hook, Hampshire

As the lane became thinner it was not particularly obvious where the path went until I caught sight of a footbridge in the distance. A tranquil walk interrupted rudely by the noisy motorway.

Footbridge over the M3, Hook, Hampshire
Footbridge over the M3, Hook, Hampshire

Annoyingly I didn't manage to capture this view of the footbridge very squarely, but an interesting contrast between the clear blue sky and turquoise railings of the bridge.

Footbridge over the M3, Hook, Hampshire
Footbridge over the M3, Hook, Hampshire

After crossing the bridge there were a couple of footpaths I could have taken, but lunchtime was running out, and also they looked a bit muddy to attempt in my work attire, so I headed back north the way I had come. If I'm still working here later in the year then maybe there will be more options open to me in the drier weather.

Looking north along Holt Way, Hook, Hampshire
Looking north along Holt Way, Hook, Hampshire

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Wednesday, 18 January 2017

In Search of Space, in Hook

Well, not as promised, but possibly as expected I have once again neglected my blog. I have recently started a new job and the first couple of weeks have been a little hectic, getting used to my new commute, and orientating myself around the work. I had hoped to travel by train, but after the first week it became clear that it would take twice as long as driving so reluctantly I have abandoned public transport and taken to my car.

I've managed a couple of lunchtime wanders from my new work location in Hook. The first couple of wanders were simply to stretch my leas and get some lunch, and were not particularly inspiring, but more recently I found a footpath that I'd spotted on google maps, and discovered a more rural setting, and as the title of my blog insists, some space. I only managed a short wander, but this route definitely calls for a bit more exploration, in both directions.

Anyone who has read my blog before will know that I'm a bit of a sucker for railway bridges, especially ones no longer in use, and whilst this one is most definitely in use, carrying the main line between Basingstoke and Waterloo, the bridge is an old brick arch, which is very much to my liking.

Railway bridge across Holt Lane, Hook, Hampshire
Railway bridge across Holt Lane, Hook, Hampshire

Railway bridge across Holt Lane, Hook, Hampshire
Railway bridge across Holt Lane, Hook, Hampshire 

Farm track off Holt Lane, Hook, Hampshire
Farm track off Holt Lane, Hook, Hampshire 

Railway bridge across Holt Lane, Hook, Hampshire
Railway bridge across Holt Lane, Hook, Hampshire

Tomorrow I'm off to London, so with a bit of luck I'll get an opportunity for some early morning urban wandering before my meeting, so maybe this week will see another blog post ... but then again maybe not. We'll just have to wait and see.

In other news, I am desperately trying to find time and energy to read a book I got for my birthday last year called Timekeepers, How The World Became Obsessed With Time, by Simon Garfield, partly because I want to finish reading the book, but also so I can start on a more recent purchase, Post Punk Then and Now.

  

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