Sunday 15 August 2021

Narrows and Shallows

Coming through the woodland on your way towards Polesworth, you encounter one or two of these.

They look like the support for an old bridge, with the appropriate narrowing of the canal. But not only is there no corresponding structure on the other side, there is no obvious reason why anyone would need a bridge at that point. Nor does it look anything like either a toll point, and without slots for planks it cannot be a flood protection artefact.

This one, marked "1922" in the concrete, looks as though it might have been an exit for stream or drain, but it's all blocked inside and serves no apparent function now.

A bit further on the channel divides, with a rope across one entrance to the lay-by.

The intriguing thing about this piece of terra non-firma is the notice, at both ends.

Not only are we helpfully told what we will be in if we venture where we are not wanted, but we are also advised that the water in the lay-by is "not CRT water". Now that's intriguing! Do they mark the molecules in some way?

I can assure the owners of this lay-by that I feel no temptation whatsoever to wander onto their patch or experience their silt. My friend Halfie, on the other hand, likes to make sure he leaves no dead-end unvisited, and I wouldn't be surprised if he's negotiated access at some point!


  1. Er, no, I haven't dared to venture there. I know when I'm not wanted!

    That area is full of old coal mines; I wonder if the 1922 arch could have been the outflow from a drainage pump.

    1. Yes… I've no idea what such a thing would look like. There must be so many odd, broken structures around that owe their form to a past we don't know about.