Friday, 12 November 2010

The river lies below us at the bottom of a steep 1/10 hill and this morning there is a strong wind blowing so that brittle leaves swirl from the trees in golden confetti, and seagulls having followed the coursing river inland from the sea, swoop and ride the buffeting currents in a silver-grey sky.
I have lived near fresh-water most of my life, even as children we were very aware of living in an important area.  Then the industrial heart of the North of England, Manchester has six rivers nearby, the Irwell, the Medlock, the Mersey, the Irk, theTibb and Tame.  Canals were also greatly instrumental in enabling the transfer of goods right into the heart of the city. The Manchester Ship Canal brought ocean going vessels and featured daily in our young lives...          
                                        "The big ship's sail on the Alley Alley O!
                                         The Alley Alley O
                                         The Alley Alley O
                                         The big ship's sail on the Alley Alley O
                                         On the first day of September."                    
was sung out loud frequently in the grey school playground next to the steep embankment of the first Steam Railway in the world.  Whilst the Duke of Bridgewater's canal wound it's way towards our city carrying coal, cotton and numerous goods, even crossing the Manchester Ship Canal via the Barton Aqueduct and the first ever Swinging Bridge, a marvel of the modern world of 1893.
Barton Swing Aqueduct.jpg
Photo: Wikipedia 

10 comments:

Lynn said...

Ooh, what fun to have this little watery peek into your past! Love the names of those rivers, too. xoxo

...Miss...Maddie's... said...

I do enjoy getting to see the beauty that surrounds you in your place in the world.
The bridge is certainly unique to anything we have here... the ice and snow of Winter would surely prevent its turning.
Indulge all your passions this weekend.
Susan x

Half-heard in the Stillness said...

I'm quite sure you are right about the ice and snow Susan. I've tried to find out if the aqueduct ever froze here but I can't find any record. Though no doubt the mechanism for turning it definitely froze over as there are photos of the canals frozen even in the North of England!

Jane

Half-heard in the Stillness said...

Hi Lynn, thanks for visiting dear friend. x

Lesya Khyzhnyak said...

Hello Jane. Wow, the first photo is so autumnal which makes me think of winter getting closer. Thanks for sharing about rivers, I'll modify their names a bit to use in my novel drafts (that's always really hard for me - inventing geographic names :)

Have a beautiful rest of the week-end!

Splenderosa said...

Love this photograph, and can imagine how much you enjoy walking down to hear & seen this ever-changing vista. xx's

Half-heard in the Stillness said...

It's so thrilling to find comments! Thankyou everyone!!

xxx

Ann Nichols said...

This was so interesting! I so love hearing stories about your beautiful area of the world and your grasp of history transports me back to that time of canals, and steam Railways and Swing bridges! And the seagulls following the course of the river inland...even today..."this morning," as you said...
Beautiful, just beautiful and thank you very very much for sharing!
Ann

June said...

Jane your writing moves me. I can feel your words stirring something familiar in me and yet foriegn. I love the photos you share. Always an enjoyable visit.
blessings

ruthie said...

How lovely to have the river so close by. I remember singing that very same song in the school playground too, i had completely forgotten about it!