Wednesday, 7 May 2008

A Bridge for Sergeant Pike

An afternoon in Cambridge is followed by a drive across Adventurer's Fen from Swaffham Prior to Upware and beyond. Names on signposts spell out the eccentricities and local flavours- 'Commercial End', 'Goosehall Farm, 'Lord's Ground Farm' (cheers carried on the wind as another wicket falls behind the barn). And then Dimmock's Cote and this fabulous concrete bridge over the River Cam before it joins with the Great Ouse, and across the fields from the remarkable Stretham Pumping Engine. Startlingly white in this green and yellow landscape, it is a refreshing curve amongst the fenland horizontals. Sometimes known as the Military Bridge, it will be well-known to anglers trudging with their maggots along the riverside path, but apart from that I could find little to tell you about it. I wanted to get closer to the riverside abutments to inspect what looked like some concrete heraldry, but was prevented from doing so by extremely marshy ground starred with seductive yellow king cups. Headline in the The Pike Fisher's Mercury: 'Blogger Disappears In Fenland Ouse'.

10 comments:

Ron Combo said...

Correct me if I'm wrong, but I understand that you are doing a fairly good impression of a pumping engine at the moment?

Diplomat said...

Oh dear.

Peter Ashley said...

There's always one isn't there Diplo.

Ron Combo said...

I couldn't help it. It just slipped out.

Toby Savage said...

Funny that. I heard much the same. Too many tall chimney references and all that hard concrete. A dead giveaway.

Fred Fibonacci said...

More detail required. Is Spandex involved?

Peter Ashley said...

It's amazing isn't it. A bloke just goes out there and photographs a few interesting towers and lumps of concrete and everybody starts sniggering and nudging each other. What on earth will they think of the Denge Sound Mirrors coming up on the Dungeness peninsular?

Diplomat said...

Well - I'm a little ashamed to report that I did hear of trouble at the Welland Valley pumping station, initial soundings have suggested the beam engine is suffering from piston slap and attention may be needed.

Camilla Jessop said...

Pay no attention to these rude boys, Peter dear. I think your photographs of these erections are wonderful. Do you have any photographs of Biffin's Bridge I wonder? It was always a great favourite of my Grandad's.

Peter Ashley said...

Right. That's it. All of you go and stand in the corner. And you, Camilla, go and wait in my study.