As the world was probably going to end this morning, I thought I'd better get out and take some last pictures. (Actually, I can't work this collider thing out at all. If the cosmic ray is travelling at the speed of light, why did it take half-an-hour to go eight miles? Last night I shone my torch from the house to the garden shed and it lit up instantly. The world didn't end but my neighbour did call the police.) Anyway, apocalypse or not I had to travel across the Welland Valley for a meeting, and on the way back photographed these two water troughs served by springs. The top picture is of one set in the wall of East Carlton Park in Middleton, a tiny annexe to the village of Cottingham in Northamptonshire. A stone plaque gives a date of 1844 and the initials 'IHP', so I take the fountain to be an altruistic gesture of one of the Palmer family at the big house. The lower picture is of a less fanciful example just outside the next village, Ashley (no comment). A trough let into the grass verge that has been maintained by local farming families since 1884, built in the same blue engineering bricks that would have featured on the LNWR railway nearby. Locals once brought their cars down here for Sunday car washing. So while electron particles whizz about creating black holes under Switzerland, here by the willow-fringed Welland we'll just stick to staring at water gushing out of damp walls.
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