Wednesday, 1 April 2009

Any Old Iron

Frequent tourists to Unmitigated England will be aware of the appeal that corrugated iron holds within its borders. Indeed those who stray into adjoining country will recently have seen a superb skeletal example waving about in the Cotswolds. They're a bit of an obsession at the moment, and I'm continually stopping the car in order to wander into muddy fields or to lacerate myself leaning over hawthorn hedges. Rippling with enthusiasm, you might say. Rather than rusting eyesores they usually manage to blend into the countryside as easily as vernacular brick or stone, and, as Commentator Wilko so rightly says, they're part of an essential working landscape. I've driven past this triptych of barns so many times, standing as they do in the Welland Valley where a minor road joins the A6003 at Caldecott, quite literally on the Leicestershire / Rutland border. But for some reason I'd always missed them, perhaps because of gearing-up to negotiate the road junction, until the other night they glowed like a beckoning beacon in the evening light. Barns and mission huts are the rusty staple of the corrugated world, but I get very excited when I find a two storey house like the one at Greens Lodge near Whissendine. Which on glancing at the map is also exactly on another boundary of the same two counties. (Cue Twilight Zone music.)

10 comments:

CMS said...

You are absolutely right - these do no harm to the landscape at all. If anything there is something organic about iron structures so they blend in in the most natural way.

Philip Wilkinson said...

Yes, they look good against the twigs and branches in that warm light, and will no doubt blend in well when more foliage appears, too. And they're practical – so pleased to see you stressing their role in the working life of the countryside.

Bucks Retronaut said...

Some would differ though : My father stopped talking to Uncle Gilbert when the latter covered the knackered thatch of his cottage with what he termed "wriggly tin" and then, as if to add insult to injury,painted it a virulent shade of red.

Peter Ashley said...

I like the sound of Uncle Gilbert. Did he wear high rise herring bone trousers with moleskin braces?

Martin said...

Not quite on topic, but there is a lovely preserved corrugated Mission Church at the Avoncroft Museum in Worcestershire. Interesting place, and well worth a visit. And I believe the excellent Lucinda Lambton is President. I think there's another one in Wrexham somewhere, too. (Corrugated church, not Lucinda Lambton).

Bucks Retronaut said...

Nothing so louche I`m afraid, Peter.Merely a pair of well patinated flop front corduroys garlanded with sisal below each knee,when the outhouse overflowed.
There was an issue regarding ferrets as well, but the precise details escape me.

Vinogirl said...

There is a house next door to me with a huge barn/shop. They just changed out the older rusting corregated roof for a nice, new shiny one (complete with sky lights)...somehow spoilt the agricultural look of the whole thing.

Jon Dudley said...

Good for you! Corrugated iron needs champions. Maybe they should manufacture it pre-rusted...on second thoughts, maybe not..that Lawrence Lolly-Loan or whatever his name is would be singing its praises then and having it as a wallcovering throughout Chelsea.

Peter Ashley said...

You're right Jon, the last thing we need is it to become fashionable. The other thing I like about corrugated iron buildings is that there's very often a big iron plate stuck on them to say who's erected it.

Affer said...

This is actually the prototype of the houses we'll all be reduced to living in soon, especially as Gordon says he is going to 'cure' the recession......