Saturday, 2 May 2009

Loded

A signpost out on the fens east of Cambridge. Having a kind of horrible ring-of-truth for our times I thought 'What's all that about?'. As the River Cam winds across to its confluence with the Great Ouse, an offshoot goes off to the south east. This is Swaffham Bulbeck Lode, and it ends between the villages of Swaffham Bulbeck and Swaffham Prior (where two good-sized churches share the same churchyard), and just across the wide fields from Anglesey Abbey at Lode. The quay was dubbed Commercial End, and in the eighteenth century this was a very useful waterway, enabling local produce to be shipped straight off the fen and into either Cambridge or up towards Kings Lynn and the sea. The railways brought the water-born trade to an abrupt end when the Great Eastern put a branch through to Mildenhall and Bury St.Edmunds. You think everything's going to last forever; flowers in the church, God in His heaven, and suddenly 'pfff!' it's all gone in a puff of smoke.

6 comments:

Thud said...

As an ardent left footer I have to believe God is pretty safe in heaven, as for the rest....Sic transit gloria mundi.

Bucks Retronaut said...

Having dodgy old birds called Gloria in the back of an equally old Ford Transit seem to me the Meaning of Life as I know it.

Best regards

Bucks Retronaut said...

.....and just as an afterthought,she wasn`t `sick` afterwards......
Just demanded the cab fare home.

Toby Savage said...

'Commercial End' sums it all up really. A fitting epitaph to the World we've all created. Pass the gin.

Philip Wilkinson said...

Again, turn my back for a few days and all these glorious images appear. I like the little 'one over two' numerals signifying 'half' on the signpost. There: the fact that I've had to express it in that roundabout way makes the point: computers don't do fractions very well - and modern road signs, often as not, can't be bothered to tell us how far away the places are that they point the way to.

Martin said...

Ah well, of course when most folks got about on foot, or horse, or bike, whether the place in question was half a mile away or four and a half miles away was pretty significant. Contemporary sign-makers probably reckon it's less of an issue now that we're all roaring around in horseless carriages.