Sunday, 2 September 2007

Invisible canals

Our route from home to Stockton Top on Friday will take us up the A34, crossing the Kennet and Avon canal just to the west of Newbury. We'll be going over the bridge you can see in the background, behind Higgs Lock.

On the road, there's nothing to say that you're going over the canal, and I'm sure 99 per cent of the road traffic over the bridge don't realise it's there. But if you know, you can see not only Higgs Lock, to the west of the road, but Guyers Lock to the east.

Later in the journey, we'll cross the Oxford Canal a number of times on the M40. The motorway also crosses the River Cherwell, and each time the point is marked by a big blue sign. For the canal, there's nothing. Unless you happen to spot a lock or a lift bridge, you'd never know. For some reason, canals seem to get second class treatment compared to rivers.

But back to the A34 at Newbury. It wasn't until we walked along this section of the K&A earlier this year, that we realised this very ordinary looking bridge is in fact something special. The Concrete Society, no less, gave it an award back in 1999-2000. I was rather impressed that before the cement holding the award in place had dried, a protestor had been along and etched their own thoughts: 10 thousand trees destroyed.


Derek and Dot said...

Hi Adam
Have a great trip, thanks for your comments , hope you don't meet up with them so called boaters like we did at Stoke Bruerne. You cant win them all. Safe travelling, we are on our way to London by mid September

Nic said...

Nice to see you at Braunston - so looking forward to the next post. Your boat will, of coarse, star in the videolog "waiting at a lock" when I do it in the next few days