Tuesday, 31 October 2017

Bannishead Quarry

There are many remains of the slate quarries around the Coniston area of the Lake District but in this view  nature and industry have colluded to form a watery oasis, with a little help from two schoolboys in the 1950s. This is Bannishead Quarry, sometimes also called Tanearth Quarry, the different names because it lies between the two areas on the fellside.
The sloping area to the right of the waterfall is where once the slate was hauled up from the quarry below, there was no waterfall then.  I hope you can make out the waterfall for the day was drizzly and misty not really the best conditions for my pocket camera. Torver Beck rushes down the mountain to one side of the quarry and those original quarry men took care to block off its natural inclination to run downhill towards this hole in the ground.  The mine was abandoned as the slate ran out and the years passed until our two schoolboys roaming the fells decided to remove the stone slab stopping the beck running into the quarry and with much determination eventually their task was achieved, they stood back to admire their handiwork and see the a small trickle turn into a waterfall.  The story is told here   The quarry filled with water and today it is about 6m (19ft 6ins) deep and although the perimeter is fenced off it still remains a draw for schoolboy adventurers in summer to dive into it.  The water remains at a constant level because of the sandstone layer that lies with the slate.

I didn't take any photographs of the old slate spoil heaps which the path weaves through
but here it is one in miniature, the cairn marking the pathways at the bottom.

An entry to ABC Wednesday, a journey through the alphabet, this week sojourning at Q here 

Tuesday, 17 October 2017

Old Barn

I pass this old barn regularly, it lies a field, banking and stream  away from the main road and as the sun sets the light accentuates the red brickwork and the building take on another character with a glowing abstract pattern.  This effect could only be captured from the road which is busy with traffic and no parking - I have never plotted out my camera approach.  It is too late now.  The high winds of Ex hurricane Ophelia which recently made landfall from the Atlantic has done for it. As I drove past today the front
and side walls have collapsed and the roof is lying inside.
It looks as though the more sturdy slate at the back is still in place which may be why the majority of the Lake District barns are made from this local material and
have stood the test of time. This old cruck barn in the Lickle Valley lies beneath the wonderfully named Hovel Knott and has been here for hundreds of years and is still in use. 
Here is the interior curved cruck or crook frame supporting the roof with contrasting modern plastic containers. The old and new. 

An entry to ABC Wednesday, a journey through the alphabet, this week sojourning at O here


Tuesday, 3 October 2017

Meeting of the Waters

One of the places loved in Ireland is here at the Meeting of the Waters  where the Avonmore and Beag Rivers come together and become the Avoca River.  The day was boiling hot and people were picnicking and relaxing by the cooling waters but two families
decided to set out on a mini-adventure.
 and cross to the other side.
I don't know why they took their trainer off and opted to go barefooted over the rocky bottom, ouch, but some managed better than others in navigating both the discomfort and currents
and reached the other side, of course they then had to gingerly return the same way.

The fame of the Meeting of the Waters is because of a poem of friendship and love written by Thomas Moore in the summer of 1807, later put to music. Moore would find the place very different today then when he was inspired by a place of tranquility
Meeting of the Waters, Vale of Avoca, postcard from the Library of Congress
but this old postcard from the 1890s might give a flavour.  It quotes the beginning of the poem/song:
There is not in this wide world and valley so sweet
As that vale in whose bosom the bright waters meet!
Oh the last days of feeling and life must depart
Ere the bloom of that valley shall fade from my heart.
I must admit the only Moore poem and song I was familiar with was The Last Rose of Summer but this confluence of the waters with their memorial to Thomas Moore introduced me to another one -
Here sung by ANÚNA, Ireland's National Choir and arranged by the soloist Michael McGlynn accompanied by the RTE National Symphony orchestra and Finnish violinist Linda Lampenius 

An entry to ABC Wednesday, a journey through the alphabet, this week sojourning at M here