Wednesday, 6 March 2013

Dividing line

The Severn and the Thames are divided by the Cotswold escarpment obviously, and the line of the  Stroudwater Navigation and Thames & Severn Canal attempted to bridge that divide. Trade began about the time of the French Revolution, but the canal proved viable for barely more than a century, thus mocking the millions of hours of labour expended on its construction and maintenance.

40 or so years ago to a trust was established with a view to restoring the dwindled asset, and indeed stretches near the Western end now look very much more like the real thing than this scene I photographed today, near South Cerney.

On a dull but rainfree morning, we walked from that village through the Cotswold Water Park and up the Southern bank of the canal almost to Siddington. That bank, made of soil excavated from the canal bed of course, divides it narrowly from the zigzaggy River Churn at times; and our quintet's pleasant walk was in turn separated from the stop-start of foursomes on the South Cerney Golf Course by the watery tangle now infesting the canal itself.

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