CHERTSEY

BOATS, BRIDGES, BOILERS ... IF IT'S GOT RIVETS, I'M RIVETTED
... feminist, atheist, autistic academic and historic narrowboater ...
Likes snooker, beer, tea, rivets and solitude, and is strangely fascinated by the cinema organ.
And there might be something about railways.
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Saturday, 20 April 2019

Bath water

So let's start as I did, with the river: the Bristol Avon. (What's the other one called... Warwickshire?)
Even within Bath, there were two distinct aspects to the river. Above the head of navigation, in the city centre, it was gracious; the perfect foil to the city's celebrated architecture.
Flowing under, as well as past it...
Pulteney Bridge is one of only four in the world to be lined with shops on both sides (two of the others are in Italy, as you might expect, and one in Germany, which you might not, but they're all in Europe, which is somehow more surprising still). And just to the right of the building there is Pulteney Radial Gate,
which along with the weir is part of a 1970s flood prevention scheme, built after serious flooding in the 1960s but due to be removed as part of a big upgrade to the flood defences, the reasons for which we'll come to in a moment.
So that's the pretty bit of the river. To be fair there isn't really an ugly bit, but there is a plainer, more mundane, one - although maybe not for much longer.

No prizes for guessing which bit I liked best.
I got here on Saturday afternoon by the simple expedient of wandering aimlessly downhill from where I was staying
There's a fair bit of regeneration going on, with new paths, and what might already be the beginnings of the new flood defence scheme, necessitated both in anticipation of rising sea levels and the redevelopment of this riverside area... or 'quarter', if you insist.
Looks like I got here just in time...
But I wonder what it was like before all this started
Here the river is channeled between concrete banks
Where there used to be busy quays, and soon will be coffee shops.

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