Saturday, 20 August 2011

Traffic Overhead: Underneath the Postwick Viaduct

Beneath the Postwick Viaduct, which sees the A47 pass over the Rive Yare. As with Tuesday's entry ('I Wanna Be a Punk (Beneath the A11)') this sees my continuing curiosity with the undersides of bridges and flyovers. Always good for graffiti, for starters.

Apparently, the grounds beneath the Viaduct have been used sporadically as a traveller's site, although it was deserted when I was wandering round. The shrieking clattering noise caused by the traffic passing overhead was suitably dramatic and unsettling.

Friday, 19 August 2011

The Best Phone Box in the World

What to do with the increasingly disused glorious red telephone boxes in this age of the mobile phone? Wrench them out of the ground and scrap 'em? Nah. Turn them into book exchanges, of course. An absolutely fantastic idea.

The wee village of St Cross, South Elmham, Suffolk.

Paradoxical Loneliness: The Ruins of St. Andrew, Whitlingham

The ruins of the medieval church of St Andrew, at Whitlingham, close to Norwich. Located on the top of a ridge overlooking the Yare, most of the church has collapsed over the years (such as the round tower, in 1940), or has been pulled down for building materials.

Despite the fact that the church has not been in use since the Reformation, some features remaining are Victorian: sites such as The Norfolk Churches Site ( )suggest that for many years the church was preserved for aesthetic considerations. Little concern now: nowadays, the A47 noisily screams past only a few yards away.

In obvious ways, this has dragged the site away from its picturesque beginnings and towards something far more grey and ugly. The easiest way to approach the church, for instance, is on an old cracked access road for workers used during the A47's construction. Yet it does provide the ruins with a new, stranger atmosphere. It is difficult to actually make out the A47 or its traffic through the roadside trees, and the incessant sounds of passing traffic provides visitors with the feeling of seperation, of invisibility in the face of the mundane and the harsh. The fact that there is no official access to the site (visiting involves clambering over fencing and tramping through nettles), and it is situated at the 'wrong end' of Whitlingham Lane (all traffic for the ski-slopes and the Broad stops much farther up), maintains this place's paradoxical feeling of isolation and loneliness.

Tuesday, 16 August 2011

I Wanna Be a Punk (Beneath the A11)

It's probably the troll in me, but I do find the underneaths of bridges and overpassing roads to be quite fascinating. Their weird liminal nature, the uncertainty over the use of the space, the gloom, the angle where the bridge re-joins the earth.

This is beneath the A11, where it passes over the River Yare on its approach to Norwich.

Monday, 8 August 2011

Rough Sleeping: The Deal Ground

I had another walk around the derelict Deal Ground again a couple of weekends ago. (See last August's entries for more on the actual site). Reports crop up in local newspapers every now and again suggesting redevelopment is to take place on the ground, so I wanted to see if there were any signs of this forthcoming. There were not.

There was a small difference, however. A tiny shack close to the river, empty the last time I saw it, was now in a sort of state of occupation. Coats, boots, a small mirror, a few cloths, an ironic felt-tipped 'Home Sweet Home' above the inside door. Nearby, outside, were cooking utensils, buckets and pans, a couple of deck chairs, an old tent. Whoever lived there was not around that morning, even if signs of their rough living were.