Sunday, 1 May 2011

Under the Commute

Another beautiful day in Sussex on Sunday, so @MandyRG and I hit the road to Ardingly Reservoir for a country walk - nothing as strenuous or as challenging as @BenedictBeau's recent South Downs walk ( mind you - and then I took myself off for another hour to walk down the Ouse to have a look at the Balcome Railway Viaduct and take some photos (see below).

There are a host of facts about this 1841, 37-arch viaduct, which I won't repeat here - you can find all that stuff easily on the Web.

So, why did I need to get up close and personal to this piece of our industrial architecture?  Well, apart from my natural geeky curiosity about all things 'trains', I actually pass over this viaduct on my daily rail commute to and from London, and have often admired the surrounding countryside as we sweep overhead at 75 mph.  I thought it would be cool to see both the viaduct and its setting from another perspective.

I was reminded of @StephanieDedhar's post last week "Looking at things the right way", where she discusses how seeing the same topic from different perspectives can add weight and understanding to a learning experience ( 

And talking of perspectives, I can't think of a better illustration of that than the second photo, looking through the piers of the viaduct, from one end to the other.  They were built with hollow centres (to save bricks?) and can only be seen in all their glory by being directly underneath the structure.

As this picture was being taken on autotimer, a train thundered by overhead and I smiled to myself that, come Tuesday, I'll be doing that again myself, with several hundred other regular commuters. But I'll never take that particular part of my journey for granted again - I've been under the commute.

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