Saturday 7 July 2007

"I met with a singularly clear rivulet" - # 161

Karl's letter is tantalizingly detailed and yet also frustratingly lacking in necessary precision. So, this might be THAT rivulet, or perhaps he is referring to "another one further on".

This is the delightfully fast flowing, crystal clear River Crane at Cranford (Crane Ford) just beyond Hounslow. The extremely narrow old bridge carries a tiny road that could be the remains of the old road.

On the far side of the bridge, hidden by the trees, is the bridge carrying the fast express A4 Great West Rd built in the 1930s. I have driven over the 1930s bridge many times in the past 40 years and never even knew it was a bridge, or that just behind the trees, the tiny river existed.

So let's dream and imagine this as the exact spot where Karl refreshed himself. It could be.

..........."As far as Hounslow the way was very pleasant; afterwards I thought it not quite so good. It lay across a common, which was of a considerable extent, and bare and naked, excepting that here and there I saw sheep feeding............

.......It now began to grow hot. On the left hand, almost close to the high road, I met with a singularly clear rivulet. In this I bathed, and was much refreshed, and afterwards, with fresh alacrity, continued my journey."


  1. What a nice discovery for you - and for us, thanks to Karl! I'm sure you found the right one!!

    Do you think there is any crayfish around? It reminds me of a similar "rivulet", which was in the back of the garden where my parents lived in Pinner (for some years, when I had already left the "nest"). There was plenty of crayfish and nobody (else) cared! For somebody from the Nordic countries, crayfish is highly appreciated, maybe less by the British?

  2. How beautiful. I hope it was this one. I'm sure it was!

  3. Nice photo. Enjoyed the post.

    Brookville Daily Photo

  4. Wonderful photo. It's amazing what you dicover taking photos.

  5. I'm going to have to come back and explore more of this journey. I clicked on the Hounslow link to the Vision of Britain site and then went searching some of my local place names and well now it is time to go and make the tea.

    see you again.

  6. I believe this is it!

    Btw - was Karl traveling (on foot)alone?

  7. I think it would be wonderful, Chuck, if you were to commission your camera to do a compare and contrast series around London. This peaceful scene at Cranford, for instance, compared to what in many cases has been its replacement - what you call the 'fast express road'.

    I'm imagining your River Crane to be roughly similar to my local river, the Tyburn, once upon a time - and how nice it would be to have that sort of scene right behind Oxford Street.

    And for the built environment bit, the bridge, the original architects/engineers used to have a solemn little ceremony (remnants of which are found in 'topping out'). Whenever they allowed themselves to cover up the original earth/grassland/forest, they had this little ceremony to mark that fact.

    I'm thinking particularly of Karl's lone tree and the common on the way to Hounslow - now under concrete and blacktop.

    PS: I agree with Peter's point on crayfish (if you can find a fishmonger to order them for you): their presence is also a pretty good indicator of the health of the stream.