An excerpt from Wind in the Willows

Nice? It's the ONLY thing, said the Water Rat solemnly, as he leant forward for his stroke. Believe me, my young friend, there is NOTHING - absolute nothing - half so much worth doing as simply messing about in boats. Simply messing, he went on dreamily: messing - about - in - boats; messing----'
From 'Wind in the Willows' by Kenneth Grahame.

Sunday, 7 October 2012

Industrial Vandalism?

Poulters bridge as was
Poulters Bridge on the Basingstoke Canal has been repaired recently.  This structure is at least 220 years old (although it's clearly been through a number of reincarnations and/or repairs over that time).

When the Canal Society were repairing Slades Bridge at the western end of the canal the late Pete Redway spent weeks (if not months) ensuring he had the correct bricks and the correct mix of lime mortar to ensure the repair was as invisible as possible and that repairs were undertaken in conjunction with, and to the standards of, the County (Hampshire) and District (Hart) conservation officers.

I have pointed out a number of things that have happened on the canal recently that have not been undertaken to what I would describe as usual waterway standards (e.g. the stop plank grooves at Lock 12).

The modern repair
The repair (as shown in the photographs taken by David Jackson) can only be described as industrial vandalism in my view - how this type of repair could either be authorised or approved is quite beyond my comprehension. I think those responsible should should hang their heads in abject shame for standing by and watching our heritage being defaced in such an appalling way. I suspect their answer will be that it was cheaper to do it this way - cheaper in the short-term may be but more expensive in the longer term and an absolute disgrace to our industrial heritage.  Any thoughts or comments to Hart District Council.

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