Dark Passage

Monday, 15th November 2004
Wild West Yorkshire nature diary

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I'm suffering from a bit of 'artist's block' with my Four Corners of Horbury. One problem in getting me out there drawing is that my hometown and its surroundings are always there. It's not like being away or on a walk when you have that sense of urgency; a sense that if you don't sketch it right away, you'll miss it. This dull can't-make-its-mind-up-if-it's-raining-or-not weather doesn't help me to be decisive.

This is one end of the railway bridge across the River Calder at Horbury Junction. The wooden steps on the right go into the 'dark passage' across the river, directly beneath the Sheffield-bound line. The whole place shakes when a train goes over, a few feet above your head. To add to the drama, you can see the waters of the Calder through the cracks between the planks. The walls are the heavy rivetted iron panels of the bridge so it feels a bit like being in a corridor on board ship. Bulkhead lights only emphasise the darkness.

A jay lands in the sycamore on the left, screeches, and flies off across the river, following the line. Soon two magpies perch on the railings of the bridge. A lone gull glides over. Two crows and three pigeons are next to cross the river.

There's a dog barking across the river and the sound of work at Bombardier, the carriage construction and repair works at Horbury Junction. Next Page

Richard Bell, richard@willowisland.co.uk

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