Most weeks, circumstances permitting, I visit my quilting friend of many years (we used to teach together) Judith. She lives on the edge of the city, an area I know little of, and from time to time takes me off to see bits of it I'd otherwise probably not get to explore. She's an historian, which means these visits are accompanied by fascinating anecdotes and insights into the past.
This week it was the turn of Castleford, a town suffering badly from closures of local industries, most notably pit closures, a place I'd thought of as rather sad and downtrodden. Recently there have been moves to improve the town. Amongst the things that have happened is the building of a magnificent new bridge over Castleford Weir on the River Aire near where it meets the Calder: (an historical sidenote on the two rivers - it used to be said that "Castleford ladies are beautiful and fair. They wash in the Calder and rinse in the Aire")
For once I remembered my camera. The picture above is of what used to be a local mill where flour was ground. The river was in spate (heavy rains in previous weeks) which meant that water was plentiful. Here's the mill-race which once powere the mill:
And here's the old bridge, lower down:
The new bridge is an amzing structure built of wood and very different but equally beautiful. This photograph shows only a part of it and does not really do it justice though it does show the way it curves over the river.
The wires on the sides are thick and tensioned which makes it very safe for children -no danger of falling in. While we were there there were numerous local families enjoying the view. All in all a successful piece of modern design which also has allusions to more traditional design.
Whilst I was there I managed to get some inspirational pictures of water. Here I was really pleased to be able to capture something of the patterns the water makes:
and this one is my favourite: I set out to try to capture the subtlety of the colours and the contrast between the smoothness of the water above the weir and the turbulence below, and actually managed both!