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Sunday, 27 December 2015

Sign of the Times (2).

That's it for another year and my waistline is thankful. We have been given hoards of chocolate and other edible things so if anybody is holding a raffle for a good cause and needs prizes let me know! With the floods around the north it is sobering to think we could have been on the Calder and Hebble for the winter. I hope that all are safe and that not too much damage has been done.

Last year we headed up the Oxford Canal and then made our way  to Birmingham. We stopped the night at Aston University and had a very quiet night. I don't think we have stopped there when the University has been sitting so it maybe much busier then. The next junction is Aston where we turn to head up the Farmers Bridge Locks and Birmingham. We always love visiting Brum and the Farmers Flight is one of the easiest to work on the system.

As we were waiting for a friend to visit we decided to  go and take a look at some of the bits of the Birmingham backwaters that we hadn't seen as yet. We made our way out east and at Oldbury hung a left after Spon Lane to head up to the Titford Pools. The locks are easy to work and there was nobody on the move either. We headed to the pools but didn't venture too far in as there were many trees etc in the water that didn't fill us with  confidence about the available depth. We stopped the night at the pump house before descending to the old main line again. I hope they find a use for the extensive maltings up this canal.

We headed down the Brades staircase pair at Brades Junction and managed to pick a good supply of damsons before reaching the New Main Line and then turning onto the Wednesbury Old Canal at Pudding Green. We soon arrived at Ryders Green where the 'new' Walsall Canal descended the locks. We chose to explore the line of the Old Canal to Black as on the sign post. It quickly became the Black Canal too. and the reeds pressed in and we could go no further than about half the distance to Swan Village. on asking the BCNS sand C&RT about this it seems that this section of canal is 'abandoned' as there levels of toxic waste that would need to be dredged from the canal and then disposed of makes it too  expensive. Apparently there should be a a sign declaring it closed. I hope they don't let it get is such a state that it is lost for ever. The BCNS do periodically clear the reeds. When we had reversed out and started to descend the Ryders Green Locks a couple stood watching us and then declared that although they had lived in the area over twenty years they didn't know the flight of 8 locks existed but they had never seen a boat on the canal either!

We  had a few hours stop at the wharf in the middle of  Walsall before heading up the Walsall Locks and arriving at the Birchills Junction. We had explored the delights of Brownhills Anglesey and Pelsall so headed directly to Wolverhampton. We will definitely be that way again as it is a lovely quiet backwater of the BCN. I do like the BCN for it's rough and ready character. It is the antithesis of Braunston and Stoke Bruerne  but the past history of the canals is brought to life even more in my eyes. Walsall is well worth a look, if just for the pubs and you will be surprised just how green the canals in this area are.

 We spent a night at the quiet Sneyd Wharf before heading back to the 'civilisation' the BCN Main Line. At Horseley Junction the uninviting dive under a low bridge and the railway line does nothing to invite passing boaters to explore the Wyrley and Essington. We headed back towards Birmingham and had a great couple of days at Tipton and the Black Country Museum. Dudley is another place we will have to go back to and explore much more.

After Dudley we headed down the Factory Locks on to the New Main Line and what  to some would be the boring very straight  run in to  Brum but with all the  branches and Junctions and interesting buildings and  bridges time easily slips past. Above is Bromford Junction where on the left three locks take you up to the Old Main Line Smethwick summit. There was an even higher one previously though. If you are thinking it looks similar to the bridges at Braunston Junction you may have something. However other than the herons and occasional cyclists and dog walkers industry and roar of the motorway keep most away. There is a sign post between the bridges to fulfill the blog title.

After picking up our friend we left the hubbub  of Birmingham via the Farmers Bridge Locks, the Digbeth Branch, Typhoo Basin and the Satltley Cut to join the Birmingham and Fazeley Canal. Despite the proximity of the M42 the Curdworth Locks restore you back to the countryside and grassed towpaths before arriving at Fazeley Junction. A useful stop over for the  services and restocking at the shops. This time we were heading north to Fradley.

After a weekm our friend departed near  Fradley and as we had cut our cruise short by a month we were determined to fill the time so we headed south once more and we were soon heading down the lovely Coventry Canal towards Tamworth. We like the faded charm of Atherstone and the lovely hidden square off the High Street overlooked by the church and several pubs. There are some good shops too. The variety to be found in the locks also make the  ascent of the eleven of them from Bradley Green a delight. This sign on the High Street that Thomas Telford's coaching Road, now the A5, ran through the town. It joined the port for the boat to Ireland at Holyhead with London and was a busy route after the unification of Great Britain and Ireland. Telford joined up exsisting turnpike roads and  improved parts of Watling Street and re routed other bits  through to towns to bring communication and prosperity. The whole  route was completed once the Menai Suspension Bridge was completed in 1826.

At Marston Junction we turned up the Ashby Canal and had a great week or so on the lockless and quiet canal. We had plenty of walks in the good weather find plenty of good pubs and beers to toast our luck in being able to spend time on the canals of England and be right among the history of the nation after exploring the Bosworth Field Museum  and learning more about Henry and Richard. After reversing our route from the current terminus we headed to Hawkesbury Junction and headed down to Coventry Basin. Another spot not favoured by too many. However it is close to the centre of Coventry which has much to explore and sites to see and is well worth a trip. Even the canal has been much improved since we were last there too.

We then headed north again and finished up near Streethay Wharf and moored the boat up to finish our time on the boat for 2015. We miss it when we are in bricks and mortar and the blog is a good excuse for me to look back to last season and forward to next. I hope all are safe and secure and have warm feet and full stomachs for the end of the year.

Thursday, 24 December 2015

Sign of the times. (1)

Whilst looking for bridge pictures for the blog I saw that I have lots of signposts on film. Continuing the theme of things as metaphors from my last blog then a sign post could be seen as appropriate for this time of year. The winter solstice just past, the end of the year the star at Bethlehem and the birth of Jesus could be thought of as sign posts of the years. And here are a few that we passed during this years cruise.

After leaving Dewsbury and passing through Wakefield and Castlefield we were on our way to the end of the Aire and Calder Canal at Goole when we passed Southfield Junction and the New Junction Canal which is a dead staright line connecting the Sheffield Navigations and the Stainforth and Keadby Canal. We were going to Keadby later to travel up the Trent.

We broke our journey up the Trent over a high water on the outer pontoons at Torksey. The weather was fantastic and we had a nice walk and a visit by a friend whilst we were there for a day'ish.

 We came through Nottingam and on the Beeston Cut before reentering the Trent and joining the Trent and Mersey Canal. Back on narrow waters we passed through Burton on Trent and Fazeley before heading into Birmingham on the Birmingham and Fazeley Canal. I love the contrast between the speeding  motorway above and the 'spaghetti junction' and the calm and slow paced Salford Junction below.

After Birmingham we headed out and through the Netherton Tunnel to join the Dudley No.2 Canal. We ventured down to Hawne Basin and back and moored up near Park Head Junction where the No2. canal joins with the Dusley No.1 Canal and the entrance to the Dudley Tunnel which is not accessible to powered vessels. This area of the system is in the heart of the West Midlands but is very green and free of housing, unless you just walk a little way. There are many great pubs and beers around too. 

The Stourbidge Canal is a marvel and if it was anywhere else in the country would have throngs of people gongoozling on the 16 Stourbidge Locks. We had a night at the head of the Stourbridge arm before heading down to the Stourton. The metal signs of the BCN give way to tones like this one at Stourton Junction.

I had the best part of a week in Kidderminster whilst Helen went home but then moved down the Staffordshire and Worcestershire Canal to Stourport to make our appointment with the River Severn. There are four/five basins on this once very busy port where the Severn trows mixed with the narrow boats. The basins are so busy that they need sign posts to make sure you find your way as not all locks down to the river works all the time.

We passed down the Severn and then cut up the Droitwich Barge Canal and had a couple of days in Drotwich learning more about the spa town before continuing down to Worcester. This is the sign post at Diglis Locks where you pen down from the canal into the river. The Diglis River Lock is not far from the canal lock and that is indicated on the big sign.

We had a great trip to Gloucester, via Tewkesbury, and down the canal to Sharpness. We then had the unforgettable trip down the Bristol Channel from Sharpness to Portishead and Bristol. We had a great stay in Bristol and loved every minute of it before moving up the tidal Avon to Hanham lock and the start of C&RT waters and the Kennet and Avon Canal. We will definitely be back to Bristol.

After a lovely trip up the Kennet and Avon we stopped at Bath and Devizes and other points to the east before Reading and entering the Thames and heading for Oxford. We only had a short stay licence so it was a bit of a dash but I think we will be back next year.

The rest of this years cruise via sign posts in the next blog.

Monday, 21 December 2015

Bridging the Gap.

Looking back on the past years cruising I was taken by the number of bridges one crosses or passes under. I suppose these could be a metaphor for life or something and indeed the act of crossing a bridge, or passing below ones will always mean you are 'on a journey' and I didn't any more than that to think I could write a blog about some we have encountered in the past year on the boat.

The first is strictly speaking not a bridge but an aqueduct over the River Calder but I have included it as it was the forerunner to a bridge. The trough of the aqueduct is suspended from a cast iron arch, the same principle as the Sydney Harbour Bridge, but a hundred years earlier. The Stanley Ferry Aqueduct on the Aire and Calder Navigation was built in 1839. You can see the Doric arches that make up the architecture of the neighbouring Stanley Ferry Yard where lock gates were built.

A little further along the Aire and Calder Navigation you come to Castleford at the junction of the the Leeds and Wakefield Branches of the Canal and then onwards to the South Yorkshire canals and Goole. The delights of the Junction pub, where there is always a warm welcome and beer from the wood, and the Millenium Foorbridge over the River Aire make this a good spot to stop over.

King George V bridge was opened by the King of the same name in 1916. It carries a double track railway and a road and was a Scherzer Rolling Lift Bridge. The lifting section to the left rolled and lifted. It was originally powered like a narrow boat, petrol generators charged up batteries that supplied power to the lifting motors. It was last lifted in 1956 and is now welded shut. It is the first bridge you come to as after leaving Keadby Lock on the River Trent when heading up river.

The much photographed Drayton Foot Bridge spanning the Birmingham and Fazeley Canal near Fazeley Junction.

Well not a bridge at all now, but the remains of the Severn Railway Bridge near Sharpness. This was a swing bridge to allow vessels to move up and down the Gloucester  and Sharpness Canal. The round tower on the right was the bridge pivot tower. It was opened in 1879 to bring New Forest coal across the River Severn. It was only seven years before the Severn Railway tunnel was completed so became a white elephant, but continued in use as an alternative route. a couple of sections collapsed after two Harker's oil barges collided with a column in the river and caught fire. They had overshot the entrance to Sharpness Dock in dense fog and strong tides. Five were killed. It wasn't deemed worthy of rebuilding so it was demolished between 1967 and 1970.

The first Severn Road Bridge was opened in 1966 by the Queen. The main span is 3240ft and it cost £8 million. There is also a smaller span over the River Wye. It has carried over 300 million vehicles since it opened. There was lots of congestion in the 1980's.

The second Severn Road Bridge was opened in 1996 By Charles, the Prince of Wales to relieve the congestion after four years of construction. The longest span is 1496' and the cost was £380 million!

Clifton Suspension Bridge over the Avon Gorge by Bristol was a lovely finale to our day from Sharpness to Bristol and the icing on the cake was having 'Balmoral' pass under it for us. The bridge was built to plans by William Barlow and John Hawkshaw who based their design on an earlier plan by Isambard Kingdom Brunel. The actual start of construction was in 1831 and it was finally all completed in 1864!

This is actually the Hertford Bridge but is more commonly known as the Bridge of Sighs after the similar one in Venice. It actually was built to link the old and new quadrangles of the Oxford University Hertford College. It isn't that old either as it was built in 1914.

As a bit of a contrast we have the elevated section of the M5 motorway passing over the Blakeley Hall canal bridge Bridge on the Birmingham Canal Old Main Line between Spon Lane and Oldbury Junctions. The motor way was constructed around the late 1960's and the canal bridge about two hundred years earlier. The scale is a little different but as you can see with all the scaffolding I doubt very much that the motorway  bridge will still be there in another two hundred years as the concrete pillars are already crumbling

No trip up the 'Curly Whirly', or Wyrley and Essington Canal would be complete with out a photo at the mirrored arch. (not strictly a bridge again!). It is about half a mile from Horseley Fields Junction.

Here we are on the Birmingham New Main Line and passing under the Engine Arm Aqueduct that links links the Rotton Park Reservoir with the Old Main Line. I have never passed under when another boat is crossing. In the canal ahead is a toll island where boats gauged for assessing charges.

This roving bridge is almost as well known as the double bridge at Braunston Junction. This however is the one at Hawkesbury Junction where the Coventry Canal meets the Oxford Canal.. It is a bit of a rite of passage for the boatman as the turn coming from the stop lock through the bridge and to the left is quite a turn to get round in one go. Usually there are plenty of boating folk drinking outside the Greyhound pub to assess your skills and be glad it wasn't them that got it wrong on the day.

Hopefully these post will bridge the gap until we are back cruising and if nothing else are a good reason to look through my old photos and relive this years trip.

Saturday, 19 December 2015

Singing out loud.

One of my winter pastimes, when I am let off painting and decorating and gardening (when weather allows) is to go singing in a choir. This year since being home I have joined a second one too. I am not known in the family as a singer, I don't even sing in the shower so I didn't even think of my self as one either but a few years ago, when free of work, I just decided that I fancied a try. I had sung in Gang Shows with the scouts and auditioned for a part in a local production of 'Oliver' for which I achieved the dizzy accolade of second reserve boy! Does anybody else remember Ralph Reader? I have just looked him up and it seems that  he had a life long passion for the Scout Movement and produced Gang Shows from the mid 1930's to the mid 1970's, and even found time for a bit of 'spying' during the war years,

I found a choir that allowed you to just turn up and pay weekly rather than by the term as I knew that we would be on the boat for much of the year. This choir, Hull Community Voices, is a natural voice singing group and luckily takes all standards of singing. Few of the songs are in English and there is no music, everything is acapella. The  words are learned line by line with often no words written down and just picked up by repetition. I find it truly amazing that after about 30 mins there can be some beautiful four part harmonies that sound lovely. Some of the trainers just push you to just go for it after hearing the words and tune a couple of times. Being brave and trying it with no real preparation certainly means that you become more blase about making mistakes but certainly means that you have a great sense of achievement when it goes well.

Image result for hull community voices choir

This year when we came home from the boat Helen saw that another local choir (that I didn't know existed) were looking for male singers. This seems to be a bit of a problem to lots of choirs. A shortage of males means that a certain depth to the sound of mixed choirs is missing. In Hull Community Voices there are about 3 or 4 men regularly attend. My new choir is the Holderness Grange Choir. Holderness Grange is one of those 'Lifestyle' (retirement) places that is just round the corner so is very handy. I called them up and I was invited to go along before the next meeting for a chat. The chat turned in to an audition! She then asked what my prepared tune was!!! I umm'd and ah'd a little and then started out on 'We are Riding Along on the Crest of a Wave', a song I remembered from my Gang Show days. I could have still done the actions if they had wanted me to it was that well ingrained. Anyway they let me stay despite me saying that I would only be around until April. They told me that I would be singing the bass parts and would stand on the end. This choir have two series of concerts each year. Christmas and Summer. Once one has finished they start on learning for the next concerts. I had come in more than half way through the practices for the Christmas concerts. This choir have the words and music. I found this confusing at first as there were lines and lines of stuff, most of which I didn't need. I had come in too late to be taught the bass part so I had to pick it up where I could. John, who I stand next to, was easy to follow so it wasn't too bad and soon I was in the swing of it. Our last concert is tonight. I have to wear a black shirt and trousers and a cream tie and I must say we look quite smart.

It is no good looking for me as I'm not on this one. There are some of the choirs songs on You Tube if you are that interested. (not with my dulcet tones adding weight though).

It seems that singing is good for you in many ways. The controlled breathing is much the  same as the techniques used in yoga. This makes you relax and has benefits for the heart. There are obvious cardiovascular benefits of expanding your lung capacity as more oxygen in means that your heart doesn't have to work so hard. Being in a choir is much better than singing alone as you have to listen to the rest to make sure that you are in time. It will tone up any sagging facial muscles as you will be using them more. Emotionally it reduces stress, increases feelings of well being and gets you mixing socially with its benefits.

In South Yorkshire and North Derbyshire there is a tradition of carol singing in pubs from mid November. It seems that this came about in the puritan times when the rousing and joyful hymns and carols were banned from the churches. These are of course the songs that most like to singing. The voices migrated to the pubs where, after suitable lubrication they belted forth the banned tunes. This tradition is still going on and if you check on you will be able to find out where they are singing now. There is often a brass band in attendance too making it a great reason to go and find them.

We are off to Holy Trinity Church in Hull for their Nine lessons and Carols service, but I'm pretty sure we will find a pint somewhere afterwards.

Monday, 14 December 2015

The Pictures.

Over the last couple of weeks we have been to the 'pictures' quite a bit. I'm not sure whether that is a term used all over the country but here in East Yorkshire it seems to be the term used for the cinema. The term flea pit seems to have gone out of fashion and I haven't heard many call it the flicks, but that was often used in the Midlands.

Our first film was the 'Lady in the Van'. It is the story of a lady in a van on Alan Bennett's front yard. There is something about a British Film that I like. I think they are all a much slower pace than American films and maybe As being British I find I am more able to fill in around the characters giving them more depth. However Maggie Smith as the old lady in the van played the part as if she was still in Downton Abbey but in rags! It was a lovely film with the device of two Alan Bennetts making it interesting.

The Lady in the Van film poster.jpg

I wasn't that keen to go and see this next one but I am very glad that I did in the end. It was very poignant for people of our age with parents still alive and the love story and difficult decisions that had to be made kept you guessing right up to the end. Nick Hornby wrote the screen play and it was unhurried and not jammed with dialogue either. It was based in the 1950's and follows an Irish Immigrant going over to Brooklyn. The girl was well played by Saoirise Ronan and the sets really made me feel back to my youth. It was grey and wet in Ireland and bright and busy in New York. The girls housekeeper in Brooklyn was played well by Julie Walters. I confess to having tears in my eyes when we came out.

Brooklyn (2015) Poster

Our next visit was to see The Dressmaker. This is an Australian film about a woman, played by Kate Winslet, who has left a very small town in the outback and made across Europe and has worked in Haute Couture in Paris. She has left under a cloud and nobody really knows why she has come back. At first you think that this is going to be a rags to riches comedy romp as the town is a generic representation of an outback town with all the expected characters. It soon turns much darker, but still with a hint of comedy running through. There were several places where you never saw the events happening and it all made for a very good yarn. The Dressmakers Mum is well played and in the end revenge is  sweet.

The Dressmaker (2015) Poster

We have been to see 'Bridge of Spies' this evening as I don't suppose it will be long before it is taken of screenings. It is another 'Apollo 13' where despite knowing how it ends it keeps your interest right to the end. It is a typical Steven Spielberg film that is very well crafted and filmed and is very typically American. Mark Rylance as the Soviet Spy was extremely eye catching as he seems to be able to say very little, move very little and still transmit masses of information about is character. I hope that we see him in many more films. The first part of the film is the capture of the Soviet spy and the downing of Gary Powers and his spy plane in the 1960's and then the rial of the soviet by an American lawyer and then the same lawyer negotiating the exchange of the two, and managing to get an extra American student thrown in too. The Lawyer is plated by Tom Hanks and there is something about him that in every film he plays in you just have to trust his character and he makes you believe in him. I would like to think that in his situation I too would have done the very best job I could as the rules were plain for all to see. The part when there were documentaries at school about the atomic bomb made remember just how we used to think about the 4 minute warning and how much it did colour our life. The world is not the same since the Cold War and the certainties of only one enemy. I wonder if could be argued that it was happier and less stressful than today. It was a very good film and well worth the £6 to see it.

Bridge of Spies (2015) Poster

I actually think my favourite out of the four was probably 'Brooklyn' as the era took me back to my youth and there were certain situations that were familiar and I love to have a weep as I leave the cinema. Mind you the other  three were not far behind at all. Some great films to recommend.

Wednesday, 9 December 2015

Christmas party season.

I don't really get invited to many Christmas parties as having spent a working life at sea it is always hit and miss as to whether you are at home or not. Having said that I am attending one next week. Mind you that is as the other half! Helen still meets up regularly with a group of girls that she worked with twenty odd years ago. A few years ago there would be never a thought that fellers would be invited, however time marches on. Now as the men are also retired, rather than leaves us at home to get up to mischief, the men folk are invited along too. As far as I know that is the only party I have been invited to this year.
I'm sure it wont be anything like this though. I wonder who is driving?

The best party that I have ever been too was whilst I was at sea. Or more accurately, alongside in Singapore. My last few years were working with the Singapore Navy on a submarine rescue ship. The submarine rescue side of it was run by James Fisher Defence, a British Company and we were actually running the ship and we got on very well. Also in the mix were the Singapore Navy but they went home every night. J. F. Defence had a good budget for entertainment etc but as is usual we, as the people on the ship, had no funds. When I was there over Christmas senior Officers from the ship were invited to the JFD Christmas Bash. It was held every year at the Ritz Carlton over looking Marina Bay in Singapore. It is what they call a 'free flow' event. That means that the alcohol just kept on coming. In this case it was champagne! It was lovely as the family's of the guys we worked with every day were there and it was lovely to see them in mufti so to speak. The food was also 'free flow' so you could eat lobster all day if you wanted but the food was superb right through the range.

Image result for ritz carlton millenia singapore
From Ritz Carlton website.

I was working on the 'Swift Rescue'. We were designated as the rescue vessel in case any of their subs got in to difficulties. We would get them to the target area and then do the search patterns to find what ever we were looking for. The ship was mobilised after my time to search for the missing Malaysia Airlines plane and the Air Asia aircraft. 'Swift Rescue' actually found the Air Asia wreckage. If you want to see more of what it was all about follow the link below. 

You wont see me or the rest of the crew of the ship Swift Rescue as we were kept in the background and did not appear in the movies. We just got them to where they wanted to go, keep them there and do everything else other than the rescue.

My last sea going ship, (if the Severn Estuary doesn't count) 'Swift Rescue'.

My other most memorable Christmas party was one I missed in 1989. I was at the time a pilot on the River Humber and belonged to the local Round Table. It was their Christmas Bash that was in Hull and bound to be a little bit boozy. I didn't really want to go, mainly as Helen was due to deliver our second born at any time. She said that it would be okay to go and enjoy myself as it didn't feel imminent. I stayed at home. It was just as well as we had a new daughter at the time I would have been on the pudding course. I actually saw the guys heading homewards when I left the hospital to come home!

I can't believe how quickly the time is speeding towards the big day and we haven't got any decorations up yet. That is the job this weekend.

Monday, 7 December 2015

Well I never knew that!

The was another structure that you see on your travels around the canal network, even more than WWII fortifications, and that is electricity pylons. As with roads and railways pylons often follow the same routes as the canals as lines of least resistance across the landscapes. It is only when you see a 'strange' on that you even notice that there are different types at all! The first High voltage pylon was installed in 1928 near Edinburgh. There are 88000 pylons in the UK 22000 on the National Grid network. When the Central Electricity Generating Board took mover the transmission of electricity in 1925 they decided that they needed to standardise the pylons in use and also to standardise the method and power that was to be transmitted. This was set at 132kV and a competition for the design of pylons took place under the directorship of Sir Reginald Blomfield who was a well known architect of the day. The winner were Milliken Brothers, a design company from Watford. Very few of these original pylons, designated PL1 and PL1b are still erect so if you spot one it would be a rare treat! After WWII the need for power increased hugely and also the need to get it to where it was needed. Using a 132kV system would be impractical so a new standard of  275 kV was unrolled from the 1950's. The realisation that still ore power was needed so pylons were designed to be up rated to carry 400kV.

North of Hinkley on the Ashby Canal you pass under this line of pylons. I think this one is a quite rare L3C pylon. The c denotes that it has the modification of a longer middle arm to reduce the chance of insulators clashing in high winds and that the structure was made using metric steel sizes. I bet you never knew that. It was only designed to carry the 275kV lines.

This was the moment that I actually started thinking about pylons when we passed this mini pylon where a one off design was used to have one power transmission line duck under the cables of another crossing one. The taller pylon is an L6.

This pylon is at Sneyd Junction on just where the closed section of the Wyrley and Essington Canal would have risen up the locks to Wyrley. I think the pylon is a L8 D30.

This beauty is near to Eggborough on the Aire and Calder Navigation and is a L6 D60.

This is in the same location and I think is a L6 D. I haven't got to grips with why some of the conductors hang vertically and some are horizontal as in the previous photograph. I suspect that if there is a change of direction then they will have to be horizontal, but they seem to alternate so i expect it is something to do with the dynamics of the forces on the wires.

The alternate nature of the fixing of the conductors can be seen on this photograph taken on the Trent.

I hope that this blog has made you a little more aware of the mundane things that are around you and realise that there is 'beauty and interest in even the most intrusive objects. However there has been another design competition for the pylons to link up the new Hinkley Point C nuclear power station in Somerset. The competition was won by the Danish company Bytsrup. Their design is lower in height and in the amount of steel used so will lessen the impact on the environment visually and ecologically.

These wont be used everywhere how ever.

You may ask why cables can't be just buried and then there would be no need for pylons to march across the land. These new towers will be able to follow the contours better rather than having to make large deviations but to bury cable is actually, according to figures given by the National Grid, £16 million  per kilometre more expensive than using pylons.
These were other designs for the competition from Iceland. I think they may have become a little weird if they were all over the country though.