Wednesday, 4 February 2015

Water on the brain.

Sunday morning, while we waited for the shops in Staines to open, we went for a walk along the Thames at Penton Hook Lock.

It's a great bend in the river - in America it would be called an 'Oxbow' because it's so pronounced - it has a very narrow neck.

In the past, Staines was a point in the river where there was a sharp fall in ground level and the river broke up into a series of smaller streams and rapids. As a result it was a place where stone age man had a chance of fording the river.

The rapids must have covered quite a big area from (which is now Ashford) to Laleham which is where Penton Hook Lock is. When the Romans came they also forded the river at Staines and then built a series of bridges over the streams. As a result, they named Staines "Ad Pontes"...The Bridges.

Anyway, in the 19th century, the Victorians tamed the rapids at Staines and in the process built a lock and weir at Penton Hook Lock.

It's still quite a sight even when the river is low, as it was on Sunday.

It was also freezing cold with a wind that cut straight through you.

Neil Harris

(a don't stop till you drop production)


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