Today the port does a regular trade in animal feedstuffs, grain, flour and other commodities. The day I took this photograph an East European ship arrived to collect a cargo of what appeared to be scrap metal. The canal basin no longer has a commercial function, but is now a marina for both canal boats and sea and river-going cruisers and yachts. The eighteenth and early nineteenth century buildings and quaysides have been developed as an attraction for tourists, as well as continuing to fulfill their purpose for those with business to complete.
I took this photograph of a rather battered ship tied up in the dock, not for the nautical interest it represents, nor because it illustrates the unique qualities of the place. No, it was because of the red railings! On a cold March day, with traces of snow on the ground and ice in the water, these railings positively glowed. The backdrop of the green water and ship, the blue of the sky, and the white of the snow and clouds gave the red of the railings real power in the composition. And, the strong colour and lines lead the eye into the picture. I don't know why these railings are red - all the other metalwork around the dock is painted black and white. But, to whoever used the last dregs of a can of scarlet on these railings - thanks!
photograph & text (c) T. Boughen