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A twelfth century document notes that a record dating from 852AD refers to the Lincolnshire town of Sleaford as Sliowaforda. This is the earliest known reference to the settlement. Over the centuries the spelling of the town's name varied considerably - Eslaford (1086) and Sleforde (c.1170) are two examples - but generally bore some correlation to either that first name, or the name we use today. The first element of Sleaford's name comes from Sliowa, an Old English river name that means "muddy waters", or "water with slimy vegetation." So, the full name of the town means the ford over the river called the Sliowa (Slea). Evidently the town was at a good crossing point, a common reason for the siting of a settlement.
Today's photograph shows the River Slea flowing through the countryside a few miles east of Sleaford, near the village of South Kyme. Nothing about the river on the day of our walk suggested that it was well-named! The water was clear and the patches of vegetation on the river bed were visible, aligning themselves with the flow, though I didn't ascertain whether or not they were slimy! As I headed back to the car Kyme Tower, St Mary & All Saints church, and a tractor harrowing a river-side field came into view. The serpentine leading line of the river, these three points of interest across the scene, and the increasing cloud mass suggested a landscape shot, and here it is. Take out the tractor and the telegraph poles and it is a fairly timeless scene of the sort that features in English landscape painting by the likes of John Constable.
photograph & text (c) T. Boughen
Camera: Olympus E510
Mode: Aperture Priority
Focal Length: 67mm (134mm/35mm equiv.)
F No: f7.1
Shutter Speed: 1/400
Exposure Compensation: -0.3 EV
Image Stabilisation: On