Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Brayford Pool

click photo to enlarge
Yesterday, as I walked past the city of Lincoln's Brayford Pool, a natural lake formed where the River Witham widens, it was obvious that the recent spell of heavy rain had raised the water level considerably. Boats were floating higher, an island with a tree was submerged, the trunk sticking up through the water, walkways out to the moored pleasure craft were below the surface of the brown, stirred-up flow, and a couple of bicycles locked to posts were semi-submerged.

The Brayford Pool is an interesting location with a long history of commercial use despite being 40 miles from the sea. The Romans used it as a port nearly 2,000 years ago. They journeyed up and down the Witham between Lincoln and The Wash, and also connected the city to the River Trent with the construction of the Fosse Dyke. The Normans, in the C11 and C12, brought stone up to the Pool to construct the castle and cathedral. In the C18 and C19 the wharves were lined with warehouses, and for a brief moment Lincoln was Britain's fourth most important port. But the commercial use of Brayford Pool declined, it decayed and was largely abandoned. In the 1960s there was a scheme to fill it in and create a large car park! Fortunately that idea was dropped. In recent years a regeneration project has brought pleasure craft, shops, eateries, walks, and wildlife to the Pool, and the location lives once more. Unfortunately this rejuvenation has been bought at the expense of the older buildings: too much was swept away, and consequently continuity and character are largely missing from the area.

I took this photograph of a rather wet bicycle from a Pool-edge path. As it's locked to a jetty it must belong to one of the nearby boats. It will need a good service and the application of grease and oil before it can be returned to use! The bicycle, poles, oar(!) and reflection made a strong shape, and I decided to accentuate this by conversion to black and white, and by increasing the contrast of the image.

photograph and text (c) T. Boughen

Camera: Olympus E510
Mode: Aperture Priority
Focal Length: 100mm (200mm/35mm equiv.)
F No: f7.1
Shutter Speed: 1/125
ISO: 100
Exposure Compensation: -0.3 EV
Image Stabilisation: On