Sunday, December 12, 2010

A river runs through it

click photo to enlarge
Spalding in Lincolnshire, that is, and the river is the Welland. In fact this short river, only 35 miles long, that rises in the Hothorpe Hills of Northamptonshire and flows into The Wash near Fosdyke Bridge, runs through a number of other towns and villages including Market Harborough, Stamford, and Market Deeping.

The derivation of the word "Welland" is unknown, and like many rivers, it is likely to be one of the oldest names associated with its locality, probably being of pre-Celtic origin. It was, for many years, one of the rivers whose flooding was controlled by "washes", areas of pasture enclosed by raised banks that run parallel with the river and over which flood water was allowed to spread during times of high water. In 1953 the Coronation Channel was built to divert excess water from the Welland, around Spalding, as a means of alleviating flooding.

The town of Spalding grew up along the banks of the River Welland, and today roads on each side provide pleasant, scenic routes through the town. Much of the waterside is lined by fine, brick-built Georgian terraces and individual houses, as well as the remains of warehouses which have been converted into flats. The presence of this water-course with its attendant landscaping and old buildings gives the town a Dutch feel, and in fact there have long been connections between this part of Eastern England and that country, both in terms of agriculture as well as land drainage.

My photograph shows the tree-lined, grassy banks of the River Welland and a couple of the large old houses. It was taken on a December afternoon in the yellow-tinted light of a low sun, with the remains of snow and ice still visible by the water's edge.

photograph and text (c) T. Boughen

Camera: Canon
Mode: Aperture Priority
Focal Length: 32mm
F No: f8
Shutter Speed: 1/125
ISO: 100
Exposure Compensation: -0.6 EV
Image Stabilisation: On