Monday, December 01, 2014

Welland, Nene and Rolls Royce

click photo to enlarge
Long before I moved to Lincolnshire I was familiar with the names Welland and Nene. A teenage interest in aircraft taught me that the Rolls Royce aero engine company usually named its turboprop and jet engines after Britain's rivers. Consequently I came to know the Spey, Dart, Avon, Tyne, and many others, including the Welland and the Nene. I read that rivers were chosen for these engines' names because they emphasised the steady flow of power that is a requirement when powering an aircraft. If that's true it makes more sense than the naming conventions of house-builders when they come to name the streets that they create. Poets, castles, trees, birds, flowers, warships, aircraft, bishops, generals, towns, villages, and yes, rivers, are just some of the inspirations I've come across. I'm waiting for sponsored brand names to make an appearance - it can only be a matter of time.

I think I've mentioned before in this blog that river names are some of the oldest words to be found in our language. Because of the importance of rivers as sources of water, food, soil enrichment (through flooding), defence and as territorial boundaries, the original name, given who knows when, has often continued in use, unchanged, to the present day. Which is more than can be said for the River Welland itself. Today, for much of its course, it is embanked and flows in a channel that is above the level of the surrounding land. Sections of it have been straightened to speed its flow. It has always been one of the rivers that drained the hinterland of The Wash, and today it is carefully managed to do that as efficiently as possible.

None of this is evident in my photograph of the Welland that was taken near Crowland at the end of November towards the close of an afternoon. I deliberately under-exposed the shot to increase the contrast and make more of the sky's details, the shiny ribbon of water and the delicate branches of the leafless willows.

photograph and text © Tony Boughen

Camera: Sony RX100
Mode: Aperture Priority
Focal Length: 10.4mm (28mm - 35mm equiv.)
F No: f5.6
Shutter Speed: 1/250 sec
ISO: 2000
Exposure Compensation: -2.0 EV
Image Stabilisation: On