Down by the riverside

July 2007

Lendal Bridge lamps

As this photo shows, there have been a few sunny breaks in the rainy days. As I’m sitting here looking out on yet another wet evening, I thought I’d collect together some of the brightest images I’ve gathered recently on various short wanders by the riverside.

This detail is from Lendal Bridge, a grand and glorious iron structure with lots of intricate parts, many of which are decorated with bright colours. It must be a bugger to paint.

Lendal Bridge detail
Lendal Bridge and Norwich Union building

Lendal Bridge dates from the 1860s – its engineer was Thomas Page, who also designed London’s Westminster Bridge. It has a single span of 53 metres. It was the second attempt to build a bridge here. The first, begun in 1860 by William Dredge, collapsed during construction, and five workmen were killed. Parts of the structure were later taken to Scarborough and used in the Valley Bridge there.

Guidhall and red boats and very blue Ouse
More boats, by Lendal Bridge

Around the brightly decorated bridge gather equally bright boats of various shapes and sizes. Apologies for repeating views I’ve included before, but I’ve just got a new camera and am trying it out, trying to improve on previous efforts. On this occasion, its colour setting was on "chrome" – which made the colour more intense. And reminded me of an old Paul Simon song, called Kodachrome: "They give us those nice bright colors, They give us the greens of summers, Makes you think all the world’s a sunny day, Oh yeah". The song then continues "I’ve got a Nikon camera . . .", at which point I had to stop singing to myself, as I don’t, it’s a Fuji.

YORKSHIRE!

It’s possible of course to walk right next to the river in the section between Lendal Bridge and Ouse Bridge, via a small garden area and later a short walkway. From here the opposite bank looks very handsome, with the City Screen development and associated bars, and including the old Ebor Hall and the former Yorkshire Herald offices, which still proudly proclaim the newspaper’s name in stone across the front. I’ve heard – or rather read – descriptions of this area as almost Venetian, because of the way the buildings are right up to the water’s edge, and are reflected in the river without interruption. Unfortunately none of my photos made it look remotely Venetian, or even remotely good, so instead I’ve just included this close-up of the aforementioned Yorkshire Herald building, highlighting its most important word.

Queen's Staith

At Ouse Bridge there were a few people watching the river. In York it’s fairly common to find people standing about looking at the river, because its level rises so often, and spills onto the riverside paths. It’s been very high recently after so much rain, and of course other areas of Yorkshire have had disastrous floods in recent weeks. It looks quite calm here just now though, looking down from Ouse Bridge to Queen’s Staith, and the newer buildings and renovated ones.

Canada goose

To end this page, here’s something really bright and handsome. There are a lot of these Canada geese by the river at the moment, and I’ve taken a lot of photos of them. Again, because of my camera settings, this goose is rather "chromed up" – the Ouse wasn’t really looking that blue, and the mossy green wasn’t quite that green, but I thought I’d leave it postcard bright to cheer up anyone who is tired of looking out on gloom and rain and mud.

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