Photographic memory on the Llangollen Canal

I do not claim to have a photographic memory in the normal sense, quite the reverse, I suspect I have a memory which is in large part based on photographs.  We recently took a trip along the Llangollen Canal, a place I last visited in 1977; the odd thing is I could remember virtually nothing from the previous visit other than the well-known highlights such as Chirk and Pontcysyllte Aqueducts.  This prompted me to go searching for some pictures I was convinced I had taken with a Mamiyaflex C330 on 120 roll film – I could find no black and white contacts but eventually came across some colour positives. For some long forgotten reason I had temporarily abandoned Kodak’s black and white Tri-X Pan in favour of colour; the results looked good held up to the light but with no suitable projector they were filed and forgotten. There were no prints, no album, no hooks for associated memories, so the detail of the trip was lodged in the brain’s discard folder and drip fed to the recycle bin; so this is the conundrum – how much of my long term memory of events is based on the actual experience and how much is based on a collection of pictures.  The evidence would suggest it is mostly the latter; regardless, it was an interesting exercise akin to time travel with a few surprises along the way.  I will eventually do a ‘then and now’ post but I was quite taken by this pair of hotel boats ascending locks somewhere between Hurleston and Ellesmere.  The first is my favourite because it shows something maybe I had never noticed before; just beneath the tiller can be seen a brown dog nosing its way, uninvited, into the boatman’s cabin.  This will be Kerry, our delightful red setter who went through life convinced that the entire world loved her and would welcome her muddy paws regardless of circumstance; she was mostly right:

Hotel boatsHotel boatsHotel boats

Click on the images to enlarge – the original 120 positives were scanned using a fairly ancient Epson Perfection 1650.  The associated TWAIN drivers are not supported beyond Windows Vista and whilst 120 film is supported it fails to auto-detect the format – the solution is to switch everything to manual and scan the transparencies individually – tiresome but worth it.

Travel theme: Light

Travel theme: Light – We have been on the water these last few weeks, travelling on narrowboat Winthorpe from Nantwich to Llangollen (and off the Internet for most of the time).  This voyage into Wales includes all the components of the best sort of narrow canal trip: tunnels, lift bridges and staircase locks but the highlight is the Pontcysyllte Aqueduct.  Completed in 1805, this cast iron trough carries the canal over the valley of the River Dee, 126 feet below.  On one side there is the towpath, on the other there is nothing, just the width of the trough;  it is hard to imagine Telford and Jessop’s masterpiece being built today.

These pictures were taken early in the morning catching the light between the pillars as it casts distinct shadows on the valley floor.  I guess it is obvious where this was taken from but if not, the second gives it away.  This is a long distance self portrait:

Pontcysyllte AqueductPontcysyllte Aqueduct

(click on images to enlarge)