Tuesday, 7 December 2010

Horstead Mill and Coltishall Lock

Horstead Mill and Coltishall Lock
River Bure / Aylsham Navigation
7th December 2010

This is one location in North Norfolk hat draws me back time and time again.

Horstead Mill - November 2010

Its a pretty enough spot but the real reason for my return visits is it's nostalgic connection with my youth. This was my playground where we used to swim, fish, canoe and do all the sort of stuff you would expect of a Swallows and Amazons life.

Coltishall Lock - with a film of ice

These days it's all sanitised and cleaned up. All the nettles and brambles are gone and it's been transformed from a wasteland to a public amenity, and it's all the better for that. Normally I am saddened by the loss of rough untamed edges, but if this means that more people can enjoy this oasis of tranquility then it has to be a good thing. I guess I am saying that I if were on the local  council and wanted to do something positive with the site (rather then see it sold for yet another mill conversion) I would do very much what has been done.

Coltishall Lock Pool - current head of navigation on the River Bure

I came past one snowy day and couldn't resist a peep. The footprints in the snow showed that others had been there before, but for the duration of my late afternoon visit I had the place to myself. These photos show how changing seasons have an impact on a location and, like canals, there are different things to be enjoyed on each occasion one visits.

Avenue of trees above Coltishall Lock

My gripe, minor though it it, are the big warning signs prohibiting swimming or diving in the mill pool. They are inevitable in our nanny state, but I truly hope they are as casually disregarded by the locals as they used to be. Sure the place has its inherent risks but that's all part and parcel of swimming in open waters.


Brian and Diana on NB Harnser http://nbharnser.blogspot.com said...

I learnt to swim in Filby Broad, what would H&S think of that today

NB Willawaw said...

Beautiful pics. I love Norfolk.

Sophie Neville said...

I have been writing about making the film of 'Swallows and Amazons' in the Lake District. One post which tells of re-visiting the locations is: http://sophieneville.net/2012/06/11/in-search-of-arthur-ransomes-locations/

I have now moved to to describe making the BBC serial of 'Coot Club' and 'The Big Six' in Norfolk in 1984. Here is a post about the boats we used, which might interest you: http://sophieneville.net/2013/01/19/the-boats-used-in-coot-club-the-bbc-serial-entitled-swallows-and-amazons-forever/