Sunday, November 30, 2008

Lost in Fog - Lost in Time

A dense white bank of fog rolled in across the Lune estuary shrouding Lancaster in its clammy embrace.

The buildings on St. George's Quay down by the banks of the River Lune have changed little over the last couple of hundred years. The housing development completed nearly ten years ago tastefully mimics the established architecture. Now wreathed in fog, and with cars absent it doesn't take too much imagination to expect a square rigged sailing ship to loom out of the murk as it glides up the River. Lancaster was the major port in the North-West before Liverpool got started during the 1700s.

John o' Gaunt's Gateway

This evening I emerged from the studio and the fog had thickened still further. It was evening and dark. The street lights in this part of the city have retained their pre-20th century form, though now they are electric instead if the original gas. I walked up towards John o' Gaunt's Gateway at Lancaster Castle before descending Castle Hill and its narrow alleyways. Again there were no cars about. Everybody had gone home. I would not have been in the least surprised if I met a man in a frock coat and tricorn hat.

But the the illusion is quickly shattered as, after passing Covells Cross I arrive back in the 21st. century at the pelican crossing on China Street and wait for the manic rush of motor traffic to stop briefly and allow me to cross the road.

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