Almost a year into the Covid crisis, (though it feels like 5 years), and we are in lockdown again here in leafy Oxfordshire. We are permitted to take exercise outside of our homes once a day, so I go for a walk as often as I can. These walks are a great chance to look closer at my area than in normal times, and one thing that struck me was the number of traces of things that were important in the past but have now lost that importance.
This sign outside a local farm is a good example. Someone went to the trouble of making a sign and edging it with metal strip to protect it. They’ve added a bit of design by chamfering the corners. Leaving it as right angles would have been easier, so this shows that some care went into the making of the sign. Clearly that care has gone and the sign is no longer used. There’s just one small price of white plastic held on with a rusting staple to show it was ever used.
Further down that road there is a railway footbridge over the Great Western main line. The bridge was erected to replace a level crossing that was closed after the nearby railway station was closed and demolished. The road just comes to an abrupt stop at some concrete barriers and a fence. There are still road markings to indicate that “No Overtaking” is permitted. It’s all a bit moot as traffic can’t go any further.
At the top of the road there is a shop on the corner. In the old days it would have been supplied by carts and then small vans. These days deliveries arrive in large trucks that stop in the road to disgorge their cargoes of groceries. They reverse from the High Street into the smaller road and oft times get it wrong. The wall of the shop bears witness to multiple contact from vehicles. You know it happens often, as the damage from one incident has itself been damaged.
On your daily exercise what traces you can find?