Wednesday, 25 August 2010

A Brick Wall in Rugby

Waiting for the Braunston bus in Rugby town centre earlier this summer I found myself standing next to this wall. Decorative rather than functional it depicts aspects of the town's industrial past. The railway connection is obvious, as Rugby was an important junction on what became the West Coast Main Line from an early date. It took me a bit longer to work out that what appeared to be a large diesel engine in the centre was in fact a steam turbine representing the town's engineering heritage in the form of firms such as General Electric and AEI (who are still active in the town as Alstom). Frank Whittle's jet planes - the world's first, fly over the scene, whilst the large bottle-kiln-like objects represent the town's cement works. On the extreme right are the radio masts of Hillmorton. Pride of place, however, goes to the narrow boat on the Oxford Canal. I was a bit surprised that it received such prominence as the canal itself only skirts the town - and would have been even more peripheral when built - and I've never thought of Rugby as being particularly significant in waterway terms, other than as a base for Willow Wren Hire Cruisers, a company keeping alive a once-famous name from the latter days of commercial carrying.

Interestingly, the loaded horse-drawn boat appears to have stopped for the night (and thus had its tiller reversed), but has somehow broken loose from its mooring and is now floating away, without a crew, under the bridge! 

Still, it passed the time before the bus came along very nicely!

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