On the Morning of the 15th October, twenty or so of us gathered in the Canal Road area of Newtown and set off in search of clues and traces along the 'ghost' section of the Montgomery Canal between Newtown and Pwll Penarth. We were a varied group including geologists, historians, poets, artists, canoeists and the generally curious.
We started at the remains of the last bridge, just before the mysterious and now filled in canal basin. Joining the dots from there we followed the line of the canal taking in the sites of missing bridges, the canal-influenced architecture, the pump-house and a missing lock, hidden canal-side sheds and bridges.
Stopping at spots where the aura of the canal as a living, industrial entity was still at its most concentrated and potent, I supplemented the power of the imagination with images of artefacts I have come across in archives and museums during the residency.
Most of us on the walk were familiar with the route we took, but we attempted as a group to strip away our habitual responses and look in a different way. Contributions from geologist Andrew Jenkinson and Kate Lynch, Heritage Officer from the Canal & Rivers Trust, added insights from other angles.
|Standing by the Pumphouse looking at images of its engines and chimney before it was removed.|
At the end our walk and talk evolved in to a well-earned chat and sip at Newtown Market Hall.