Friday, 17 August 2012

Field Study's Man in E17 on wasted energy

I'm currently recouping energy (or energies) in the pleasure fields of central Bedfordshire; Bunyan country. I have enjoyed a week of lazy mornings, reading and listening to the radio, followed by more physically energetic forays into the surrounding countryside, cycling, walking, fishing and swimming.

Yesterday I listened to Radio 4, You and Yours, which featured an article about some residents of Walthamstow whose homes are being shaken by freight trains using the nearby Gospel Oak to Barking line. If I recall correctly one of the rail officials interviewed stated the frequency of freight train journeys on that line has increased, as has the torment of some of the rail side residents.

A while ago there was some speculation that nuclear waste prevented from being transported via the North London line, for the purposes of Olympic site security, would be transported via the Gospel Oak to Barking line. I don't know if this is true however there are, it seems, ways of identifying trains carrying spent nuclear power rods.

The routes of the rail lines can be viewed here and here and here are some other links about this subject:

Local press reports -

Games Monitor

London CND Nuctrain Map

No Nuclear Trains

Will I go trainspotting when I get back to Walthamstow? Perhaps it would be wasting energy? In the meantime Bunyan's country waited for the pedal power of a field student intent on some R&R. I followed the River Flit upstream for a while. I wondered if it is clean enough to swim in. I got to Ampthill and turned north towards Bedford. I admired the bricks and brickwork of Ampthill. Later I found a fascinating video about brick manufacture - and the bi-creation of holes where waste of various sorts is often deposited.

Back in the future, and around about, there were protest signs featuring a silhouette of a chimney with a slogan declaring, 'No to Covanta' 

I thought about the controversial history of Edmonton Incinerator and the merits of energy and other bi products from waste. At the top of a hill coming out of Ampthill on the B530 there was a fantastic view of the countryside to the west, a vantage point once utilized by a pillbox.

In the distance to the west beyond the range of my camera lense there was a large installation of wind turbines. Their blades turned deceptively slowly from my parallaxed viewpoint while the clouds moved swiftly overhead.
Nearby I had just passed an entrance to Lockheed Martin, Ampthill. I had an inkling that company has something to do with armaments and defence and later I confirmed this via these links:

My thoughts were mixed about the nature of the research at that facility. They, (the thoughts) included the horrors of depleted uranium, and the vision of Lockheed Martin's founder. Back in the photograph from the escarpment, a place inviting fantasies of flight, there was a gloomy thought, a moment of chill as a cloud passed across the sun, that defence can so easily be offence. Time to fly down the hill and lift my thoughts.

I found this monument by the B530, between Ampthill and Bedford

This dedication lifted my thoughts, and while I had decided not to take a dip in the Flit I had dipped into Pilgrims Progress and found these lines in Bunyan's apology,

Dark clouds bring waters, when the bright bring none,
Yea, dark or bright, if they their silver drops
Cause to descend, the earth, by yielding crops,
Gives praise to both, and carpeth not at either,
But treasures up the fruit they yield together


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