May again. The trees are green, the
sky is blue and the air is warm - except when it's raining, when
the sky is grey and the air is still capable of being cold.
For this May we're in the Luxulyan
Valley, Cornwall. This beautiful bit of nature is naturally an
ex-industrial landscape which just happens to have done a particularly
good job at recovering. Where once a tramway ran down from Luxulyan
to Par through factories and mines, a twisting path runs through
dense, quiet woodland accompanied by a gently flowing stream.
The place has that sort of silence that it's possible to hear,
broken merely by birdsong, the slight ripples of the water and
the occasional train on the Newquay branch (home to one of the
last heavy freight flows in Cornwall).
The main length of the upper tramway
(and its accompanying artificial watercourse) links Treffry's
Aqueduct (a magnificent granite structure carrying stream and
tramway high above the wooded valley, rural lane and railway)
with an incline descending into the valley itself, from the bottom
of which the tramway heads to the Port of Par. The picture shows
this incline, looking down towards Par, with some of the former
industry sitting to the right. The stream reminds everyone of
its industrial origins by toppling down the remains of a waterwheel
- a now uninterrupted drop, since the wheel has long since passed
on to wherever waterwheels end up.
Last month mention was made of
an up-and-coming website refurbishment; since it's now happened
Seasonal Area has been given the job of listing the core
The homepage has been completely redesigned
with the Official Shield; the motto is now in Latin to weed out
everyone without a Classics degree;
We now have a link on the homepage which
people may actually notice;
Most pages now have a helpful direction bar
at the top;
The departments have had a massive redesign
involving pretty pictures and inspirational boxes. Pages are
now themed by department;
The Wye Valley Railway has had another
rebuild job which should last it until the next one;
Various bits of bureaucracy have been re-written
to be less user-friendly.
The Seasonal Area remains much
the same as ever (as you can see) as have the various railway
histories (which are apparently waiting for someone to find the
budget to do a decent job on them). The Egress page also retains
its original 2001 video. Work on Page 27 has apparently begun
but somebody has gone overboard on the spec so don't get too excited.