A Letter from Nantwich

April 2006                                                   UPDATE - work carried out

Down by the riverside

WITH the arrival of better weather (apart from a cold set-back) I ventured, camera in hand, to the river bank of the town's waterway, the Weaver. So now - for those who don't know it - here are pictures of the "wire walk" that carries the

riverside path under the Nantwich to Shrewsbury railway line. (See the January 2006 letter).

   After some delay, the section of footpath was finally completed. But - as I reported in January - dog owners were complaining that the widened footpath under the bridge was not canine friendly.

   There is a wire mesh footway for the pedestrians to walk on and a special solid path for the dogs - but not, it seems, near to the wall where dogs like to walk! Also, the walkers said they and their pets had to give way to cyclists. Presumably the riders were using the "doggy path" - although the report in the Nantwich Chronicle (January 11) didn't say as much!  

   On the right, you can see the "wire walk" passing under the railway line. That "tie-shaped" object in the centre of the walk is the solid path for dogs - also used by cyclists(!).  Actually, why can't the solid part have a dog symbol at the end of it (right) - in the same way that cycle lanes by roadways are marked with a cycle?  

   The picture left is a view looking down on the tricky open mesh part of the walkway which is a threat to paws and claws. Through it can be seen the river. I would not be surprised to hear that some people cannot look down as they use this part of the riverside walk. I have a friend who cannot cross a bridge if it is slatted - that is, it has gaps in it through which she can see the water below. 

   As I took these pictures I was met by a small dog happily walking along the solid way (not a cyclist in sight) and it didn't seem at all bothered by not walking against the wall. Makes a change from what dogs normally do against walls. There was a short interval before the owner appeared (right) with the second dog on a lead, but whether this was because the first dog had walked on ahead, or the owner had stopped to put the second dog on a lead before tackling the river crossing I don't know.

 

UPDATE (September 2006)

 

The shadow of the railing is falling on the open section of the path to the right. The rest looks like a solid path now - but it bounces!

 

A lady walks her two dogs who were happily trotting along. The open section is now a little more visible on the left of the photo.

CHANGES have now been made to the cycle and walkway - as it is now called - and both sides should be happy.

   As promised by former Nantwich Councillor Edith Williams, who was a Crewe and Nantwich Borough Councillor until last May's elections, the gap between the central walkway and the wall has been filled in with a stretch of metal and two-thirds of the path coated with what looks to me like gravel.

   Earlier this year, Mrs Williams told me: "It's a wonderful solution. Common sense has prevailed." She has pledged to keep an eye on the situation. 

   As I confirmed with a man and woman in the area, the path is now wider. What looks like a solid pathway is, in fact, suspended on the wire path way. Held up by cantilever brackets, the man assured me. Dogs seemed much happier about walking on the area. No cyclists appeared to give me their views. 

 

The Nantwich to Wrenbury railway line crosses the River Weaver. The path is to the right of the photograph

 

A train crosses the railway bridge on its way to Nantwich Station. 

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WHILE I was in the area I popped along to the airman's grave, and snapped this picture of brightness in a sad area.


 

NEARBY- although perhaps I shouldn't be too precise about the location in case there are any local vandals reading this (!) - I found an example of the Nantwich in Bloom Committee being hard at work.

    More hanging flower baskets? A clean-up of an untidy area? A spot of mass replanting? A little arm-twisting on reluctant land owners? No. None of these.

   The people who have helped to bring about success for the town in the Britain in Bloom competition (ably assisted by the town's gardeners, of course!) have been putting up bird nesting boxes.

    It seems there is more to blooming success than flowers. Nesting boxes and the residents - as part of the general floral ambience of an area - are some of the things the judges look for! More power to the Committee's collective elbows.   

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