Wednesday, 16 September 2009

On returning to the UK three years after it was evacuated

I came back today. It's hard to imagine that three years ago this was a busy little road, thronging with cars in the rush hour.

Of course, it was inevitable that when the UK had to be evacuated things would gradually fall apart. In some ways it's surprising that there hasn't been more deterioration. I keep expecting to come around a corner and find houses occupied, children playing.

On the whole, the tarmac has survived well. There was just the tiniest sign that nature was beginning the gradual process of destruction. A small clump of grass that had broken through (just above the leaf at the bottom). But it is the way things will go from now on.

I don't know why, but I found the Give Way sign, soon to be hidden by the plants, particularly poignant. Give way to what? Emptiness.

I don't think I will come back to these islands again. It's too sad. Too sad.

If (like me with Derren Brown) you aren't happy with the explanation of these photos, here's an alternative one. One of my dog walks takes me up a road called Lady Lane. For reasons best known to itself, the local council has stopped traffic using this road by sticking barriers at each end - but everything else has been left to gradually decay as nature takes over. It's fascinating, and a little spooky when it's quiet.

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