Sunday, March 18, 2007

Boarded Up and Forgotten

Station, originally uploaded by Neorelix.

But not by yours truly. Cambridge sits on the edge of the Fens, a large area, approx. 1 million acres, of East Anglia. The whole area used to be under water and everyone from the Romans on tried to drain them in order to use the ultra-fertile land. Success was limited (with a good effort by Dutchman Cornelius Vermuyden, the architect of the drainage infrastructure) until the arrival of steam power in the early 19th Century which meant that the previously unreliable wind-powered pumps were replaced by engines and more recently by diesel and electric pumps. Their efficiency is such that now many of the older pumping stations are now unused, like this one near Earith– a beet's throw from where I grew up and about 15 miles outside Cambridge. I've always been tempted to buy this, do a tv-makeover thing, and live a Ratty-esque life on the river, communing with nature. But the flaw would be mosquitos surely?