RogerBW's Blog

A Walk at Goring (May 2014) 29 May 2014

Last Sunday, we went for a walk on the Thames Path near Goring. Images follow: cc-by-sa on everything.

Muddy puddle

The colours in this muddy puddle were quite surprising. There'd been some heavy rain on the Saturday, but the water was fairly clear by this point. The green swathes were only on the north side of the path.

View of the river

This bit of the Thames Path has bushy trees with gaps between them, ideal for a picnic watching the river.

Unknown house

This rather lovely house seems to have fallen into some disrepair. Please note that, unlike modern builders, its designers were aware that sometimes rivers do in fact rise.

FlowersMore flowers Still more flowersEven more flowers

A small meadow, kept thus by some sort of trust rather than used for grazing, with a variety of unexpected wildflowers.

Railway bunker

This bunker is built against a railway bridge, oddly enough facing upstream. I have no idea why. Reading seems a long way up-river to be worrying about invaders.

Viaduct plantsMore viaduct plants

These trees were growing happily on the pillars of the railway bridge.

London-bound train

Quite an active bridge; this is the main Great Western line.


Obligatory nettles. They're quite attractive really.


Several bored cattle, lying down by the river waiting for something to happen. It is unfortunately easy to sneak up on a cow by accident.


A raft of ducklings broke up just before I could photograph it.

Rose bush in waiting

This rose bush will be glorious in a week or so.

(To save you checking the JPEG metadata, all of these were shot with the Canon Powershot A1300.)

  1. Posted by Owen Smith at 04:44pm on 29 May 2014

    It's a shame Network Rail don't maintain that bridge properly. The tree roots won't be doing the masonry any good at all. The longer they're left, the more expensive the repairs will be. Brunel would be horrified.

  2. Posted by RogerBW at 05:05pm on 29 May 2014

    Indeed. Those conical bits are most definitely structural. And it's Grade II listed.

    But why the pillbox? Some poking about suggests it was part of a network of defences intended to stop a fast (fall-of-France style) German tank advance on London, built in July-August 1940 under Sir Edmund Ironside.

  3. Posted by Chris Bell at 09:05am on 04 June 2014

    I went to Goring again this past Sunday with the Visiting Dog, and you were right: there were between thirty and forty roses out on that bit of the bush which had only one the week before. I must remember it as a place to go for rose-hips when I need them to make syrup with come autumn.

    The puddles were no longer interesting and different: they were one solid mud-colour all over. I didn't see any vehicles and there were no signs that one had gone through recently (the water was all discretely in the puddles) but they were ordinary and dull.

    The trees in the pillars of the bridge remind me of the time in the late sixties when Marples had done his worst to the railways and the country was full of the old permanent ways, with the rails removed for scrap but the foundations not yet used for housing in the towns and villages. They formed a network of carfree paths for dog-walkers to use, with their bridges gradually decaying but not yet dangerous enough for the local councils to realise they had to take them down. They were also wonderful, if perilous, places for children to play. I can't help wondering how many of those old bridges still remain for trolls to live under in Neil Gaiman stories. It's still a bit of a pity if the living railway is being allowed to decay in that same way.

  4. Posted by RogerBW at 09:15am on 04 June 2014

    Some of those old railway routes became official cycle/foot paths, such as the Bristol and Bath Railway Path (formerly the Midland Railway Mangotsfield and Bath Branch Line). But that isn't allowed to be boring old ground; it has to be tarmac-ed and have the interest taken out of it.

    Of course, once it's been tarmac-ed, it can be readily turned into a guided busway or otherwise appropriated.

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