This delightful postcard found its way into my collection because it is such a lovely view. It is an area that I have walked in the past (up the river from Arundel) and it is within the boundaries of the South Downs National Park and at one time was on the route of the South Downs Way, but that was moved a bit further north away from the busy road.
As the caption says, this it “THE RIVER AT HOUGHTON”, the river itself is the River Arun in West Sussex and we are looking roughly south-west down river as it snakes its way towards Arundel and eventually to Littlehampton (about ten miles away) where it meets the sea.
Houghton is a small hamlet which is just up the little road on the right of the picture. I believe the photograph was actually taken near Houghton Bridge and more specifically from the tip of the little island on which the middle of the bridge rests.
The photographer responsible was Frederick Douglas Miller of Haywards Heath, whose name is embossed in the bottom right-hand corner, who produced some of the most outstanding picture postcards of Sussex.
This postcard was posted from Arundel on the 7th June 1920 (at least I think it is 1920). It was sent to a Miss Acford in London and has the rather puzzling message: Thanks very much for “Punch” and information. I am hoping there will be a little change left out of it when we come home. We are having lovely weather – cold winds night and morning but gloriously hot and sunny all day – hope it will last. Yrs A.
I spent another Saturday walking in London with my friend Chris, completing (almost) another couple of sections of the Capital Ring. This time we picked up from where we left off last week at Richmond Park and headed generally in a northerly direction to end at South Greenford railway station.
There was a definite theme to today’s walk: water. Within about ten minutes of getting off the bus we were beside the River Thames and followed this for a couple of miles. The riverside at Richmond was just starting to wake up, cafes and bars preparing for the day and some activity on the boats on the river.
This was the first time I have been alongside the Thames outside of central London, and it was really quite nice, lots of old buildings and signs of the previous commercial aspects of the river. The picture above is of Richmond Lock, with some quite fantastic ironwork on the bridge crossing the river.
After leaving the river the route cuts across Syon Park, past the rather plain looking Syon House (pictured below). I don’t know what is inside Syon House, but it seemed quite a popular place with all sorts of facilities in the vicinity, although the car park was a bit of a building site. Syon Park (like Richmond Park last week) was spoilt by the constant stream of aeroplanes passing right overhead on the way to Heathrow Airport.
Soon however we were alongside water again, this time the Grand Union Canal at Brentford Lock. This is the first time I have really spent any time walking alongside a canal, and wish we had walked further along the towpath. There are not many canals in Sussex, although many stretches of river were made navigable at various times. We were never far away from traffic noise, modern buildings or housing, but there was a plenty of things to see on and along the canal.
I believe that if we had carried on walking we would have eventually ended up in Birmingham, but we had to leave the towpath at Hanwell (with it’s flight of six locks) and follow the course of the River Brent, still more water! We followed the river for a couple more miles, before arriving at Wharncliffe Viaduct.
I had been looking forward to viewing this masterpiece of railway engineering since I had read it was on our route. It was designed by my hero Isambard Kingdom Brunel and I stood and marvelled at this remarkable example of Brunel’s handiwork. After passing under the viaduct and taking a quick detour into Brent Lodge Park we continued along the side of the river for a few more miles, but interest was beginning to dwindle and the landscape becoming more developed.
This was one of the most enjoyable sections of the Capital Ring so far. I especially enjoyed walking alongside the canal, although the industrial past of the canal system has all but vanished, there are still traces of it’s history on the banks. Perhaps one day (or several days) I will follow the canal all the way to Birmingham.