Martin in Gatineau Park

Martin in Gatineau Park

Sunday, 5 January 2014

'Stretford Reach', a sculpture by Paul Bearman and Stephen Hitchin

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I pass through Stretford frequently these days, as the good surface of the Bridgewater Way provides an ideal venue for an off-road bike ride in times when it can be quite muddy elsewhere.  I don’t mind the mud, but it does result in a lot of faffing cleaning both bike and clothes after each muddy ride.

I usually whizz past this sculpture with the following SW wind whooshing me along.  On the way back, my head is down – battling against that same wind.  But it’s a warm wind and doesn’t have the debilitating effect of early 2013’s unrelenting freezing easterlies. The weather between the wet periods can be lovely, as it was last Saturday when these pictures were taken.

The sculpture was installed in 2003, on a very solid base. I wonder how many residents notice it?

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More recently, the Bridgewater Way upgrade to the canal towpath has been accompanied by numerous information boards, like this one next to the sculpture.  It has recently been cleaned and looks new, thanks to the surface being easily purged of graffiti.

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A little to the south, Watch House Cruising Club generally has a few barges outside, taking advantage of the Club’s facilities. I try to slow down here, as even if the path is deserted the locals have a tendency to jump out and reprimand speeding mountain bikers!

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