It’s finally turned as cold as it should be and this morning saw the first rather poor attempt at a frost although that wont have deterred the all night party goers in Brampton. In the days of old when the wherries made their way up the Navigation this was an interesting time of year as the last of the harvest needed carriage and supplies of winter warmth in the form of coal had to be delivered along the way.
The dydlers, the Navigation’s maintainence men, will have been busy preparing for winter and an overall air of expectation settled over the river. The shortened days soon to be more dark than light meant that everything had to be squeezed in to the time available. It’s a really magical time particularly first thing in the morning around and just after dawn as the mist hangs thick and grey giving everything a sparkling and mysterious appearance. The boats would have gently emerged from the misty curtain as they wound their way from collection to delivery. The crews quanting when the wind dies or sailing with that crisp but cold East Anglian wind that cuts across the valley. Fuelled by hot tea or even coffee from the stove these men knew the meaning of hard work but also the beauty of living in tune with the changing seasons.
The other thing about autumn is the certain knowledge and anticipation that things will get worse before they get better. It is a time of cold which leads to greater cold. Brrrr !!!