Thursday, 29 June 2017

The benign and fairly gentle River Mersey

The Mersey up by the meadows and down past Jackson’s Boat can seem a benign and fairly gentle stretch of water.

And this picture taken some time in the early 20th century captures just such a moment.

It was taken on the edge of the township by Red Bank Farm which was lonely outposts hard by the river, well away from the rest of community.

It is a peaceful scene on a warm sunny day and you can see why our commercial photographer went to the trouble to take the scene.  As it turns out he took more than one and there are a whole series shot on the same day along this part of the water.

He must have had it easier then to get the water’s edge.  Most of the river at this point is today viewed from towering banks built and added to over the centuries as the main defence against a powerful threat to the lives and livelihoods of all those who lived beside it.

Generations of farmers have laboured to construct this natural wall to repel the flood waters of the Mersey and three are plenty of moments when our benign and fairly gentle stretch of water burst even these defences, in what were sometimes flash floods and often such an immense tide of water that it created a huge lake several miles wide across the meadows.

Here below in the February of 1991 the Mersey was just lapping the top of the uppermost bank.

A scene so different from another warm summers day in 2009.

Pictures; from the Lloyd collection and the collections of David Bishop and Andrew Simpson

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