Thursday, 20 August 2009

step back in time...

Over 100 years ago, my great grandfather worked here at this old engineering works and yesterday I was lucky enough to get close to this amazing building, from the Gloucester to Sharpness Canal that runs along side it. Gloucester, the UK's most inland Docks, is undergoing somewhat of a renaissance with a new shopping centre, new hotel, supermarket and a college. It is a shame that some of these buildings have been knocked down and replaced with modern box like structures which aren't in keeping with the historic architecture of the docks, no doubt looking at the state of this one, it will be the next to go.

I looked at this monument to engineering greatness that the city used to have and the other empty factories along this canal and was almost angry that beautiful buildings like this could be left, ignored, like overgrown gravestones. I imagined my great grandfather looking out of the window, down on a dirty canal filled with barges of coal pulled along by horses on the towpath. He would be wearing a flat cap, with a cigarette hanging out of his mouth. He played rugby for his local club Gloucester for over twenty years and we proudly have his picture wearing the famous cherry and white stripe kit hung in our home. The factory was only closed on a Sunday for church, so he went to church then played rugby, no family time in those days, he even got married on Christmas Day in 1900, just so he could play in the traditional Boxing Day rugby match!

I felt as though I was retracing his footsteps yesterday, that I was in an episode of 'Who do you think you are?' I wished I could of met these great characters that I have heard so much about, I wonder what they would think of me...?

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