Author Topic: The Old Canal and the Old Town Railway Cutting  (Read 6700 times)

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Offline abdullahazzam

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The Old Canal and the Old Town Railway Cutting
« on: July 23, 2008, 01:38:50 pm »

As promised, here are a couple of albums that some of you may find quite interesting. The photographs have not all been labelled or tagged, so there is still some more work to be done on them.
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Offline Margie

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Re: The Old Canal and the Old Town Railway Cutting
« Reply #1 on: July 23, 2008, 08:17:57 pm »
Did you get any photos of the (4?) wheels with the writing on them at intervals along the old railway path?  They always make me think of its railway history - which I guess is what they were meant to do.  The text is a bit cryptic so I've often ended up puzzling over the exact meaning.

Offline Alex

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Re: The Old Canal and the Old Town Railway Cutting
« Reply #2 on: July 23, 2008, 09:04:34 pm »
Great photos Abdullahazzam. I've got some old ones of the canal and front garden before the building started which I took for posterity  in 2004. I love the area and walk it regularly.

Margie, I think the 4 wheels represent the four elements of earth, fire , air and water and how these elements relate to the engines as they made their way along the track. I've noticed that each element is the one that feels the most appropriate for the position of that particular wheel. I could be wrong, this is just my take on it.  :)

Offline komadori

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Re: The Old Canal and the Old Town Railway Cutting
« Reply #3 on: July 24, 2008, 01:00:21 am »
I've looked at the four wheels along the line many times, and never managed to work out what the inscriptions on some of them mean.
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Offline Margie

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Re: The Old Canal and the Old Town Railway Cutting
« Reply #4 on: July 24, 2008, 09:08:32 pm »
Margie, I think the 4 wheels represent the four elements of earth, fire , air and water and how these elements relate to the engines as they made their way along the track. I've noticed that each element is the one that feels the most appropriate for the position of that particular wheel. I could be wrong, this is just my take on it.  :)

Now you mention it I think I had been aware about the four elements but had forgotten as I haven't been up there for a while.  But I like your idea about each one having the appropriate placing - I'll definitely have to go and have another look now!
 :)

Offline abdullahazzam

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Re: The Old Canal and the Old Town Railway Cutting
« Reply #5 on: July 26, 2008, 02:55:10 pm »
I did take some shots of the wheels, but they turned out badly. The writing on the wheels was not at all clear. I also seem to remember that some of the wheels had graffiti on them - maybe this is not present on all of the wheels?
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Offline Alex

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Re: The Old Canal and the Old Town Railway Cutting
« Reply #6 on: July 26, 2008, 07:32:34 pm »
I think one or two are clear of graffitti ( well they were last week). The words also relate to the carved words across the path on the ground which are often obliterated by the asphalt.


Offline komadori

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Re: The Old Canal and the Old Town Railway Cutting
« Reply #7 on: July 26, 2008, 11:51:02 pm »
I walked along the line today, on my way home from the Mela. All the wheels I passed (which was all except for the one at Rushy Platt) had grafitti on.
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Offline abdullahazzam

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Re: The Old Canal and the Old Town Railway Cutting
« Reply #8 on: July 28, 2008, 06:08:30 pm »
I returned to the cycle path on Saturday afternoon and took some shots of each of the wheels. There are five wheels, from the Old Town direction towards the railway and Wootton Bassett Road they are Earth, Air, Fire, Water and Conceive. Each wheel has two parts, a small wheel showing the Element, and a large wheel with a short piece of poetry. In addition, there is a length of wood crossing the path between each of the wheel pairs. Each of these lengths of wood has two words written on them, as far as I could tell. Some are completely buried beneath the gravel and hard to get to, some were merely very hard to uncover, although I did manage to see some of them. Here they are:

Wheel no. 1: Earth





Our wheels relinquish and seize
Relinquish and seize

Curious tenderness (second word partially obscured)

Two words not visible?

Wheel no. 2: Air





On hot places behind your knees
On high downs

A ghost is growing

Depth & Disquiet

Wheel no. 3: Fire





Pistons swell and shine
Days are like faces

Steam pumps the sky
This one this

Extinguished (second word covered)

Wheel no. 4 Water





The stream fills a cut
Swills a wave

A new start
Gravel and laughter
Tick tock on the rim

(Two words not visible?)

Wheel no. 5: Conceive





Stepping out
Out of character
You interrogate
A chaos of bearings

Where is the unknown journeyman
With his bag of fives his measuring rod and chisel?

Hand & Eye

So far I have been unable to identify the poetry or the sculptor. Any ideas?
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Offline Alex

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Re: The Old Canal and the Old Town Railway Cutting
« Reply #9 on: July 28, 2008, 09:23:01 pm »
Great stuff, I never knew there were 5 wheels- that's blown my theory out of the water.

If it had been metal as the fifth- it would have related to the tibetan Buddhist 5 elements, but now I'm perplexed.

No  idea who the artist was I'm afraid, or when they were installed. I'll ask around....


Offline ZPW

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Re: The Old Canal and the Old Town Railway Cutting
« Reply #10 on: July 28, 2008, 09:58:24 pm »
Thank you very much abdullahazzam.
Wonderful photographs.


This on the Air wheel
Quote
On hot places behind your knees
On high downs

A ghost is growing

Depth & Disquiet



is chilling is it not?
what a fabulous few lines starting wth prickly heat and concluding with foreboding...

I'll be really interested to know the author.


Offline ZPW

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Re: The Old Canal and the Old Town Railway Cutting
« Reply #11 on: July 28, 2008, 10:04:21 pm »
And what is a bag of fives as mentioned in Concieve?

Quote
Stepping out
Out of character
You interrogate
A chaos of bearings

Where is the unknown journeyman
With his bag of fives his measuring rod and chisel?

Hand & Eye

Is it a part of a stone mason's tool bag? a metalworker's?


Offline Man Of The Woods

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Re: The Old Canal and the Old Town Railway Cutting
« Reply #12 on: July 28, 2008, 10:08:28 pm »
Great photos abdullahazzam.

Searched Google for "Railway Wheels" "Cycle Path" Swindon and got a single link to the Sustrans Cycle Network.

Railway Wheels
Lou Hamilton has designed a series of sculptures to be placed at intervals along the cycle path from Marlborough-Swindon which are based on the path's railway past.


Offline abdullahazzam

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Re: The Old Canal and the Old Town Railway Cutting
« Reply #13 on: July 29, 2008, 04:21:06 pm »
Thanks for the kind words.  :angel:

I did post the wrong photograph for the wheel of Fire - here is the right one:



Thank you Man of the Woods for identifying the artist responsible for creating the wheels. I believe that Lou is also responsible for another scuplture to be found in Swindon, Ghost Hounds 1993. I have also found a digital artist called Lou Hamilton who works in or near Swindon - it seems a little unlikely they are they same person, but could they be?

I have added a few more pages to my album Old Town Railway Cutting, Swindon, Wiltshire, including the shots of the wheels that I took on Saturday.

My initial theory while walking the path was that there would be five wheels - as confirmed by my discoveries. But I was sure that the fifth wheel would be Aether or Spirit, not Conceive. Does that make any sense to anyone else?
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Offline Geoff Reid

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Re: The Old Canal and the Old Town Railway Cutting
« Reply #14 on: August 02, 2008, 04:12:47 pm »
 
I was sure that the fifth wheel would be Aether or Spirit, not Conceive. Does that make any sense to anyone else?

Buddhists believe the fifth element is 'void'. 

I'm toying with the notion that an idea, or several ideas, can be conceived within a void, cross-fertilise each other, and adsorbing substance from the other four elements burst forth upon the world in a creative, and in this case, industrial revolution.

 

Offline Bobby Bingo

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Re: The Old Canal and the Old Town Railway Cutting
« Reply #15 on: August 02, 2008, 09:13:22 pm »
You mentioned the sculpture as Ghost Hounds. I always thought it was called Wish Hounds and Midi Haines unveiled them when she was the Mayor in 1993
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Offline Margie

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Re: The Old Canal and the Old Town Railway Cutting
« Reply #16 on: August 07, 2008, 04:51:10 pm »
Thank you all for so much elucidation on the wheels - there's more to them than I had ever realised - and the photos bring out so much, abdullahazzam.

You mentioned the sculpture as Ghost Hounds. I always thought it was called Wish Hounds and Midi Haines unveiled them when she was the Mayor in 1993

I'm aware of them as the Wish Hounds too.  As far as I know there was some collaboration with a local primary school.  And there are associated words/poems there too, like with the wheels.  Again, I haven't been down there for a couple of years.

Offline Steve Wakefield

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Re: The Old Canal and the Old Town Railway Cutting
« Reply #17 on: January 14, 2010, 11:47:28 am »
Does anyone know what the letters stand for on this wheel, from the old MSWJR path?

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Offline Geoff Reid

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Re: The Old Canal and the Old Town Railway Cutting
« Reply #18 on: January 14, 2010, 01:51:29 pm »

Does anyone know what the letters stand for on this wheel, from the old MSWJR path?



Dunno, looks like there at least 6 letters with only 3 properly visible - XXNCPX - any other photos available?

Offline Alex

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Re: The Old Canal and the Old Town Railway Cutting
« Reply #19 on: January 14, 2010, 05:17:46 pm »
Looks like the Conceive wheel with some of the letters eroded. Still not sure what it refers to but after I've finished a philosophy book I'm reading ( which may take some time) I may be a bit wiser.  :)

 

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