Northbrook view – 1910

We love this picture. It just oozes past times when elderly gents had time to stand and stare. As the poet William Henry Davis says:

What is this life if, full of care,
We have no time to stand and stare.
No time to stand beneath the boughs
And stare as long as sheep or cows.
No time to see, when woods we pass,
Where squirrels hide their nuts in grass.
No time to see, in broad daylight,
Streams full of stars, like skies at night.
No time to turn at Beauty’s glance,
And watch her feet, how they can dance.
No time to wait till her mouth can
Enrich that smile her eyes began.
A poor life this if, full of care,
We have no time to stand and stare.

And here we have an unknown man standing and staring and, hopefully, feeling content.

Northbrook view in 1910

Northbrook view in 1910

We are looking along the Northbrook stream towards the roundabout where Grove Road, Canada Rise and Parsonage Lane all meet. Stream Cottage is visible on the right side of the stream.

Our information for this Walton series card comments that it was taken in 1910 and shows how it was possible for the stream bed to be used as a ‘road’ in the days of the horse and cart. In fact on Market days in the early 19th century the stream was part of a one way system because there was so much congestion on High Street.

There’s nothing new about congestion, but the 19th century solution of using the stream was ideal in its day for cart wheels needed moisture to swell them up and make sure spokes and tyres didn’t get loose. It would not be at all suitable for present day motor traffic.


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