Friday, 7 September 2012

THE ESSEX TYROL


At nine in the morning it is already to hot,
We pull up and I get out of the car to make a drawing,

My dad and me are driving along the River Stour’s valley.
This river is born in Cambridgeshire, and weaves its way into Suffolk and Essex.

Now stretched out before us a valley of trees and cornfields with the line of the river and the railway line that runs alongside to keep it company clearly, delineated by a line of willows.

A once navigable waterway, woven silk, from the town of Sudbury, would travel out to the rest of the world. The River Stour was one of the first improved rivers or canals in England. In 1705 Parliament passed an Act for making it  ‘navigable from the town of Manningtree, in the county of Essex, to the town of Sudbury, in the county of Suffolk'.

Now on this peaceful Saturday small breezes disturb hedgerow poppies and daisies. A landscape unchanged from Constable's time, this is Constable Country.

Locals call it the 'Essex Tyrol' because it the terrain is so up and down
All green and gold punctuated by thatch and red brick.