The River Avon – Shakespeare’s Avon – runs through our village. Shallow and wide, it provided an easy crossing here, one of only two between Warwick and Stratford. The river rises up near Naseby, flows for 85 miles to its confluence with the Severn near Tewkesbury.
Most mornings before breakfast I take a walk through the village to the river. It is constant but ever changing as the varying weather transforms the river.
The waters rise and fall, flooding the water meadows in spells of wet weather. It brings debris which becomes stranded on the banks, small islands and overhanging branches. Much of the debris is natural material – logs, branches, grasses, leaves. But occasionally refuse becomes caught up – an old pallet, a sofa, plastic bottles.
I wonder how a sofa has found its way to the island by our bridge. It will wait there until the next big flood when the rushing waters will collect it and take it on the next leg of its journey. One day when it arrives in Stratford it will be removed before the sight of it offends the tourists.
There is wildlife on the river, I stop and wait quietly and see what each morning brings.
Mallards are resident along the river, swans often raise a brood of cygnets here, the heron – very, very shy – is usually seen standing fishing, and if we are really lucky a kingfisher or two might make an appearance. A streak of iridescent turquoise dashing past just above the water level. This week there was a small, white egret which is a first.
In the bushes and trees along the bank can be seen all kinds of birds including warblers, tits and once a little goldcrest.
On one of my walks a few weeks ago I noticed an old, rusty fence post lying by the bridge.
It lay there for a couple of days tempting me. How did it get there? It certainly hadn’t floated on the river but there it was, stranded .
The temptation was too great, I carried it home all the while wondering where it had come from, which field it has been in, how old was it, who had made it?
It is all too easy to forget the person who made an old discarded item, who used it, who maintained it. I want to pay tribute to those people by embedding the memory of the post in cloth.
I have a cotton scarf that has been in my store for a while. Strips can be wound round the post and left to see what marks appear.
I want to stitch into the lengths of cloth with a yarn whose colour is sympathetic to those of the cloth. With this in mind I have decided to wrap some fine linen yarn around the post so that it will take on a similar colour palette.
Now that I have some cloth and yarn that have taken their colour from the post I can begin to work with it. I will post some further images as the work progresses.