: Eccentric and Nomadic
17th November 2021
might be wrong and, if so, no doubt someone
will correct me, but it is my understanding
that the flooding in Kendal resulting from
Storm Desmond in 2015 was not entirely due
to the Lakeland fells emptying into the
River Kent but was considerably exacerbated
by the water running down from Benson Knott,
the hill on the east side of town, overwhelming
in that direction is an old reservoir called
Birds Park, originally built, according
to the British
in about 1850 as a reservoir for the town.
I remember that the taste of the water
used to be distinctly but not unpleasantly
different to that which we now receive (although
that might have come from the Fisher Tarn
Reservoir). In 1980 or thereabouts
Birds Park was closed due to water quality
problems. It was not demolished because
it was thought that it helped protect the
town against flooding. However its
embankment was scheduled to be removed in
2016. Desmond put paid to that. It
is perhaps a good job that the work had
not be done.
has been building a series of
to create a "natural flood
defence" which would hold
back water during a storm event.
must have decided that greater
action was needed. As a result
the reservoir has been drained
and a new overflow channel is
being installed to help prevent
the downstream flood risk.
thought we should go and inspect the works.
make a decent outing, we decided to start
from where I live in Natland to walk along
the old canal bank into town.
was a magnificent arch in the sky......
on the other side of which stood one of
the most remarkable sights I have seen in
town for a long time.
vehicle was parked outside a launderette
that was presumably being put to good use
by its owner. DVLA think it is a 15
year old white Iveco. If they saw
it today, they would soon realise that the
only white left on the van is the neat hand-painted
lettering that relates the philosophy of
its owner, presumably the Eccentric and
Nomadic Edward A Steele.
you look closely at the pictures (enlarge
them) you will see what I mean.
you have time to spare you might actually
want to read the messages. The curve
in the pictures is not the eccentricity
of the van but the consequence of merging
had a good perusal, we moved out of Kendal
to start the climb to the reservoir.
we had crawled (well, almost) through the
tunnel under the railway and climbed up
through the wood, we emerged at the reservoir.
it had been drained and yes, significant
work was taking place.
Utilities had some big machinery in action
and large concrete structures were being
achieved, we headed along Paddy Lane and
aside the Helm whence the Kent estuary
could be seen.
found ourselves outside and then inside
the Punchbowl. It is the first time
I have been in since the Two
Tribes Went To War
in January last year. It is under
new management but the only thing that seemed
to have changed were the faces behind the
we returned back to base, the sun was creating
dramatic lighting effects under the clouds.
I can't tell you any more about the eccentric
and nomadic Mr Steele. He doesn't yet seem
to be known to Uncle Google. Maybe
he will be now.
17th November 2021
Mike, Don, Terry, Tony, Martin