Arriving at my fieldsite this morning I was struck by the appealing view that can be seen from this bench in the corner of the carpark. Without the overgrown shrubbery this bench affords a clear view down the river towards the Iron Bridge but we’re out of the peak tourist season so the plants have been allowed to have their way for a while. It got me thinking about the structuring of tourist sightseeing – with benches placed in particular spots, or trees and plants cleared to make space for a key sightline.
What is also noticeable, in contrast, is the impossibility of recreating many of the images tourists will have seen prior to their visit. Before I first visited I thought the Museum of the Gorge was on a lake based on the images here: http://www.ironbridge.org.uk/our-attractions/museum-of-the-gorge/ Despite my best tries this is the closest I could get to recreating that image (without a boat!)
As a final thought I was struck by how ever changing places are, with momentary differences in temperature and light transforming the spaces we are in. As this morning’s grey clouds began to part and it began to get warmer a sudden mist appeared on the river. A view I’ve seen many times before was transformed momentarily into something entirely different.