Although this isn’t a photo blog, photography is an interest of mine, therefore I thought I’d try my hand at the weekly ‘lens-artists photo challenge‘, but with the added twist of still trying to tie it into the adventures and travels I write about.
This week’s ‘challenge’ subject is history, which is right up my street. So with camera in hand (well on the passenger seat) I set off one lunchtime in Ratty with the intention of photographing something historic!
Not historic, but you find all sorts of interesting things when you drive off down the little winding lanes. This little side of the road honesty shop sells fantastic looking home made produce – sufficed to say I picked up a few things, it would have been rude not too!
The thing is, if you think about it, history is all around us. Everywhere you look there are signs of the past and of the people that came before us. Some, like Stonehenge, are obvious to us all, whilst others, like that plaque on a wall that you walk past everyday, not so – they sit there long forgotten by the world around them.
I guess that’s what drew me to these war memorials. There’s probably a similar style memorial in most English villages, and generally beautifully kept and obviously loved – which is why I was surprised to see these two to be in such a poor state of repair.
These WWI memorials are a marker of the people who lived before us, and were built as a tribute to those that they loved and lost. They were important to these people, they were saved for, paid for, cared for, and looked after with blood, sweat and tears – they recorded and immortalised those that had died and helped a grieving nation come to terms with what had happened to it.
But as time moves on, and communities die and change, the things that are important to us change with it. These monuments from the past are often neglected and forgotten, left to turn into dust and ash, and like those that built and loved them, to fade away into mists of history, never to return.
Another thing I thought about whilst driving around the countryside looking for history, is that I was actually driving on it. These roads that we drive on, from the massive high-speed motorways to the forgotten back lanes winding their way through villages, valleys, fields and woodlands. What history must they have seen? How many people have travelled their paths? What were their stories and what errands were they running? As I sit in my little red car and ponder this, just another (strange) traveller along this road – aren’t I just adding to it’s history?