David Jones, artist and poet (1895-1974) begins his PREFACE TO THE ANATHEMATA :

'I have made a heap of all that I could find.' (1) So wrote Nennius, or whoever composed the introductory matter to Historia Brittonum. He speaks of an 'inward wound' which was caused by the fear that certain things dear to him 'should be like smoke dissipated'. Further, he says, 'not trusting my own learning, which is none at all, but partly from writings and monuments of the ancient inhabitants of Britain, partly from the annals of the Romans and the chronicles of the sacred fathers, Isidore, Hieronymous, Prosper, Eusebius and from the histories of the Scots and Saxons although our enemies . . . I have lispingly put together this . . . about past transactions, that [this material] might not be trodden under foot'. (2)

(1) The actual words are coacervavi omne quod inveni, and occur in Prologue 2 to the Historia.
(2) Quoted from the translation of Prologue 1. See The Works of Gildas and Nennius, J.A.Giles, London 1841.

02 July 2009

Rebuiding Bridges

What could be more cheering than bridge rebuilding? Yesterday's message on the door of the Hepburn General Store announced one such happy event.

2009.07.01_General Store door_7th St bridge_400w

Two years ago on a Friday August afternoon, without any community consultation, one of our local pedestrian bridges was ripped out by the Relevant Authorities in a 2 hour smash and grab.

Suspecting this might signal more of the same, the following Monday morning some of us set up an early watch at the Seventh Street pedestrian bridge over Doctors Gully.

Sure enough at 8.30 the Relevant Authorities returned to extract that footbridge too.

The word went out and more residents rushed to support the blockade.

After a while the Council backed off and within hours we held our first meeting with Parks Victoria. Over the next two years we met many times. Plans were drawn, funds were sought and received, and gradually it was done.

2009.02_repair work at 7th st footbridge #1_sRGB

Thank you to all who helped to remake this historic local walkway, especially to Karen Doyle of Parks Victoria.

It was great yesterday to see so many Parks Vic personnel attend the opening, along with the bridge designer, the engineers who oversaw the construction and an impressive turnout of locals.

Next project, to get the historic Fifth Street bridge restored to pedestrian use.

5th Street bridge_400