Geograph Blog ::

Beating the clock

By David Howard

Having spent my first year doing specific Geograph trips, the almost sudden switch to getting dark at 4pm originally worked to put the mockers on my plans for some while, as I'd spent six years already with the digital camera covering local views and other trips made generally, and was round to the long hauls (relatively anyway) for me and there is no way I can get 50 miles and then record half the return journey by 4pm. But I kept going by filling in green patches till January or so, and had almost completed my first hectad as a result. Then it started getting light a little longer and the great news was after an unquantified number of years my only sensible route east (I'd been forced to learn why as a result), the North Circular Road, had been widened and was now open for business. I met my first ambition soon after (in the forums as my only resolution for 2012) by accidentally getting to Essex (see display photo) simply as I wanted to stop for a square and turned left until it was safe. This turned out to be due east, as the main road turned sharp south, and by the time I found a layby on returning home discovered I'd crossed the county border and entered Buckhurst Hill.

Now that direction is finally free I covered a route close to my heart as my late grandparents lived in Ilford until 1965 for my grandpa and 1975 for my grandma, and most weeks went along the route from Kingsbury where I am again till 1965, and Finchley subsequently. I had already made a video of the trip in 2002 but not yet been with a still camera.
TQ4288 : Junction of Eastern Avenue and The Drive by David Howard

That followed a trip the previous day in the opposite direction to the edge of Sussex, and although I Streetview as much as possible for my other hobby of collecting pre-1964 road signs I hadn't quite covered the route (I didn't even know which road I'd be taking until I got there) and found an incredibly rare 'low gear now' on the way back a few miles north, and found it was already recorded here but not findable as hadn't been named or tagged. I don't know how many others may be in the shadows but I was very lucky I found it as it was completely random.

TQ1843 : Pre-Worboys low gear sign, Henfold Lane by David Howard

I have a series of routes planned till the spring, extending as the days get longer, and would have gone to Kent today had we not had a few inches of snow overnight. I even reached 4th on the leaderboard after three successive days of trips last week, and nearly a fourth had I had a chance the following day. So despite our governments (every single one) removing an hour of daylight despite every other country in the world being an hour ahead I have kept filling in my map. How the map crashed the exact day I finished the last trip I will never know, but Barry did a wonderful job tracking it all down and got it going again today after about a week of reverting to earlier versions. I found one click to raise a distant view of the new areas a couple of days ago but now it is all thankfully back to normal and have now put the last five on the road map as well, something I wanted to see for a while but didn't realise it was either possible or as easy, expecting to have to spend hours entering photos by hand, but they're all programmed in already and each takes a few minutes. And as it's been so long since I went to Ilford, a lot longer on the High Road, I didn't know the traffic situation. As soon as I reached it in Goodmayes the view of well over a mile of stationary traffic meant a quick look at the map (I've never understood why people don't think they're good enough any more) and went back on parallel roads and left the chaos behind me.
TQ4687 : Shops on Goodmayes High Road by David Howard

The next day I heard on the radio a building had collapsed in the centre of Ilford and presumably happened just before I'd got there. As a result I have many more rows of old houses now rather than the High Road, but didn't hold me back at all.

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Sun, 5 Feb 2012 at 18:37
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geotagged! TQ4094
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