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Bristol , United Kingdom
My fourth poetry collection, The Shadow Factory, will be published by Indigo Dreams Publishing in 2019. I am co-director of the Leaping Word Poetry Consultancy. https://theleapingword.com

Thursday, 24 January 2019

Looking for Bob Dylan at Aust

Iconic is an over-used word but for older Bristolians, this photo probably is. 






It was taken by Barry Feinstein on 11th May 1966, and shows a 25-year-old Bob Dylan at the Old Passage ferry terminal, Aust, following his gig at the Colston Hall the previous evening.  He's en route for Cardiff, which just happens to be where we saw him perform some 50 years later.

And this is the same spot, more or less, today. The reason for the falling-into-disuse you can see is (just) visible in the background of both photos - the now old, but then very very new Severn Bridge, which was to open in September 1966. 


It's hard to know exactly where the photo was taken. For a start, you aren't supposed to go in (but the fence has been broken down).  


Inside it's very overgrown ...


... and the wooden buildings you can see in the photo of Dylan have  almost completely rotted away.


The concrete toilet block is still standing. 


... and did Bob Himself pass through this turnstile on his way to the Gents?


In the older photo, you can see a couple of mooring pins behind Bob, and there's one still visible here now ...


... but it's in the wrong place for it to be THE pin, just behind His Greatness. A photo taken here would show the toilet block. 

So it must have been taken further down, but it's hard to tell where exactly because of all the foliage. 


We decided to walk out as far as we could to the end of the necessarily very long jetty. 


It was icy and muddy and four years plus one day since I fell and broke my leg, so I was taking it steady.


This far out you can appreciate the aquatic nature of the warth, which is covered twice a day by the third fastest- and highest-rising tide in the world. 


We squelched our way back up to the causeway under the cliff ...


... then wandered down towards the landmark stripy section*, which was looking beautiful in January sunlight. 

*technical term


The rocks tell us that all this area was once desert but then became sea 210 million years ago. They're backed up by an information board claiming the same. 


There are fossils in the upper levels that drop down onto the beach from time to time. As a result, fossils hunters proliferate here. We found an abandoned hammer. (No traces of blood.)


It was the old bridge that was attracting most of my attention, though. 

It's like Concorde to the newer bridge's Airbus. 


Talking of which, looking south in its direction, we could see it was time to leave. 


What's more, the back of the ferry buildings were starting to look like they might be haunted by something more sinister than a young singer-songwriter from Duluth, Minnesota. 







Spoils









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