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Monday 18 April 2011

Snibston Lines and Connections

My third and final walk to Snibston started at the pink gates of Belvoirdale School near Coalville's town centre, and followed the route of the old railway line that used to transport coal from the mines.

Our walk took us along these lines, noticing the crossings of bridges and paths, and then climbing the hill through the country park.

Our first clue to where we were was the long straight path from the car park at the supermarket which goes towards town and then crosses over, eventually linking to the old rail track that Snibston still use for steam train rides.  The straightness of the path immediately made us wonder if it had been a rail line, when one of the children, Reuben, being sharp eyed, spotted the rail gate that is still at the end of the path, which confirmed our suspicions!

When I look at maps of Coalville, no matter what era the map is from I can always orientate where Snibston is by identifying the shape of the railway.  For me, the gentle curve of the rail line has become the signature of Snibston.

The shape of the walk from Belvoirdale with railway line
The walk took on the theme of lines:  we noticed the rail lines but also a ladder on a roof that seemed to lead nowhere.  We noticed cracks in glass panes or paintwork that suggested maps.  We found paths that connected to other paths, creating networks and straight lines.

Once at Snibston I showed the group how to make prints, and we all drew things that we had found on the walk.  Their drawings and prints were great!

My third map is inspired by this print by Liam, aged 7:

Liam made a print of the ladder we had seen that led nowhere.  He then repeated his print, and made another one for the corner shapes, so the print turned back on itself and joined up again.

Liam's print looks like a ladder.  But it could also be a railway line.  It could also be a map.  I love that it almost echoes the shape of our walk, returning back to the beginning, just as we walked back to where we started.

My final map will be about following lines and connecting back to the routes we discovered.

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