Monday, 17 August 2009

Lea Farm Drive Dérive

Wednesday August 5th 2009. We left Parkinson Court at the University of Leeds at approximately 5.00pm. Four members of the group were present. This dérive picked up where the Miniature Boulder Dérive left off, so the route had already been mapped out. The walk was concentrated at the South end of the university campus. This was our first evening dérive. The evening light, created a different ambience:

Evening Light

Below is the map of the route, including a superimposed map which was used to create the zigzag path made by the method mentioned in the previous blog.

Map and Route of Dérive

One of our stopping places was Leeds General Infirmary. We moved through the hospital, as if tourists. At one point a security guard came and asked us if we were looking for the exit. Whether he had overheard us, or was concerned about our photograph-taking, was not apparent.

We visited the Worsley Building again, which is a behemoth; truly a beautiful example of the 60s 'brutalist' architecture, very impressive. This is where the School of Dentistry is (no connection between brutalism and tooth extraction). Below is an image of the building from a short distance away, from a stopping point that took us slightly outside the perimeter of the campus:

Worsley Building

In the above image, the small triangular area on the opposite side of the road was unkempt. There was graffiti, much rubbish, cracked paving stones, broken pieces of metal sticking out of the ground. It is not clear if the property is that of the university, or the council. People seemed to use it to park their cars, in the spaces between the trees.

Much building work is being carried out on campus at the moment, the biggest project since the Chamberlin, Powell and Bon project of the 1960s. The contractors have signed up to the The Considerate Constructors Scheme, which is a code of conduct. On one of the hoardings around the new swimming pool area this tagline is displayed: “Improving the Image of Construction”. Unfortunately, this marketing move implies that it is just the 'image' of construction that needs to be improved rather than the 'reality' (although they could be considered to be one and the same, especially from the perspective of 'the spectacle').

At the end of the dérive, approximately 7.00pm, we realised that we had not picked up a found souvenir. We looked down at our feet and there was a bus ticket lying on the floor at this location:

The Bus Stop

The ticket said “Lea Farm Drive, Seacroft” on it, hence the name of the dérive. Having finished our walk we then entered the Victoria pub from the back entrance, which is a concrete ramp next to a car park in a modern building. You pass the trade bins to enter, in the semi-dark, a door and, going back in time, you emerge into Victoriana. It was rather like going through the back of the wardrobe to Narnia.

(all maps and images CC Tim Waters)

No comments:

Post a Comment