Saturday, April 10, 2021

Ryall, Worcestershire


Somewhere in rural Worcestershire, on a road I use quite often when there are no restrictions on travel, these pleasant curves pop up near the roadside. They’re one of the rural landmarks that tell me roughly where I am, how near I might be to one town or another, and they take their place in the ranks of field barns, outlying farms, lone pines, lonelier pubs, and telephone boxes on corners as my personal markers. I suppose I first noticed these buildings because they’re pale in colour, standing out from but harmonising with the surrounding landscape, as they harmonise with the cow parsley blooms in this view, taken when I finally stopped to take a better look.

They confirmed my liking for corrugated-iron buildings with curved roofs – the barns, railway sheds, Nissen huts, and other structures I’ve noticed here from time to time. And they confirm too that corrugated iron can look good in colours other than the usual green or the railway liveries now seen mostly at preserved or ‘heritage’ stations. I think they probably show the material’s adaptability too. I don’t know how these sheds began life – I’d not be surprised if they were built for agricultural use, given where they are. But they now seem to be used as some sort of automotive body-repair shop. They can’t be a bad fit for this use: they are spacious and provide plenty of headroom for vehicles much larger than the chunky classic Land-Rover in the foreground. The shelter and space are no doubt useful for paint jobs too. A good honest working building: so often, that’s just what’s needed.

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