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john davies
notes from a small vicar
from a parish
in Liverpool, UK

    Saturday, August 20, 2005
    Above Glasson Dock

    D. J. Clark's wonderful photograph of where I sat today, on a bench above Glasson Dock. Ham butties, flask of tea, a good book, content for once in the role of the little middle-aged man I'm becoming. Heysham's four advanced gas-cooled nuclear reactors dominate this coast, their scale matching their enormous output - 2400 MW, enough to supply most of north west England, their luminous decor as out-of-sorts with the surrounding scenery as their waste is with the waters in which it is dumped.

    Lots of butterflies cross the coastal path by Cockersand Abbey, its Chapter House still standing, its door firmly locked. This is a solitary place today; in the twelfth century it was a centre of power. A Charter of Cockersand Abbey written about 1200 gives one of the first documented references to the township of Aintree, One Tree, the Cockersand monks granting land there. The power has shifted now. Leaving the lazy Lune cow pastures behind, I come home via Aintree Racecourse Retail Park, its massive concrete concourse bustling with business for Bensons, Comet and B&Q.