Night Chemistry (and Duck Decoys)

Coming out of Liverpool last night, and driving along the M53/M56, I was reminded of how technology and industry can bring real beauty to the night. The chemical plants on the north side of the Mersey, a series of tangled grey pipes, tubes and retorts by day, turn at night into a vision of loveliness, like a star cluster fallen to Earth. Last night I determined to fix up a visit to some of the plants, to find out why chemical factories need so many spectacular night lights.

So I started Googling around to get a closer look, and to start finding out who I needed to contact to set up the trip. Google Earth seemed like a good place to start. I was traveling (virtually) along the north shore of the Mersey, just past John Lennon Internatonal Airport, when I saw a pentagonal lake with what looked like tentacles coming away from the main body of water. I thought it could only be a signal to space aliens, or a temple built for the unclean worship of Great Cthulhu. And then I realised what it was; what it had to be; a beautifully preserved duck decoy. So now I have to go there too…

2 Responses

  1. Graham Southgate says:

    Ian. When I went to South Wales for the cremation of my uncle, I was mightily impressed by the bleak landscape of Port Talbot with its grey water and its steelworks, and I was happy to see Uncle Paul’s wispy remains blending up in the lower troposphere with the gaseous effluent from the molten steel. I think he would have been happy too. We drank whisky and ate salmon sandwiches. he would have liked that, too. It was a shme he was dead really, he missed a lot that day.

  2. Dan says:

    Check this site Ian – choose a thread and scroll down for usually remarkable pics of access to industrial sites (mostly, ahem, ‘unauthorised’ – and mostly in fact disused. The pics of the chap’s own feet from the top of Shoreham cement works chimney are scary if you have vertigo – seeing as I guess he climbed it with minimal safety gear (and it’s probably not that safe anyway)!

    I got lost in the sheer number of sites they’ve visited when I first found this.

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