River Crane 10k run – 1st March 2012

I had arranged with James to go for a 1 hour run last night so met up at 8:30pm and (once I worked out how to start my new 910XT) set off for a run around the wildlife nature reserve that runs along the River Crane nearby.

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As usual it was dark but you are constantly reminded that the surroundings have a fair bit of history as you keep coming across remains of brick work and mounds as you run alongside the river. Once you reach the tower below it is all explained.

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Crane Park had a number of gunpowder mills from around 1760 till as recent as 1927 and the photo is of the recently restored Shot Tower.

Molten lead would be poured from the top, hit a mesh to break it into droplets before hitting water to cool the lead shot. The millstones in the foreground were used to grind saltpetre, an ingredient of gunpowder.

The building remains are the result of several large explosions in the past that we’re heard 20 miles away and the mounds we were running past were to reduce the blast from any explosions.

It’s hard to believe that the quiet woodland we were running through was once the location of such an industry.

If I ever find a lead musket ball it’s going on the mantelpiece!

We disturbed several foxes as we continued through the woodland their eyes reflecting back in our head torches. At such times I’m always glad that we don’t have bears in the UK!

We looped back along the south side of the river and headed further into Twickenham, before finally turning back on ourselves at the rail station and once more tracing the river back home, just sneaking under the hour for 10.8k.

A good run, with poor James having to hear a local history lesson, interspersed with gasps for air as I battled to keep up with him!

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