Dreamflesh a-go-go, and Pan Bridge

Just back from an auspicious day out. Visited Kennet Print in Devizes, who are ably handling the covers and colour pull-outs for the imminent first Dreamflesh Journal. Neil Mortimer—editor of the excellent but defunct 3rd Stone Magazine, and one of the editors of the forthcoming Time & Mind magazine that I hear rumbling over the horizon—works there, and gave me a fascinating walk through their printing process. It’s the first time I’ve been to see proofs for something I’ve published, and it’s both exciting and reassuring! Both the cover and the gloriously colourful Pablo Amaringo painting pull-out are looking wonderful. Kennet Print really have their eco-credentials sorted, too.

I’m tempted to put the cover art up as a tease, but I think I’m going to wait until it arrives…

Silbury Hill

The persistent rain made my planned jaunt to Avebury afterwards less than promising, but after a hearty lunch in the Red Lion, by the time I got to Silbury Hill, I found myself between beautiful grey storm clouds and bright, warm sunshine. The walk across the meadow to Swallowhead Spring was nothing short of magical. I was already spinning from the lushness of the grass when a grouse poked its head up, followed by another smaller one, and another, and another… One mother grouse and five young ones bobbed about uncertainly. After a terrifying clash with a defensive mother grouse on the moors near Ilkley years ago, I have the deep respect for them. I slowly circled away from the path to avoid them and we passed in awed silence.

On the way back from West Kennet Long Barrow, I noticed—seemingly for the first time, though I must have seen it before—the plaque for the bridge where the A4 crosses the River Kennet. It says:

Wilts County Council
Pan Bridge
Rebuilt 1932

I smiled at the strange nod to the goat-god, and then it struck me sideways. Beyond the bridge in my line of sight was the very place on Waden Hill where I had a bizarre encounter with a black goat one solstice several years ago. I wrote an account of this here. I was dumbfounded, laughing hysterically as the speeding traffic rushed by. Searching on the web for information about this bridge brings up one page, a poem that mentions it briefly.

Does anyone know anything about this bridge? It’s a fine little coincidence to allow to exist in and of itself, but I can’t help being curious about its origins…

Pan Bridge