Tuesday 22 March 2011

The Dragway

Most people nowadays know about the dragway, that now long crumbling and certainly dangerous system of ways between one place and another. The locations remain constant for the most part and where apparently new, surely old roads recovered. If there are any drags not found in cities then I’ve never heard of them. Like most people I know of only a few, and this one the second of my acquaintance is almost lost since the gentrification of the area.
This right at the topmost and right-hand corner of Longridge House, Elephant & Castle I’ve heard of two more on the same estate, but as happens then here too on the Rockingham their location is jealously guarded (and one already lost I’m told due to lack of use). That I once knew was bricked up when last I was there and I’ve not got a burning enough need for risk to take to it with a crowbar. It joins with the Poultry Cross in Salisbury and Warwick Square in Carlisle, and it’s easier for me to go to the first than travel to London and thence there – and for the second, well, Carlisle? It took me eight years to get the hell out of Cumbria so a risky return is not top of my particular pops. Still, the dragway has been around for an awfully long time and if known by other names in other times then it was introduced to me thus.
I doubt there’s any real risk of a complete loss of the dragway. It’s been handed down for so long as a means of travel for the scallywag and reprobate it’s impossible to think of a world where the possible defeats the improbable. You need imagination to use the dragway, and more so certainly to find it. And imagination is a sore resource. As it is eroded by convenience then where it can be found in the young it will only be the stronger for it. I don’t doubt it’s already got some zippier name, I’m just not part of the scene anymore and that’s fine – like I say, I just don’t need the risk any more...

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