Sometimes I feel the urge to break out from my urban conurbation surroundings and map somewhere all together more rural. I don’t get much time these days to map so it was a real pleasure to head out in the autumn sunshine yesterday on the bike. The destinations I picked were Colwich and Little Hayward which are located between Stafford and Rugeley and were essentially blank on the map save for the A51, the railway lines, canal and the river Trent, all of which run parallel through the area.
One of the things I really enjoy about mapping for OSM are those things that you would never see or learn about (and which you can add to the map) if it were not for getting out there on the ground. Yesterday was no exception but unlike the usual notable place of interest, interesting feature or great view it was a moment to reflect, for I stumbled upon a tiny beautifully tended memorial garden, easily missed and tucked away at the specific spot of a tragic event in 1986, the Colwich Rail Crash, something I really had no knowledge of previously. The garden is now a memorial to two men, Eric Goode the train driver who tragically died in the crash, and Alf Taylor, a retired railwayman who created and tended the garden until his death in 1997. OpenStreetMap gives us the opportunity to place important places in our landscape like this clearly on the map, something I’m always pleased to be able to do. Should you wish to find it yourself it’s here.