I’ve spent a fair part of my life in Hertfordshire, between school years spent in Watford and then ten years of my adult life near Hertford itself. It’s a county the beauty and history of which is sometimes sadly overlooked, and one of the most striking elements in both respects (history and beauty) is the Lea Valley.
The River Lea (or Lee – arguments rage over the spelling!) rises in Leagrave near Luton, flows down through Hertford, Ware, Broxbourne and Enfield and into London, joining the Thames near Limehouse. I’ve walked its length: an exhausting and exhilarating 50-60 miles. In this image, we see it flowing through the centre of Hertford in a scene which to my layman’s eye could almost, apart from the boat, be more or less any time in the last 100 years.