brianaw

30 Apr 2014 165 views
 
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photoblog image Knaresborough 2/2

Knaresborough 2/2

We grabbed a quick lunch in the Market Square during our flying visit to Knaresborough and enjoyed it sitting next to this statue of John Metcalf (1717–1810), who was also known as Blind Jack of Knaresborough or Blind Jack Metcalf. He was the first professional road builder to emerge during the Industrial Revolution. Blind from the age of six, John had an eventful life, which was well documented by his own account just before his death. In the period 1765 to 1792 he built about 180 miles (290 km) of turnpike road, mainly in the north of England.

 

Knaresborough 2/2

We grabbed a quick lunch in the Market Square during our flying visit to Knaresborough and enjoyed it sitting next to this statue of John Metcalf (1717–1810), who was also known as Blind Jack of Knaresborough or Blind Jack Metcalf. He was the first professional road builder to emerge during the Industrial Revolution. Blind from the age of six, John had an eventful life, which was well documented by his own account just before his death. In the period 1765 to 1792 he built about 180 miles (290 km) of turnpike road, mainly in the north of England.

 

comments (19)

  • Ray
  • Thailand
  • 30 Apr 2014, 01:48
Wonderful depiction of this marvelous engineer on his smoko, Brian.
Brian Walbey: It is a very good statue actually,I guess it must be bolted to the bench somehow to deter would be games on a Friday night by the youth of the town!
Great pic of this great statue of a great man!
Brian Walbey: Thanks Elizabeth, I'd never heard of him before.
  • Chris
  • Bathampton
  • 30 Apr 2014, 06:02
But he wasn't much good at designing bicycles
Brian Walbey: Lol. A bicycle with a clock on the front, very useful.
  • Lisl
  • Batheaston, England
  • 30 Apr 2014, 06:09
I must read up about him, Brian
Brian Walbey: yes I'd never heard of him, a quick Google sorted that out.
  • gutteridge
  • Where latitude and attitude meet
  • 30 Apr 2014, 07:06
I thought this was one of those street performers at first Brian.
Brian Walbey: I guess from a distance it could be mistaken for that.
All that and he was BLIND??? How is it that those of us who see hardly accomplish anything, by comparison?!
Brian Walbey: You'd be surprised what blind and partially blind people can do Ginnie. This guy https://www.flickr.com/photos/briannegus is a member of my club and is severely limited in his sight, take a look at some of his photos. Not only that he travels about all over the place, alone and with his family, the only thing he doesn't do is drive, oh and he's our club Secretary and a lovely bloke as well.
  • blackdog
  • United Kingdom
  • 30 Apr 2014, 08:21
LOL at Chris and Chad - surprised they didn't complain about him taking up half the bench too!
Brian Walbey: On reflection I guess it must be bolted to the bench and the bench bolted to the ground so it doesn't tip up.
This explains a lot about the roads in this country Brian
Brian Walbey: It does some of the ones round our way.
This is a fine bronze. I bet lots of people have fun posing with him.
Brian Walbey: No doubt he is included in many pictures Mary.
Quite an accomplishment and blind!
Brian Walbey: Makes one wonder how he managed to do it doesn't it.
ah ha Brian! very captivating!
Brian Walbey: Thanks Ronke.
  • Shane
  • United Kingdom
  • 30 Apr 2014, 15:53
He needs to show the council how to build roads....shame hes dead :-(
Brian Walbey: I couldn't agree more Shane.
  • Philine
  • Germany
  • 30 Apr 2014, 16:33
Despite your flying visit you saw a lot of details, so this statue. I never heard of him before, I'll google a bit more about him. Yes, roads are essential for our economical development, indeed!
Your reply on Ginnie's comment is very interesting. I agree: My mother who was very limited in her sight could read the random papers we had written to her being also deaf.
Brian Walbey: We'd not heard of him before Philine. Perhaps he was kept as history local top the area rather than the nation when we went to school.
I hope someone pointed the way, or did he invent the ring road also? smile
Brian Walbey: I do wonder quite how he managed to do what they say he did.
  • ....peter:)
  • Moonbeam, Ontario, Canada
  • 30 Apr 2014, 17:59
We found a similar bronze sculpture of a farmer called "Len Ganeway" by Derek Wernher, 1980 at the Brookgreen Gardens in SC, USA:

http://petermeilleur.shutterchance.com/image/2013/05/08/len-ganeway-by-derek-wernher-1980/

Penny had a seat and read the newspaper with him Brian....petersmile
Geat capture of this very nice statue Brian!
Brian Walbey: Thanks Richard, it seems he lived to be in his 90's, a good age for those days.
This should teach us, Brian, that what we would consider a handicap is, in cases like John Metcalf, no hindrance in accomplishing whatever you set out to do.
Brian Walbey: I couldn't agree more Beverly. I gave this link to Ginnie https://www.flickr.com/photos/briannegus Brian is the Secretary of my camera club and is extremely visually impaired but does just about everything but drive and is an excellent photographer, if you get time you might like to browse some of his photos on Flickr.
  • Astrid
  • Netherlands
  • 30 Apr 2014, 20:11
I also Googled him, amazing life this man had. Great statue to remember and honor him, being blind and achieve all he did, amazing.
Brian Walbey: Yes I wonder how he managed to do what he did without the benefit of eyesight.
  • Alan
  • United Kingdom
  • 30 Apr 2014, 20:17
Well, I've not heard of him. Telford was the first road maker I'd heard of. So, in 27 years he built 180 miles of road; how many miles of road have we built in the past 27 years? Precious little I should think. I suppose he has some sort of measuring device seen here; a Jones counter?
Brian Walbey: No I've not heard of him either but he was obviously a very talented men despite being blind. I doubt we've built hardly any miles of road in the last 27 years, but if we're lucky we might get a few miles of unwanted railway line to Birmingham built over the next 12 years, the Chinese would do that in about a year.

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