Whilst out on my daily walk I occasionally pass by my local triangulation point. Its one of those things that one takes for granted and has faded out of the consciousness like the maps that sprang forth from the work carried out by the early explorers and map makes. Maps are something I have had a long term love of and built up quite a collection of the wonderful Ordnance Survey Maps of places that I had no real idea where they were and just as much chance of visiting as a youngster but learning about the topology and placement of populous of the country in strange snapshots. It seemed a completely alien world in that either it was a urban compression with little outlines crammed into each little square or a rural landscape that I could more understand yet had many subtle and unsubtle differences like woods, larger rivers and intriguing place names. I dreamt of growing up and somehow acquiring a house that I would completely decorate in my maps whilst at the time seemed like a completely logical now would send me crazy not just for the unrelenting brightness but more likely that my life would grind to a halt as I investigated such wondrous place names like Curry Rivel, Beer Crocombe, Shittington and Wetwang!
It is amazing that the use of paper maps has on the whole disappeared from general landscape as we have all falling in love with electronic map apps and GPS to guide us to that distant location, but I still carry a road map not just for the inevitable technological failure that I will have to experience but also when stopping off at far flung places I like to vicariously check out the locale and will never pass by and old OS map without checking it out and pondering if I might need to add it to the collection. I do think that this is one of my weakness but it does give me value and happiness.
So next time your out and about chances are you are not that far from a triangulation point and may you could go an take a look at it. I am sure there is some one in this fair Isle that must have visited each one in the same vein and ‘doing the wainwrights‘ or Monroes. I don’t think I would every go that far but I might get (if I had all of them) out and virtually visit them. On this cold Winters night tucked up in front of the fire I will raise my glass to William Roy and the Ordinance Survey