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The Trent Aegir

At Gainsborough, several times a year, can be seen a phenomenon known as the "Trent Aegir". This is a large tidal bore which rolls down from the Humber. It is known to have happened since at least the Viking era, as the name Aegir is taken from the Norse god of the sea.

The Aegir at Gainsborough is claimed by some to be the site of King Canute's famous attempt to defy nature. According to the myth, in order to show his sycophantic courtiers that he was merely a man like any other, Canute stood on the banks of the Trent before the oncoming bore. He ordered it to stop and famously got his legs wet!

P A McHugh

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