Saturday, 11 October 2014

Simmer Down at Summer Down, All Saints Lane and Neon Arches

"Simmer Down at Summer Down" :- This was a sunset in May as seen from the other sde of Devil's Dyke on the outskirts of Brighton in Sussex. All the tourists and day trippers drive directly up to the Dyke where they all battle for car parking spaces and pay for the privilege when they find one. They then all walk around each other admiring the view whilst still somehow managing to remain within crawling distance of their car. I choose to do things differently by driving down the long and winding Devil's Dyke Road to a dirt car park called Summer Down which is free, quiet and devoid of tourists. From there it's a wonderful and picturesque 15 minute walk to the Dyke itself and approx 25 minute walk to the famous view of Sussex from the top. This was one of the last images of the day as I was walking back to the Summer Down car park.

"All Saints Lane" :- Most people know Canterbury for its Archbishop, Cathedral, Thomas Becket (Archbishop of Canterbury from 1162 until his murder in 1170) and Chaucer's Tales. The area around the Cathedral itself is jam packed with tourists and students all jostling and bouncing off each other like agitated molecules. Because of this I decided to avoid that area altogether and went on a walkabout exploring some of the lesser known parts of the City. Hidden away down All Saints Lane there's one of Caterbury's secrets. "All Saints Court" is a Grade II listed 16th century timber framed house and it's one of Canterbury's best surviving timber-framed buildings. It was once a pilgrims' rest and was (apparently) associated with Eastbridge Hospital. In the 1920's the house was nearly lost altogether as it was condemned until t was saved by a builder named Walter Cozens. The upper storey room runs for a continuous 77 feet and is one of the longest rooms in any Canterbury home. You can clearly see the ancient eaves of the house jutting out on the right hand side of the lane in this image.

"Neon Arches" :- Brighton's famous Victorian seafront has been undergoing some changes recently. Some of it's old historical arches were in a bad state and seriously in need of repair. So they were knocked down, demolished and flattened by the local council with safety factors being given as the main reason. It then transpired that the council were gong to build some brand spanking new replacement arches and that by pure coincidence they were going to be on the site of the new i360 observation tower ( The tower itself has caused controversy throughout Brighton with councillors wanting to see it built and a vast amjority of Brighton's residents against its construction. Once it's finished the tower will stand 162 metres high and the observation pod will rise to a height of 138 metres. The i360 will be Britain's highest observation tower outside London (it will be taller than the London Eye) and it's location wll be on the site of the old West Pier Entrance and controversially directly opposite the Grade II listed Regency Square. I have to admit the new arches (now completed and shown in this image) are very well built and in keeping with how the older arches looked. However, they have lost the character of the old arches and some of Brighton's history has been wiped out which I personally find horrfying. At night they are lit up with neon lights that pulse and sweep whilst changing colour. It's all very clean and a bit too clinical for my liking. It's like something from a Disney village and that makes me shudder. One of these new arches is now the home to a great photography gallery ( and a few of the others are small fashion boutiques etc.

All Photography Copyright © Justin Hill