Thursday, 9 October 2014

The Mansion, Step into the Past and Double West

"The Mansion" :- Now seems to be a good time to post this image due to the fuss being made about Benedict Cumberbatch's portrayal of Alan Turing in the new film "The Imitation Game". Alan Turing was a computer pioneer, mathematician and genius who worked at Bletchley Park in Milton Keynes during WWII. Bletchley Park at the time was a top secret installation with the sole purpose of deciphering and breaking coded messages in an attempt to help bring the war to a quicker end. This is Bletchley Mansion deep wthin the grounds of Bletchley Park itself. This is where Alan Turing was based and where the codes for many Enigma machines were broken on a daily basis. The Mansion was built by Sir Herbert Leon starting in 1882. It's a peculiar looking place as it's had various architectural styles and 'bits' added to it over the years so it's ended up as an achitectural hybrid. It was once referred to as ‘A Maudlin and Monstrous Pile’ but I have to admitI love the look of the place. The interior is breathtaking too. The ground floor bay window on the far left is to the room that was used as Commander Alastair Denniston's office. He was head of The Government Code and Cipher School (GC&CS) which in 1942 became the Government Communications Headquarters (GCHQ). It does make you wonder what the outcome of WWII would have been if it had not been for the tireless efforts of Denniston, Turing and the the hundreds of men and women that worked day and night to crack the cyphers, codes and messages.

"Step into the Past" :- A set of concrete steps running up a grass bank by a wall. Well, that's all it loks like now but the reality is that this was once a lot more than that. These are the remains of Shoreham Fort (also known as the Kingston or Shoreham Redoubt). It sits at the mouth of Shoreham harbour and was constructed to protect aganst the French attacking mand was completed in June 1857. Before I started taking any photos I read a board that was placed on site warning of dangers as well of various do's and don'ts etc. I noticed that it said commercial photography was not allowed and carried on quite happily knowing that it didn't relate to me. A little later on (whilst I was wandering around and exploring the fort) a gentleman (and I use the term loosley) and his wife started to shout at me "No photography" and pointed to the sign that clearly stated no COMMERCIAL photography whilst callng me a few distasteful names (some of which I'd never heard before). I smiled politely and carried on takng pictures because a) I knew it was ok to do so and b) It annoyed them greatly. After 15 minutes the ugly couple made their way back to where they'd parked their car and I noticed that they'd parked in the pay and display car park at the side of the fort ... and that they hadn't paid. A wry smile crept across my face as I realised they'd broken the rules and not I. I hate two faced do gooders with double values. As for this Victorian fort, it's well worth a visit and do take your camera along as long as you don't sell the photos!

"Double West" :- An evening sunset during low tide on Brighton beach. It's a beautiful tme and place to find yourself. Far away from the tourists, ice creams, "kiss me quick" hats, feather boas and hubbub of the city. Apart from the sound of the water and the odd cry of a gull it's a silent, peaceful and relaxing world. It's a place where you can reflect and think. It's a place where you can get away from it all. It's a place like no other. Nuff said.

All Photography Copyright © Justin Hill