Saturday, 22 November 2014

Engulfed, Higher Market Street and Overgrown Bench

"Engulfed" :- Due to the severe weather that had hit much of the south coast of England at the beginning of the year the look of our beaches changed drastically. In fact much of Hove's beach ended up on the promenade itself as the sea had unceremoniously picked it up and dumped it several yards further and higher than it should have been. Brighton was no exception. The seafront got hit hard and various cafes, bars and nightclubs had to close up shop and embark on a cleanup operation. On one particular night the Sealife Center and the Brighton (Palace) Pier lost all power as the sea breached the defences and the salt water poured in and knocked out the generators that supplied the electrics. Emergency services raced down to try and get things up and running again as quickly as possible in order to save the various sea creatures in the large tanks. Ironic that the sealife center was nearly the death of them all. This image was shot at the beginning of March this year (2014) around sunset. As you can see I am standing on the pebbles of Brighton's famous beach but my head is almost at the height of the decks of the pier itself! I had never ever seen it look like this before. The sea had pushed the entire beach up and back, raising its level by many feet.

"Higher Market Street" :- A shot of a narrow and tight Cornish street after all the day trippers and tourists have gone home. This is Higher Market Street in the town of Looe in Cornwall. It's a very picturesque and pleasant place to visit and is everything you'd expect a Cornish town to be like. It's streets and roads twist and turn as they wind around old stone houses in an attempt to confuse you and help lose your way around. They evoke the long lost days of the excise men and the smugglers they were trying to catch up with and a time when the biggest and main (legal) industry was fishing. Most of that's gone now. Fishing is still an industry in Looe but it's been overtaken by tourism and the coch loads of people shipped in on a daily basis and carted out again at sundown.

"Overgrown Bench" :- You can't photograph this anymore. It's still there but public access has since been denied to the safety fears of Brighton and Hove Council. This is the old 1890's built Victorian terrace that runs the length of Madeira Drive on Brighton's Kemptown seafront. There are benches and seating areas at various intervals but as you get towards the black rock end of the terrace a long stretch of seating appears. It's old, worn and overgrown in places but I found it added to the character of the entire place. The terrace itself is almost 3,000 feet long but only 25 feet wide and cost an incredible £150,000 to built (an awful lot of money in the 1890's). Over the last 100 years or so the constant exposure to the elements and salt water has got to the iron work and caused decay and deterioration. It could have been sorted out easily by the various councils keeping an eye on things and rennovating it every few years but they didn't and simply left it to rust. So now it's been closed to the public for the first time since the late 1800's. They have said that renovating the terrace will cost millions of pounds and that it will be almost as big a job as it was building it in the first place. Maybe they should have thought of that long ago.

All Photography Copyright © Justin Hill