Saturday, 28 February 2015

Daily Doodle : Fox Playing The Triangle

Right here's my doodle for what was Friday's given thmes with a fox being the animal of choice and the given instrument was the curiously odd triangle. My mind made a strange jump as the triangle made me think of Bermuda so I put the fox in a Bermuda shirt and shorts to add a little extra fun.

Dark Stones, Pool Valley and Another Perfect Day

Dark Stones :- Moody and mystical. I just happened to find myself standing in one of the ancient neolithic stone circles of Avebury on my own. The tourists had all but gone, the sun was looking tired and the light was starting to fade slightly. I remember taking this shot not knowing if it would work out ok or not. I knew the stones were in silhouette along with the trees in the background but was trying to keep it so the grass would show up on the bank at the back. The shot turned out to be more atmospheric than I'd anticipated. Avebury is a henge (onstructed around 2600 BCE) that consists of three stone circles and is the largest in the world. The village of Avebury is within the henge itself and is in in Wiltshire, southwest England.

Pool Valley :- For those of you who have journeyed to and from Brighton by coach you'll know this place well. Pool Valley has been Brighton's coach station for a very long time but not many realise the history of this place. The River Wellesbourne used to flow down through the valley and into Brighton where it created a marshy area of land where the fishermen of "Brighthelmstone" would lay their nets out to dry. Before flowing into the English Channel the stream formed a pooled. The marshy area became known as the "Old Steine". What many do not realise is that the River Wellesbourne is still here, it was diverted into a culvert and built over and the pool was hidden under a new road which was named "Pool Valley" in the late 1700's. The little building with the bay windows (left of center) is 9 Pool Valley. It's an original late 18th-century house and is one of the oldest surviving houses in Brighton. It was originally a bakery and remained to be used in the baking and bun business right up until the mid 20th century. For as long as I can remember it's been various restaurants and it's now the "Turkish Villa Restaurant" offering Turkish and Mediterranean cuisine. It's now a Grade II* listed building.

Another Perfect Day :- It's sometimes worth getting wet shoes to get a shot. This was one of those moments. I love the pools and rocks that form much of the beach at Ovingdean Gap during low tide. Sometimes the setting sun coincides with the receding water and it's at those times when the magic happens. There's an unearthly stillness that seems to permeate through everything and in the silence you stand and watch and suddenly become very aware of just how fast we are spinning as the sun drops down.

All Photography Copyright © Justin Hill

Friday, 27 February 2015

Heavy Downfall, Night Gap and Sunset Blue

Heavy Downfall :- I hit the beach a few days ago with the camera in the hope that there was going to be a great sunset. This was the scene that met me and first shot I took when I got there. A serious storm was on its way in and just where the sun was setting a cloud was unleashing its payload over the English Channel. Luck for me it was also low tide so I was able to scramble out over the rocks a little and get a better shot. I managed to stay there grabbing a few extra images before I eventually had to make a run for it as the storm finally found its way over me.

Night Gap :- It was 02:40 am, the main coast road was devoid of traffic, it was dark, lonely and cold. There are times that you can get an odd "Twilight Zone" sort of feeling that you are indeed the only person left on the planet and this was one of those moments. No birds tweeting, no cars or traffic to be seen in any direction, no people. Just the sound of the sea crashing in down below at the foot of the cliffs and nothing else. Darkness and the odd pool of electric light.

Sunset Blue :- I love the way that some of the most mundane, boring and ugly things can take on a certain beauty if you catch them at the right time. This grey concrete walkway is one of the main pedestrian routes from Black Rock promenade to the Marina. It's anything but easthetically pleasing. It was designed and built in the 70's and it shows. The blue rails and boards at the top are supposedly to stop people getting into an area of wasteland that's stood empty for aeons. It's wall are graffiti filled so it's obvious that they are getting in anyway. This shot was taken just as the sun was diping out over the sea. It was casting shadows and a beautiful golden light that warmed the concrete and lit the metal rails and wooden boards. I paused a while waiting for others to walk by and then took the shot as I found something very pleasing about it all.

All Photography Copyright © Justin Hill

Daily Doodle : Lizard Playing The Flute

Well I had to dash out yesterday and found myself far too busy and shot on time to do yesterday's daily doodle so this morning I have been playing 'catch up'. The instrument of choice for yesterday was a flute and the interesting creature selcted to play it was a lizard. Here's my attempt to capture that odd combination...

Thursday, 26 February 2015

Sidesmen, Wrong Setting and King's Cliff Steps

Sidesmen :- As far as I know these seats date back quite a long way. They are in the gargantuan Church of St Bartholomew's in Brighton. The main seat in the image has "Sidesmen" written on the top. A sidesman (or usher) greets members of the congregation and oversees seating arrangements in the church as well as taking the collection. The official opening of St Bartholomew's was on 18th September 1874. If you take cathedrals out of the equasion and look only at parish churches then the nave of St Bartholomew's is the largest in Britain.

Wrong Setting :- Just to prove I don't always get it right here's an image that didn't go to plan. To be honest I very nearly binned it but something in me told me to process it anyway and see what it looked like after so I did and to be honest I rather liked the overall effect so I titled it "Wrong Setting" and filed it. It was shot during a spectacular sunset as seen from the beach at Ovingdean Gap. Staring towards the setting sun must have caused my failing eyesight more trouble than I though as I remember at the time thinking I'd set up the camera right for the shot. I hadn't. It's seriously out of focus. I'd like to say it was done on purpose to make an "arty" shot but it wasn't anything of the sort. It was me getting things wrong. I do like the image though and the effect that the out of focus slight blur gives it. It exactly how I see things if I take my glasses off!

King's Cliff Steps :- This huge flight of steps are calf muscle killers. By the time you reach the promenade at the top ton Marine Parade the back of your legs are burning and you are trying to catch your breath ... well I am anyway! These are the King's Cliff Steps located in Kemptown at the Eastern end of Brighton's long promenade. This area has been known as as 'King's Cliff' since 1908 due to Edward VII's connections with Kemp Town. Princess Louise (the daughter of Edward VII) and her husband the Duke of Fife used to live at number one Lewes Crescent which is East of these steps. In 1908 George VIIstayed with his daughter and her husband at "Fife House" whilst he was recovering from illness. Nowadays it's better known as East Cliff and is (approx) 24 meters or 80 feet at it's highest point.

All Photography Copyright © Justin Hill

Wednesday, 25 February 2015

Daily Doodle : Dog Playing The Drums

Today's daily doodle features a bit of canine percussion. I had great fun ceating this one and am pleased with the movement it seems to convey. So here's my "Bashit Hound" ...

Strange Geology, Bell Tower and Colorful Arm

Strange Geology :- Low tide at Cuckmere Haven allowed me to carefully pick my way out on the orkcs to get this shot of the famous "Seven Sisters" cliff face on the south coast of England. If you ever see a movie or TV program depicting the white cliffs of Dover you can bet your bottom dollar that it's these cliffs you are looking at and not those of Dover at all. Cuckmere Haven is where the river Cuckmere meets the English Channel between the towns of Eastbourne and Seaford. The Cuckmere Estuary is the only undeveloped river mouth on the Sussex coast.

Bell Tower :- An interior shot of Chiddingly Parish Church in the village of Chiddingly in East Sussex. The village is yet another one that's mentioned in the Domesday Book of 1086.What makes this Church of England Parish Church interesting is that it's of unknown date and dedication. This images shows the light spilling from teh bell tower through a large glass pane that now seperates the tower from the main aisle. If you look carefully you can see the ropes hanging down from the six bells that sit high above and out of view. They do know that the tower is is 15th Century and that the church itself was first mentioned in the 13th Century.

Colorful Arm :- A walkway in the sea. The huge Marina in Brighton has two large protective arms that reach out and around thus creating a safe haven for the various types of watercraft berthed there. The Western arm / wall is a fraction of the size of the Eastern wall which lunges out southwards before bending and veering off towards the west. This image was shot on the huge Eastern wall and is looking back along the way I came. It's not often I walk out this way and it's very rare that I'll actually walk its entire length which on this occasion I did. The cliffs in the distance are those of Rottingdean and Saltdean.

All Photography Copyright © Justin Hill

Tuesday, 24 February 2015

Daily Doodle : Lion Playing A Violin

Another beastie playing an instrument was requested by daily Doodle today on Twitter. The king of the jungle was the main subject and the instrument of choice was Violin. I'm not quite sure what would be worse...the sound of his roar through the trees or the sound of him tuning up and scraping around trying to find a note!

Tall Grasses, Concrete Beach Huts and The Mighty Fall

Tall Grasses :- Hard to believe but I nearly walked past this scene without taking a shot! The problem was that there was so much natural beauty directly infront of me I was forgetting to look off to the sides as I wandered along the broken, rouch and rocky pathway. The path that I was on was meandering through a section of Dartmoor National Park near "Two Bridges" on the B3357. We were heading for an afternoon within the mystical and ancient "Wistman's Wood" and this shot was taken (approx) 5 or 10 minuytes into the journey. Apart from the worn path everything else is lush, green and natural. Rocks lay strewn around the place, tall, wild grasses spring up everywhere and gnarled trees and wind bent bushes try to reach up towards the sky as best they can. It's one of the most stunning places you can ever wish to find yourself in.

Concrete Beach Huts :- The undulating, wavelike roof of the beach chalets at Ovingdean Gap fascinate me. It's the sort of thing that an architect and builder wouldn't even bother with nowadays. The modern world doesn't seem to go much for embellishments and ornate things. We like our modern architecture to look like huge glass boxes with flat roofs. The beach Cafe at Ovingdean Gap has the save wave form roof as does the toilet block which also has opaque porthole windows. I have tried many times to find out about the building of these chalets but have so far not found a date for them. However, I do know that Ovingdean Gap was built somewhere from 1930 to 1933 as that was when the undercliff walk was constructed and the steps at 'the gap' were made at the same time. Looking at the architecture of the chalets, cafe and toilets they also shout out 1930's so it's safe to surmise that they were also built somewhere around the early 1930's. There was an elegance to the architecture of the 30's. Everything had a flow to it and looked grand.

The Mighty Fall :- Here's a shot I have had on file since March 2012. At the time I didn't really think much about it but a few years later t's now a record of how things were. The old, iron pier supports that are in the foreground and deeply buried in the beach are now no longer there. They were unceremoniously ripped up out of the the ground and dumped somewhere to make way for the building of the 162 metre or 531.49 Feet i360 observation tower ( It fascinates me that the Victorians were somewhat obsessed with building things out (to sea) but in our modern age were are obsessed with building things up. The higher and taller the better. It's like a never ending, nauseating competition where towns, counties and countries all try their best to outdo each other by going just a few meters more each time. Will they ever learn? Probably not. This shot also shows the pier how it ws before it suffered yet more storm damage. If you venture donw to the beach now you'll see a large section on its left hand side is now missing and that the old framework is now in two parts.

All Photography Copyright © Justin Hill

Monday, 23 February 2015

Daily Doodle : Monkey Playing A Trumpet

I really enojoy following Daily Doodle on Twitter (@Daily_Doodle). You never quite know what each day isd going ot offer up as subject matter. After tow weeks of nursery rhymes they suddenly take us by surprise and say that this week is all about animals playing instruments. I was overjoyed to find that to get us started we were told to draw a monkey playing a trumpet. So I did ...

Wall & Sea, Forgotten & Abandoned and Grand Union Canal

Wall & Sea :- A view of a very bright and sunny English Channel as seen from the 1950's built terraces at Rottingdean in Brighton on the South coast of England. It was shot back in May 2014 during a very enjoyable mini heatwave. It was wonderful to be able to genlty wander around without being knocked over by the wind or soaked to the skin by the rain. These terraces were very run down and dilapidated up until a few years ago when they were suddenly rennovated, revamped and opened as a seafront arts area in 2011.

Forgotten & Abandoned :- This is a street shot of the old Gas Works site that's near Black Rock by the A259 coastal road. It's opposite the Western end of Brighton Marina and just a couple of mnutes walk (if that) from East Brighton Park. The site is now predominantly used for storage and some parking. During World War Two the Black Rock area of Brighton received a concentrated bombardment compared to that of the town center. In August 1942 these gasworks were hit several times and the 1939 built block of luxury flats known as "Marine Gate" was also hit by bombs several times over due to its proximity (just over the road) to the gasworks.

Grand Union Canal :- As you can tell by the title this is a section of the very long and huge Grand Union Canal as it passes through Milton Keynes in Buckinghamshire, England. The main route of the GUC starts in London and finishes in Birmingham and stretches 220 km or 137 miles. However, there are vaious arms that stem from that main line that serve other areas and one of those arms serves Milton Keynes. You'd think that canal building was a thing of the past but that's far from the truth and it's alive and kicking in Buckinghamshire. The Bedford & Milton Keynes Waterway was first thought of way back in 1810 but it's only now that the scheme and idea has been put into practice. At an estimated cost of £170 million the plan is to build a 26 km or 16 mile long canal that connects the Grand Union at Milton Keynes to the River Great Ouse at Bedford.

All Photography Copyright © Justin Hill

Sunday, 22 February 2015

Sometimes It's So Far Away, Clayton Church and Cotton Ball Sky

Sometimes It's So Far Away :- Only 22 years stands between the two Victorian structures on Brighton seafront couldn't look further apart from each other. The West Pier was built in 1866 by Eugenius Birch. It was a very grand and ornate pier and as well as provinding entertanment for many decades it also featured in various TV programs (includng The Persuaders with Tony Curtis & Sir Roger Moore) and also a few films (most famously being a central character is Richard Attenborough's "Oh What A Lovely War"). It closed to the public in 1975 and has been left to rot ever since. Storm damage helped bang a few more nails in its coffin and finally a couple of highly suspicious fires provided the final curtain. She is a Grade 1 listed structure. It beggars belief that she was allowed to simply crumble in such an unglamorous way. The Bandstand (which this shot was taken from) was built in 1844 and is said to be one of the finest examples of a Victorian bandstand surviving in England. However in the 1970's she was (much like the West Pier) neglected and allowed to crumble. Her walkway / bridge was removed and the ground floor rooms underneath were public conveniences up until their closure (due to vandalism) in 2003. Then out of the blue several years later she was suddenly restored to her former glory and like an ornate iron Phoenix rose from the ashes and was redeopened in 2009. The rooms at beach level below are now the the Bandstand Café.

Clayton Church :- This little church in the village of Clayton in Sussex looks ancient ... and that's because it is. St John the Baptist's Church was founded in the 11th Century and unlike many other old churches this church has had little alteration and is still structurally an 11th-century church. Unsurprisingly it's been listed as a Grade I building because of its architectural and historical importance. Once you step inside the church you are hit by an array of wall murals that date from the mid-12th century (1150–1200). The colours are still clearly visible and are unique in England.

Cotton Ball Sky :- I love this. Not a man made structure anywhere to be seen. Just rolling fields and fluffy clouds for as far as the eye can see. Sussex is an incredible county as many of its coastal towns and resorts are surrounded by the protected south downs and countryside. This shot was taken as I was driving out to Eastbourne one afternoon back in May 2012. It was taken from a layby on the East Dean road (A259) between the village of East Dean and the sprawling seaside town of Eastbourne. Back in the 80's I would travel this route on a daily basis as I drove back and forth to and from Eastbourne College of Arts and Technology in St Anne's Road where I was an art student.

All Photography Copyright © Justin Hill

Saturday, 21 February 2015

Long Prom, The Inner Circle and Darkside

Long Prom :- The promenade in Hove is much wider and somewhat grander than that of the promenade in Brighton. I suppose I shouldn't really compare the two as they are very different from each other. Brighton's "prom" is on two levels (road and beach) and is famous for its cast iron Victorian decorations. Once you are past the grand and very beautiful "Birdcage" bandstand (built in 1884) the two levels begin to merge into one and join together at the Peace Statue (unveiled in 1912). The "Angel of Peace" stands directly on the border where Brighton ends and Hove takes over and the promenade then runs off towards the West and turns into a wide esplanade flanked by large lawns to its right and the beach and English Channel to its left. There are still a few old Victorian street furnishings to be found as you walk along (railings, lamp posts and sheltered seating) but the feeling of space here is immense. This shot was taken back in December 2014 on a section of Hove promenade that's just beyond the Peace Statue.

The Inner Circle :- I was going to say that the title sounds more mystical than it actually is but then I realised the subject matter is that of Avebury , reputedly the largest stone circle on the planet and you can't get much more mystical than that! Most people around the world have heard of and know of Stonehenge. It's world famous and each year tourists flock in their thousands to visit the ancient monument. However, few realise that to the north (aprox 23 miles or 37 kilometers) lies Avebury, a far bigger and surprisingly more ancient monument than Stonehenge. Unlike Stonhenge which is cordoned off much of the time Avebury is a prehistoric open-air museum. You can freely walk around the site, mingle with the stones and touch the stones. Archaeologists have said that a new date suggests that Avebury was erected around 3000 BC which makes it far older than Stonehenge who's radiocarbon dating suggests its stones were raised circa 2330 BC. Even more staggering is that on of the "The Cove" stones at Avebury is estimated to be somewhere around 100 tons making it twice the weight of the largest megalith used at Stonehenge. The Neolithic henge monument of Avebury contains three stone circles. This is a shot from within the northern inner ring which is 98 metres or 322 ft in diameter. Only four of its stones remain standing.

Darkside :- I don't know why but 99% of the time I photograph the pier in Brighton from its Eastern side. It could be because there are fewer obstructions and I can get down on the beach for a longer shot without much getting in the way. Anyway, on this particular evening I found myself wandering along the upper prom and on the Western side of the pier. The lilac clouds, sky and sea seemed to give everything a slightly foreboding feel so I thought I'd take the shot and get some of the old "beach furniture" in there too. I don't know much about the beach "hut" to the right of the image. Parts of it look Victorian and other parts look to be reasonably modern. This image was shot around 5:30pm on Christmas Eve 2014.

All Photography Copyright © Justin Hill

Friday, 20 February 2015

Daily Doodle : There was an Old Woman Who Lived in a Shoe

Well I was intending this to be a fairly quick doodle and sketch but I sort of got into it and somehow lost myself inside the nursery rhyme. I would have dearly loved to have filled the image with kids but I just didn't have the time so just stuck a few in and made the old woman look like she'd simply had enough...

One Good Turn, In Control and The Red Lion

One Good Turn Deserves Another :- I haven't posted an image of the "Brighton Wheel" for a while now so thought i'd redress that today. The Brighton Wheel is a huge, slow rotating ferris wheel that's on Madeira Drive on Brighton seafront near The Brighton Marine Palace and Pier (known locally as the Palace Pier but unofficially renamed by the owners as the Brighton Pier). It was constructed on the seafront in October 2011 and has planning permission up until sometime in 2016. The Brighton Wheel website says that it is 45 metres (148 ft) in diameter and has a maximum height of 50 metres (160 ft) above sea level. These giant wheels can be found dotted around the globe at various events, cities and resorts. It's real name is the BUSSINK DESIGN R80XL and it is the world’s largest transportable and series-produced Giant Observation Wheel. The official website can be found here R80XL

In Control :- This image (taken way back in August 2012) shows excactly why breakwaters and groynes are essential along Brighton's coastline. The sea was rough and the weather was stormy, the elements were doing their best to disrupt and disturb the balance but because of these concrete structures the beaches and Brighton istelf are protected. Longshore drift is a natural process that can move vast amounts of clay, silt, sand and shingle along coastlines. Due to Brighton's location on the south coat of England the longshore drift causes the shingle and pebbles that make the beaches to drift along the coast from the west to the east. This shot was taken looking south out to see and it clearly shows the difference between the beaches eaither side of the beakwater. On the right the sea is held back by the build up of shingle and on the left there is no shingle visible at all. I have often wondered just how the world would look if man had not interferred by building breakwaters and structures to alter the course of rivers and natural phenomenon like longshore drift. Would Brighton have a beach? Would there be a Brighton left at all? What would the south coast of England have looked like?

The Red Lion :- The interior of the Grade II listed Red Lion Pub located on the Old Shoreham Road in Shoreham-by-Sea, West Sussex. Putting a date on the building proves to be rather difficult as it was part of a former monastery before being turned into an inn during the 18th century. There are some claims that parts of the building are 16th Century. It later developed into a coaching inn (serving those travellng by horse drawn coach) and has a fascinating history which you can read further about here The Red Lion

All Photography Copyright © Justin Hill

Thursday, 19 February 2015

Daily Doodle : Kung Hey Fat Choi

Seeing as today is the Chinese New Year there was an extra theme given to us today by Twitter's Daily Doodle (@Daily__Doodle) which was of course "Kung Hey Fat Choi". They asked us to sketch and draw a goat in celebration of the "Year of the Goat" which starts from today. I had immense fun drawing mine and I have to say it turned out better than I thought it would. So "Kung Hey Fat Choi"...

Daily Doodle : Wee Willie Winkie

It's interesting doodling some of these old nursery rhymes. I find that I know of them but am having to go back and read them again just to see exactly what the premise and story of them is. Wee Willie Winkie is a good example. I know he's running through the town in wearing only his nightgown but that was about as much as I knew. It was only after looking it up today and reading about it that I found he was the character that would eventually evolve into the Sandman who makes sure children are asleep at night. So here's my Wee Willie Winkie ...

Yellow Dot, Distant Home and Palms and Minarets

Yellow Dot :- Land, sea, sky and the largest object in the solar system. Pretty neat eh! Nuclear fusion reactions create the sun's power which is asaid to be (roughly) 386 billion billion mega Watts. That's one mighty huge light bulb! The diameter of that burning, boiling star is 1,390,000 kilometers or 863,710 miles's diameter is a mere 12,742 kilometers or 7,917.5 miles. We ain't all that big at all and yet have the audacity to think we are it. That we are all there is out there ... and that we are clever and intelligent which goes to show just how wrong that thinking is. Our beautiful little blue marble sits in space and dances with the other planets within the solar system and from a distance doesn't look all that different from all the others. But it is. This is the one with the starvation and raging wars, this is the one where money rules and the lifeforms on it will do anything to get their hands on it. This is the one that's being torn apart and its resources are deminishing. This is the one that's our only home.

Distant Home :- Shot from land by the Summer Down car park that's just off of Devil's Dyke Road at Devil's Dyke on the South Downs in West Sussex. The view looks through the trees and down onto the land below and the village of Poynings. This area is a well known and legendary beauty spot and is most visited site on the South Downs. The valley of the Dyke itself is almost a mile long making it the longest, deepest and widest 'dry valley' in the UK. The famous landscape painter John Constable (1776 -1837) described the outspread land seen from Devil’s Dyke as 'the grandest view in the world'.

Palms and Minarets :- Not some far off tropical land full of sand and camels at all but a shot taken from the Royal Pavilion Gardens of the minarets on top of The Dome concert hall and arts venue in Brighton on the south coast of England. Work started on the buuilding of this complex in 1803 and it was built for the Prince Regent (who later bcame King George IV). It's hard to believe but this incredible looking building was constructed to be the Prince Regent's stables with the Corn Exchange next door as the riding school. These stables were based on the 1782 "Halle au Ble" in Paris and were designed to house 44 horses with the groomsmen staying on the balcony level above. The "Dome" itself is a large cupola which measures 24.38 metres or 80 feet in diameter and is 19.81 metres or 65 feet in height. The Dome is now a concert hall and entertainment venue and famous for being where Abba got their big break when they won the Eurovision Song Contest held here in 1974. Brighton Dome is one of the few buildings to have a double Grade listed status. One for the 1930s Art Deco interior and another for its Indian-style exterior.

All Photography Copyright © Justin Hill

Wednesday, 18 February 2015

Daily Doodle : Old McDonald Had A Farm.

Here's today's nursery rhyme theme which is "Old McDonald Had A Farm". Here's my version with an oink oink here and an oink oink there...

Daily Doodle : Pancake Day

Here's my doodle for yesterday's "Pancake Day" theme. Quick sketch and (obvious) idea but fun to do all the same...

Abbey Aisle, Window Row and Low Looe

Abbey Aisle :- Looks brand new doesn't it! This is an interior shot of Buckfast Abbey which is part of an active Benedictine monastery at Buckfast, near Buckfastleigh in Devon, England. There has been an Abbey at this location since 1018 and another one was built on the ruins of the first in 1134 but was eventually destroyed due to Henry VIII's Dissolution of the Monasteries Act (1536 - 1541). The "new" Abbey was founded on 28th October 1882 and was eventually consecrated on the 25th August 1932. It then opened a few years later on 24th July 1937. In 2012 the Abbey was subject to a huge restoration and cleaning program. As you can see by this image (taken 22nd May 2014) the Abbey now looks as good as new.

Window Row :- A dark and brooding shot of the original wooden bench seats and Victorain stained glass windows of the famous Middle Street Synagogue (opened in 1875). This building is now Grade II* listed and once you leave the street and go through its huge wooden doors it's like taking one gaint step back in time. Immediately on entering thoughts of Jules Verne's wolrd popeed into my head. It looked and felt as if I had entered a sacred section of Captain Nemo's "Nautilus". The sumptuous interior is full of polished brass, varnished wood and red carpets. I was very kindly given access to a few areas that had been cordoned off so was able to get a few more shots of this incredible looking placve that is Brighton's second most important historic building (the Royal Pavilion being number one). This shot was taken on the ground floor and shows the layout of windows which are set out with two in each bay. It's surprising to find that many of the windows and internal decorations were originally created by Campbell Smith & Co (founded 1873) and that the company is still very much alive and still creating work of this standard today in Fleet, Hampshire.

Low Looe :- The tidal River Looe in south-east Cornwall patiently waits for the water to come flooding back in. A few boats sit on the river bed lean at angles and look sorry themselves. In the background Trenant Wood (near right) and Kilminorth Wood (distant left and middle) are silhouetted by the afternoon sun as it starts to dip down in the West. This is the point where the West Looe River meets up with the East Looe River and then flow through the town of Looe itself and then out into Loe Bay and the English Channel.

All Photography Copyright © Justin Hill

Tuesday, 17 February 2015

Wild, Winged Victory and Setting on History

Wild :- Natural and overgrown. This is the route that I sometimes take when walking into the city of Brighton from Ovingdean. There's a public right of way that cuts up over the downs and through the middle of East Brighton Golf Course which eventually leads you out into Whitehawk and the edge of the city. It's a shorter walk than the undercliff / clifftop route but it's wilder, more open and much much darker at night.

Winged Victory :- I have known this building for much of my life as it sits on the edge of Ovingdean village (where I live) overlooking the sea. The building was constructed in 1937 and opened in 1938 as St Dunstan's Ovingdean. It was later renamed Ian Fraser House in 1971 but changed back to its original name in 1995 and then in 2012 was renamed once more as Blind Veterans UK​. The reason this image is titled "Winged Victory" is because that's the name of the beautiful 1938 sculpture holding the insignia of St Dunstan's that sits above the chapel. It was created by the sculptor Julian Phelps Allan, O.B.E. (1892-1996). It's quite a deceiving work of art as it doesn't appear to be big when seen from the ground. In actual fact the sculpture is 610 cm which is 20 feet or 6.09 metres in height. In 1938 Julian Phelps Allan wrote ''I am now working on what will be a 20ft figure for the new St Dunstan's Convalescent Home which is being built outside Brighton. This is a ‘Winged Victory’ holding the insignia of St Dunstan's. It is rather an adventure, especially as no one knows whether the floor of my studio will hold it! ''

Setting on History :- I have written and posted about the famous late Victorian "Brighton and Rottingdean Seashore Electric Railway" a few times before. The shots that I have used have oftne been of the remaining blocks and footings that can still be seen at low tide between the marina and Ovingdean. It is however quite rare that you get to see blocks on the Western side of the marina, you need a really low tide in order to do that. I was lucky enough back in September last year (2014) to find myself down by the beach during one of those very low tides and there were those historical blocks. What makes this section of the footings more intriguing is that they curve. From Rottingdean they cut in reasonably straight line passing by Ovingdean Gap and then vanishing underneath Brighton Marina which was built over them in the 1970's. When they emerge on the Western side of the marina you see a very visible but gentle curve as they start to head in towards the beach. In actual fact they are heading to the Paston Place Groyne (better known in Brighton as Banjo Groyne due to its shape) This was where the Seashore Electric Railway (nicknamed "Daddy Long Legs") set out from or landed at the Brighton end. The car that slowly waded through the waves and carried the passengers was named "Pioneer" and a qualified sea captain was required to be on board at all times. The railway was short lived as it only operated between 1896 and 1901. You can read more about it here :- Brighton and Rottingdean Seashore Electric Railway

All Photography Copyright © Justin Hill

Monday, 16 February 2015

Daily Doodle : Hey Diddle Diddle

Today's selected nursery rhyme was "Hey Diddle Diddle". My immediate thought was of cats and fiddles etc but then my mid started to wander and I got to thinking about a cow jumping over the moon. How would it breath up there? What would protect it from UV light and dangerous rays etc? Well...the answer and solution was obvious. Stick it in a spacesuit...

Mirrored Slipway, Water Trough and Into The Light

Mirrored Slipway :- The rocky, exposed beach at the foot of the cliffs between Ovingdean Gap and Roedean in Brighton on the south coast of England. This section of the beach contaiuns large reflective pools of salt water left behind as the tide goes out twice a day. When it's calm and warm they act like huge mirrors and hgelp create a surreal and alien landscape. To the lefgt of the image you can see Brighton's mighty Marina. The huge protective sea wall (at the base of the cliffs) is part of the undercliff walk that was constructed from 1930 to 1933. It runs for 5.39 kilometres (3.35 miles) and at the time cost £360,000 to build.

Water Trough :- A day out with the camera that turned out ot be rather muddier than I'd anticipated. By the time I eventually did make it back home the muscles in my legs were killing me as the mud had made every step and move an arduous task. This old metal water trough sits in a field in the village of Ovingdean, you can tell it's used a lot by the amount of wear around it and the hoof prints in the mud from the cows (who are most probably more sure on their feet in the mud than I was).

Into The Light :- This is a very busy stretch of road in Brighton so I had to be very patient and wait in order to get my timing right to get the shot withough many people or traffic in the image. This is a shot of the tunnel / railway bridge on New England Road. The tunnel is (aprox) 211 metres or 231 yards in length and supports nine sets of train tracks that connect Brighton's train station with the rest of the country. Brighton station opened in 1840 and this bridge / tunnel was constructed just one year later in 1841. It was much smaller then and has been expanded over the years. Even during the day the tunnel seems to devour all light and exudes darkness and gloom. It is however a vaste testiment to the industrial revolution and Victorian engineering.

All Photography Copyright © Justin Hill