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