Friday, 31 July 2015

Golden Fleece, Mindless and Morning Garden

Golden Fleece :- A few weeks ago I found myself in the beguiling and thoroughly mind blowing historical City of York in Yorkshire, England. By day I explored its museums, caf├ęs, ruins and ancient walls but as soon as darkness began to fall and night took a hold I explored its inns and ancient pubs. It's said that York has 365 pubs, one for each day of the year (don't known what you do on a leap year though). Some of them are modern, some of them are a few hundred years old but the City is more famous for its ancient public houses and it has several. The one I find the most fascinating and intriguing is The Golden Fleece ( ). It's reputedly the oldest Inn in the City and also York's most haunted pub! The pub is thought to have been named The Golden Fleece because gild members used to drink in the pub. They used to go to the Merchant Adventurers' Hall (just a short walk from the pub) and the Gild traded in wool and fleeces. It's hard to get your head around but the pub's been standing there since 1503. The building has no foundations and is thought to be built on stilts. When you enter the pub and go down the corridor (which used to be an alleyway) it leads to a large backroom bar which doesn't appear to have a straight angle or corner in it. The floor slopes down to the west, the walls lean and the cieling undulates and dips all over the place. At the end of the bar there sits a mlife size anatomical medical skeleton who's known as "Saul Goodfellow". The pub is famous for its ghosts and various supernatural experiences. Fifteen different ghosts have been reported to have been encountered here. The most famous and frequent ones are :-

 "Lady Alice Peckett" - Wife of former owner and Lord Mayor John Peckett.
"One Eyed Jack" - A man in a 16th / 17th century red coat, armed with a flintlock pistol.
"Geoff Monroe" - A Canadian airman who fell to his death from an upper window during the Second World War.

 A Victorian boy who was trampled to death by horses outside the pub has also been seen on a few occasions and Roman soldiers have appeared in the old cellars. The Golden Fleece has now been listed as a Grade II building by English Heritage.

Mindless :- Way back in July 2013 the villages of Ovingdean and Rottingdean awoke to find the famous "Beacon Mill" windmill had been desecrated by brain dead idiots armed with spray cans. Don't get me wrong. I am all for great graffiti and the artists that create it, it is indeed an artform and brighton has a lot great spray can art and murals adorning various walls throughout the city. However, simply "tagging" or writing your name on something is not art, there's nothing clever about it, there's very little skill involved and there's certainly no thought process involved either. I heard reports of the mill's defacing that morning so grabbed by camera and made the 20 minute walk to the site around lunchtime. It was quite a shock to see it standing like that. I tried to get my head around how someone could do that and what it was that they got out of it. Did they think they were clever? Did they think it was funny? I have no idea. The 1802 Smock Mill is a Grade II-listed windmill and it's so famous that the vandalism was not only reported by the local news but also on the mainstream BBC news. As far as I know the culprits were never caught. The grafitti was removed / painted over within days and the mill was thankfully restored back to its historical splendour.

Morning Garden :- I love this shot and image for so many reasons. It's green and lush. It's bright yet full of shadows. There's a lot going on within it even though it's calm. But the best reason of all is it's my back garden. It was a very lazy shot to take. I happened to glance out through the patio doors and saw this view with the light hitting the grass, grabbed my camera, slid the doors open and took the shot. Easy.

All Photography Copyright © Justin Hill