Wednesday, 30 September 2015

Ethereal Light, Minesweeper and Hope Gap

Ethereal Light :- Natural light floods in through a stained glass window. The Church in question is that of Saint Nicholas of Myra which is more commonly known as St Nicholas' Church in the City of Brighton. The Church is famous for several reasons. Firstly it is the original parish church of Brighton. Secondly it is the oldest surviving building in Brighton. Thirdly the Duke of Wellington (of boot fame), Samuel Johnson (of Dictionary fame) and Dame Flora Robson (of film and theatre fame) all worshipped here art some point or other. Finally it's the resting place of Captain Nicholas Tattersell (who took King Charles II to France in 1651), Phoebe Hessel (who disguised herself as a man to enlist in the British Army and served for 17 years), Martha Gunn (Brighton's most famous 'dipper' who helped non swimmers bathe in the sea) and Sake Dean Mahomet ( who introduced curry houses to Great Britain). St Nicholas' was built sometime around the middle of the 14th Century and is (as I stated before) the oldest surviving building in Brighton because in 1514 the French invaded and burned Brighthelmstone (now known as Brighton) to the ground but the church was just on the outskirts of the village (as it was then) and was also on much higher ground so it escaped the flames and attack. However, Brighton has since greatly expanded and though it's the oldest building in Brighton it's not the oldest building in the Brighton area. That privilege goes to the Church of St Wulfran's in Ovingdean which dates from the 11th Century as is mentioned in the Domesday Book of 1086.

Minesweeper :- There's an entire area on the River Adur in Shoreham that's dedicated to houseboats of varying size and description. Some are very small and quaint, some are bizarre and peculiar and some are absolutley huge and awesome. One of the biggest (if not the biggest) is an old German minesweeper from the 1960's which is the is M1096 Fische. The grey leviathon is 150 ft or 45.72 metres in length and is home to Fred and Polly Cole​. You can read more about them and their home here :- Old Minesweeper Boat

Hope Gap :- I have known of the Cuckmere Estuary, Cuckmere Haven and Seven Sisters Cliffs for a very long time. But it's only recently that I walked from Seaford up over the cliffs of Seaford Head and discovered a place called "Hope Gap". It's a natural dip in the cliffs that provides access via a flight of concrete steps down to the beach and also presents you with an incredible view of the Seven Sisters as they stretch off towards Birling Gap and Beachy Head to the East. It's also (unsurprisingly) a place frequented by fossil hunters.

All Photography Copyright © Justin Hill

Tuesday, 29 September 2015

All the Breaks, Raised Up and Mallard

All the Breaks :- A low tide and smouldering skyline help make this shot such a moody image. The large breakwater / groyne is at Rottingdean on the South coast. It's a shame that htese huge concrete and stone structures break up the line of the beach and look so ugly but without them the beach itself would have eroded away and the sea would be doing its best top take the Sussex coastline with it. It's vital that the sea defenses are there, they are all saving us from swimming for it!

Raised Up :- I spotted this wonderful twisted tree on a small bank tucked away off to the side within the grounds of Bramber Castle in West Sussex. There's very little left of the Castle itself now, just a few low crumbling walls, half of the main gatehouse, a central hill which was once the motte and little else. The moat still circles the area and is now dry but is fascinating to walk as you get a real perspective and feel of just how impenetrable the Csastle was in its day and how deep the moat actually was! The Castle was built (circa) 1070 by William De Braose, 1st feudal baron just a few years after the Battle of Hastings and the Norman conquest. The Castle was also 'confiscated' by King John who was the brother of Richard the Lionheart (Richard I).

Mallard :- Yes. It is the real thing. This is the world record breaking LNER Class A4 4468 Mallard. The fastest steam train in the world. She was built in 1938 and is chock full of grace and style ... something that our modern trains are severley lacking. The steam train is 70 ft (21 m) in legnth and weighs a mighty 165 tons (with tender). On the 3rd July 1938 'Mallard' achieved a top speed of 125.88 mph (202.58 km/h). This beautiful steam locomotive still officially holds the record which I doubt will ever be broken. She is now kept in the Great Hall of the National Railway Museum in the City of York.

All Photography Copyright © Justin Hill

Monday, 28 September 2015

Glow Inn, Beach Playground and Dividing Lines

Glow Inn :- This is a night-time shot of the "Master Mariner" which is one of the pubs & restaurants within Brighton Marina on the South coast of England. Behind it you can just make out the ghostly glow of chalk cliffs and the lights of the main coast road up top. The conditions were just right for this shot as there was very little wind and the water was reltivley calm and still. However, I had to wait to take this shot as another photographer with more equipment than brains wandered around firing his flash off everywhere! Well done, Einstein.

Beach Playground :- This play area used to be full of Dodgem Cars, Amusement Arcades, Helter Skelters and Side Stalls. "Peter Pan's Playground" is an area that holds many fond memories for those that remember the Brighton of old. Unfortunately all the fun of the fair was flattened, concreted over and replaced by an ultra modern kids playground that looked like it was doing fun by numbers. I'm sure the children of today love it but to me it's a sterile version of what once stood here. Galaxian & Defender machines knocking out ear deafening digital sounds mixed with the smell of warm grease from the Dodgems as they sparked by and bounced their way around. Now that was real kids stuff!

Dividing Lines :- A field between villages. The dark line running from the left up towards the center is the bridleway that runs from Ovingdean Road in the village of Ovingdean to Old Parish Lane which connects to Warren Road in the village of Woodingdean. The houses in the distance on the right hand side are those of Woodingdean. The bridleway is (approx) a mile long and takes roughly 20 minutes to walk. Both Woodingdean and Ovingdean are villages within the boudaries of Brighton. Woodingdean started to rise up after World War One so is relatively new whereas Ovingdean is ancient, has an 11th Century Church and is mentioned in the Domesday Book of 1086.

All Photography Copyright © Justin Hill

Sunday, 27 September 2015

The Keep, Sussex Mansions and Pile

The Keep :- Timing was everything for this shot and image. The City of York had been busy and packed throughout the day and the weather had been a mixture of showers and sunny spells. I'd spent most of the day trying my best to avoid the people and the showers whilst taking in the rich history of York. I decided to take a walk around to Clifford's Tower and York Castle Museum before grabbing a bite to eat and a drink in one of the Cities ancient pubs and found the place devoid of people. As luck would have it heavy clouds were also moving in again and threatening to rain. I waited for the odd bus to go past before setting up from the other side of Tower Street and then grabbed the shot. Clifford’s Tower is the largest remaining part of York Castle. The tower was built sometime during the 13th Century and has been a ruin since the 17th Century.

Sussex Mansions :- It's unusual to see this building without any cars parked outside on the street. The minute I saw it was clear from vehicles I didn't hesitate and took the shot as quickly as possible. The building is situated on the corner of Eastern Road and Sussex Square in Kemp Town, Brighton. Sussex Square was built between 1823 & 1827 but I have been unable to find a date for this building so presume it was built at the same time.

Pile :- A simple shot. Nothing clever. Nothing fanciful. No set up. This is how I found the stones on the February beach back in 2013. I don't know who put them like that as it was around 18:30 and I was the only one on the beach at the time. Sometimes you can look too hard for the shots when in actual fact they are there right in front of you...all you have to do is open your eyes.

All Photography Copyright © Justin Hill

Saturday, 26 September 2015

Mill from the Green, Illuminated Construction and Wet Defense

Mill from the Green :- A view of Rottingdean's famous grade II listed smock windmill from the village bowling green on the Falmer Road. 'Beacon Mill' is more commonly known as the 'Rottingdean Windmill', it was built in 1802 and has been restored as a seamark. It sits high on Beacon Hill which is now a Nature Reserve overlooking the Enlgish Channel and where a beacon was once lit to warn Elizabeth I of the approaching Spanish Armada in 1588.

Illuminated Construction :- Sometimes it's worth experimenting and taking the odd gamble. I wasn't sure if this shot was worth taking or not at the time. I stood up on the top of the car park and looked out over the floodlit fast food area and the construction site looming over it in the background. I knew the all elements at ground level would be lit sufficiently for the camera to see it and focus on it ok but it was the tower block they are building that I wanted to capture. I stood looking at it for a while and then decided to give it a try anyway as I thought the lightspill and glow of the area might just be enough to catch it all. I was right. The image is of the new building that is starting to rise up at Brighton Marina on the South coast of England.

Wet Defense :- Unmistakably the beach of Brighton on the South coast of England. We are lucky here, we are treated to some incredible sunsets with nothing to get in the way of our view from the shoreline. The shot and image was taken on 17th February this year (2015) as low tide and sunset coincided with each other. The large Victorian breakwater was still wet and glistening from salt water left behind and the old but beautiful frame of Eugenius Birch's 1866 Grade I listed West Pier stood silently in silhouette as if it was deep in thought.

All Photography Copyright © Justin Hill

Friday, 25 September 2015

Stifled Set, High & Mighty and Pedestrian Priority

Stifled Set :- I was standing on top of an old Victorian breakwater known as the Black Rock groyne for this shot. The wind was far stronger than I had anticipated so it was all I could do to keep my footing and stopp myself being blown over the side and into the waves that were crashing about on the other side. The storm was on its way in and was creating some dramatic skys as it threw Brighton into a chilly shade. In the distance you cvan clearly see the mighty silhouette of the i360 which is due to open sometime in 2016.

High & Mighty :- This was shot from the section of old City wall that runs between Monk Bar and Bootham Bar in the City of York. I was nearing the end of the walk and not too far from High Petergate when a clearing through the trees supplied me with this view of the mighty York Minster. The building in the foreground is the Grade II listed Purey Cust Lodge. Arthur Perceval Purey-Cust (1828 - 1916) was an eminent Church of England priest and was appointed as Dean of York from 1880 up until his death in 1916.

Pedestrian Priority :- It's funny how some shots jump out at you. I have lost count of the number of times I have walked up and down the undercliff walk that stretches from Brighton all the way out to Saltdean. I've passed this spot over and over again and never once seen it quite like this. I suppose it's all to do with different random factors coming together which change how things appear. On this occasion the concrete was clean (ish), the sea wall on either side was in shadow and the sky and sea were clear blue. I crouched down low, took the shot and then walked into Brighton smiling to myself all the way!

All Photography Copyright © Justin Hill

Thursday, 24 September 2015

Fun All Year, Medieval Statues and Lighting Up Time

Fun All Year :- A chance shot taken a couple of weeks ago on the 10th September 2015. I'd been right to the end of Brighton's famous pier and was on my way back when i spotted the deckchairs and the shadows they were casting. I tucked myself up against the white wall of the building that now houses the noisy and cacophonous arcade near the front and tried my best not to be noticed as I set up for the shot. Various people passed by in their throngs and threw odd glances and looks my way but eventually i found a gap in the crowd that gave me enough time to grab the shot. As soon as it was in the camera I moved on and made my exit out and onto the main promenade and seafront. The people in the deckchairs (whoever they were) didn't even know I'd been there. Stealth like.

Medieval Statues :- I love these four figures. They are in the basement of the Yorkshire Museum in the City of York and they are ancient. The basement of the museum houses the Medieval York: Capital of the North displays and collections. Donw there you'll discover real Viking hoards, swords, armour, treasure and the incredible Coppergate Helmet (also known as York Helmet) which is an 8th Century Anglo-Saxon helmet which was actually found in York. These four life sized statues of Christian saints used to greet visitors as they entered St. Mary's Abbey which once stood on the site of the Yorkshire Museum itself. It's hard to believe but at some point after the Abbey was demolished they were actually used as as foundation supports.

Lighting Up Time :- These stone terraces were built on Rottingdean seafront on the South coast of England sometime during the 1950's. I have strong memories of clambering over them as a child when i'd be taken out for a day trip to Village of Rottingdean just afew miles to the East of Brighton. In the background you can see the lights of the apartments within the 1930's built 'Art Deco' style block of St Margarets Court.

All Photography Copyright © Justin Hill

Wednesday, 23 September 2015

The Shambles, Course Trees and Beach Art

The Shambles :- I have to won up and admit that I am rather pleased with this shot and image. I like the angle that I chose to take it from and caught it just as the street was quiet (very rare) and the shop lights were being turned on. It was taken from the Northen end of the street looking down towards the 16th-century Golden Fleece Inn situated in Pavement. So this is The Shambles which is one of the most famous streets in Britain and winner of Google's Most Picturesque Street in Britain in 2010. The street is mentioned in the Domesday book of 1086 which means it's over 900 years old. It's also Europe's best preserved Medieval street and the oldest street in the City of York. This was once a street full of Butcher's shops and twice a week their waste would be chucked out into the channel running up the center and all the blood and offal would be washed down the road. It's not often you get the chance to walk down a real Medieval street that's survived the ages. If you ever find yourself in the City of York this is one place you must visit!

Course Trees :- A mixture of things make up this rural scene. First of all you have a section of East Brighton Golf Course in the fore and midground. The sloping land in the 'front' of the image is actually part of a par 5 fairway. Beyond the trees in the middle we leave the Golf Course and hit farmland that rolls around and then in the distance running along the horizon there's dark outline of Woodingdean village.

Beach Art :- Nothing to do with me at all. I wasn't trying to be artistic. This is the scene that met me when I'd walked from Seaford, up and over Seaford Head and dropped down to the beach at Cuckmere Haven on the Sussex coast. Someone had been busy on the beach and neat little piles of stones had been left on the old wooden breakwater. The late afternoon light was hitting the chalk face of the famous Seven Sisters Cliffs and everything was just right for me to simply aim the camera and click. Beautiful.

All Photography Copyright © Justin Hill

Tuesday, 22 September 2015

Tunnel 433, Divide & Conquer and Willow

Tunnel 433 :- This is the railway bridge / tunnel on Fonthill Road in Hove, Sussex. The bridge serves the Brighton to Shoreham-by-Sea line which opened in May 1840 so it's more than likely that the bridge dates from that period too. The bridge is now classed as a historic building due to its age. Because of the length of the tunnel it's constantly lit which add to the unnerving moodiness of it all. It's also notorious for having the odd high vehicle getting stuck and wedged underneath it.

Divide & Conquer :- I have a feeling that this breakwater / groyne dates from the 30's or 40's. It appears to have been made up of prefab slabs that slotted into the large grooves of the upright sections. The Victorians wouldn't have done it this way as they're breakwaters would have either been made out of wood in the very early stages and then later constructed out of stone blocks and made much bigger. Because of the way this one was built it hasn't stood the test of time as well as the older breakwaters have. Huge sections are missing altogether where the sea has blasted them away with its constant battering. Elsewhere sections are worn down but managing to stand their ground. Further along the beach there's just one section remaining out to sea that's refusing to leave its post. The image was shot at Ovingdean Gap in Brighton, Sussex.

Willow :- I was driving through West Sussex when I suddenly spotted an old bridge from the road so I turned around (when it was safe to do so) and doubled back to take a look at it. It turned out to be a scheduled Ancient Monument called Stopham Bridge which was built in 1423 and spans the river Arun. After spending some time walking across it and photographing it from various angles I headed back to the car. It was as I was wandering back that I spotted this Weeping Willow on the other side hanging over the river Arun. What attraced me to the shot was that the entire image comprises of various shades of green and very little else. The shot was taken just off the Stopham Rd in Pulborough, West Sussex.

All Photography Copyright © Justin Hill

Monday, 21 September 2015

Condemned Cell, All The Eights and Queen's Road Quadrant

Condemned Cell :- It looks like something you'd see in a film like "The Man In The Iron mask", "The Three Muskateers" or "The Prince and the Pauper". The fact of the matter is that this is no fiml set or mock up but the real Condemned cell of the Debtors Prison which is now part of York Castle Museum in the City of York in Yorkshire. The Debtors Prison was built (using stone from the ruins of the castle) between 1701 and 1705. It's a grim but fascinating place to visit as it drives home the reality of just how stark, bleak and brutal this place was. Everything you see in this room is original. The iron bed on blocks would have had a thin straw mattress on it but I doubt there was that much comfort and there's also a fireplace and a rudimentary toilet. For a very long time it was considered to be the final cell of the notorious highwayman John Palmer who was otherwise known as Dick Turpin. However new research has shown the condemned cells area (in this image) within the prison where they thought Turpin wad been held was in fact not the condemned cells area until the 19th century. The small day room where was actually kept is just down the corridor. A researcher by the name of Dr Katherine Prior found plans dated 1732 which showed the individual cells at the prison. The 18th century cells were clearly marked and showed where the condemned room was at the time of Turpin. The highwayman Dick Turpin was found guilty of horse-theft and was taken from his cell to Knavesmire where the gallows awaited him on Saturday the 7th April 1739. Before they could hang him he said a few words, turned and then threw himself from the ladder thus hanging himself before they had chance. Dick Turpin is buried in St. George's churchyard (near Walmgate Bar) in the City of York. His tombstone is still there in the churchyard but they are now questioning if he's actually under it.

All The Eights :- There's beauty to be found in most things, you just have to look at them in the right way. The minute I exited the stairwell door and found myself on the upper and exposed level of the multi-storey car park in Brighton Marina I saw this row of empty parking bays all lit up. But as I looked at the bays I sort of saw them mentally as if i'd processed the image in 'black and white'. It looked good to me so I took the shot (with the odd funny look from people in cars driving past).

Queen's Road Quadrant :- Brighton's famous for it's Regency, Georgian, Victorian and Edwardian architecture. It's famous Royal Pavilion, Victorian streets, alleyways and seafront. It's a hotbed of history and is rich with figures from the past who ruled, painted, wrote, acted and performed here. But there's another side of Brighton that's been taking over for the last 20 or 30 years and that's the onslaught of modern and unsightly archtecture. I don't mind new things being built at all. It's how things work as every town and city slowly regenerates and evolves as time endlessly trudges on. What I do object to is badly designed buildings that spring up in an otherwise beautiful town or city. I am baffled by a lot of modern architecture and designs. There's very little finesse or style involved anymore. Everything seems to be boxlike and angular, no embellishments are allowed. It makes me wonder how we went from the frilly and fancy Victorian designs through the curved flowing grace of the 30's and ended up here with our edges and angles.

All Photography Copyright © Justin Hill

Saturday, 19 September 2015

Between Here & There, Across The Waterfront and Catch The Rainbow

Between Here & There :- For me this is quite literally what the title states as this is pretty much the halfway point when I'm walking from my village into the City of Brighton. If you do the journey by car there are still some pleasant views but you are (obviously) constrained to the main roads and at a pace that doesn't really allow you to take it all in. However, on foot I can take the bridelway that cuts up over the land and fields which also reduces the time it takes to walk in by 40 minutes as other routes are much longer. This image was shot at Roedean and is looking towards the Golf Course, Racehill and Woodingdean in Brighton.

Across The Waterfront :- It could be any built up area or shopping center or any street at night with its stores and restaurants all lit up but it's not. This was once an area full of crashing waves and where a spindly Victorian contraption called "Pioneer" would pass through on it's way to and from Rottingdean village several miles away. This are is the 'Waterfront' which is part of the Marina Village in Brighton Marina. The huge Marina is 127 acres (0.51 km2) in size and was mainly built between 1971 and 1979. The Marina Village was built in the mid 1980's (hence its look) and the Marina is still being altered and built upon right now as an entirely new and huge block is being constructed on the Western end.

Catch The Rainbow :- Rock pools left behind by the receeding tide mirror the myriad of colours that are thrown around as the sun sets. The beach is at a place called ovingdean Gap which is a few miles to the East of the City of Brighton. This is where I get away from it all, relax and breath. This is also where I live, no ... not on the beach but in the village of Ovingdean which sits up on the cliffs that look out over the English Channel. The village has an 11th Century Church which is mentioned in the Domesday Book ( of 1086.

All Photography Copyright © Justin Hill

Friday, 18 September 2015

Regency Tavern, Towards the Light and Counting Out Time

Regency Tavern :- I'm not quite sure how many pubs and inns the City of Brighton now has within it's boundary. A few years back it was said that were (qapprox) 900 or so but that was before Britain suddenly saw many of it's drinking establishments being closed down for various (dubious) reasons and being turned into local stores or private accomodation. The City must have lost a lot and just off the top of my head I can think of quite a few that are no longer serving and some of them had been in business for years! Most of the tourists and day trippers hit the pubs in the center but there are many more dotted around and hidden away that give an insight into how the Brighton of old used to be. The Regency Tavern is tucked away in an alleyway that connects Regency Square with Russell Square. The pub dates back to to the 1700's and apparently part of the building was used as a toll so people could pay "ha’penny" to enter and promenade around Regency Square. There's a long list of landlords on record stretching from 1859 onwards and the pub also has a reputation of being "the oldest gay bar in Brighton". It's said that the ghost of a Cobblers daughter haunts the upper floors and that a former landlady known as "The Grey Lady" can still be seen from time to time keeping an eye on the business. The Regency Tavern is a grade II listed building.

Towards the Light :- I got lucky with this shota and image. I'd been down on the beach with the camera trying my best to pretend that it was actualy warmer than it was (it was very cold) and photographing the incoming storm that was over the sea and coastline. I then looked up and realised that a shot from the top of the cliffs might be a good idea so I crunched my way back over the pebbles, made my way up the steps and took the old, worn path up to the cliff top. It was even colder when I reached the top as the wind was bitter and howling around as best it could. Just as I'd set the camera & tripod up a huge glow of light erupted amidst the storm clouds on the horizon so I quickly took the shot without much thought. It was only when I got back and processed the image that I realised just how powerful a shot it was, especially with the thin wire fence (all there is between me and an 80 feet / 24 metre drop) silhouetted in the foreground. The scene was taken in Saltdean on the South Coast of England.

Counting Out Time :- An image that was shot way back during july 2012. Just to the left of the clump of trees in the middle you can see the square tower of St. Laurence Church in the Downland village of Falmer. The village lies between the historical town of Lewes and the City of Brighton and is in the Lewes District of East Sussex. Apparently after the Norman invasion the area was given to Gundred who was the wife of William de Warenne, 1st Earl of Surrey. It's been said that Gundred was from Flanders and that she was the daughter of William the Conqueror (although some despute this). William de Warenne was a Norman nobleman and one of the few who was documented to have been with William the Conqueror at the Battle of Hastings in 1066. Falmer is therefore ancient (much like most of Sussex) and is listed in the Domesday Book which was compiled in 1086. Gundred died in 1085 just one year before the book was written. The village also has Royal connections as Edward II visited Falmer in 1324 and Charles I granted the manor to Edward Ditchfield around 1628. This rural setting has been changed drastically over the years. If I were to pan the camera to the left slightly you would see the University of Sussex (built in the 1960's) and the huge American Express Community Stadium (known as 'The Amex') which is home to Brighton & Hove Albion football cPhotography Copyright © Justin HillPhotography Copyright © Justin Hilllub.

All Photography Copyright © Justin Hill

Thursday, 17 September 2015

Poles Apart, Saw Shadow and Salmon Pink

Poles Apart :- Brighton's famous and iconic terraces have been in the news a lot lately. They are in danger of collapsing altogether and are now listed by the Victorian Society as being one of the top 10 endangered buildings / structures in Britain. At the moment there's also a World Heritage bid to help save the crumbling seafront of Brighton and Hove. So here's a little information regarding the terraces that are along Madeira Drive on Brighton's front to the East of the pier. The terraces were designed by Philip Causton Lockwood, the Borough Surveyor of Brighton. They were built between 1890 and 1897 and are now regarded to be the longest continuous iron structure in the world. The terrace is 2,837 feet or 864.71 metres in length from the Aquarium to Duke's Mound with a width of 25 feet or 7.62 metres. The (silver) heads of Neptune and Aphrodite are alternatively placed on each of the latticed iron arches. At the time the total cost of the terraces was £29,000 which was an enormous amount in the late 1800's. The iron work was manufactured by the Phoenix Foundry in Lewes. It's also interesting to note that the Phoenix Foundry name can also be found on most of Brighton’s ironwork including the Palace Pier, railings, bandstand and seafront lamps.

Saw Shadow :- Four thirty in the afternoon and the sun was just in the right position to throw a shadow up the concrete steps that lead from the beach to the undercliff walk. There are several sets of steps like these to the East of Brighton Marina and if the weather is permitting you can walk from Brighton all the way along the undercliff walk through to Saltdean which is (approx) 4.5 miles or 7.24 kilometres away. The walkway cwas built at the foot of the cliffs between 1930 and 1933. Around 500 men shifted 13,000 tons of cement and 150,000 concrete blocks into place during it's construction at a cost of £360,000. The walkway and seawall are not only a pleasant route to take but alos vital in protecting the delicate chalk cliffs from crumbling away and falling into the sea. At the top of the cliffs there's the A259 "Marine Drive" main coast road.

Salmon Pink :- This was once a marvellous pleasure palace full of Victorian wonders and delights. It was designed and built in 1866 by Eugenius Birch (1818 – 1884) who was a naval architect and engineer. Birch designed 14 pier all in all and the most famous was and is undoubtedly the West Pier on Brighton seafront. Unfortunately this is all that now remains of the Grade I listed pier but I still love her dearly. I don't see an old iron frame when I look at her. I see wooden planking, a hall of mirrors, a large theatre, crazy golf and children's rides as that's the pier I remember being on as a child. Catch her at the right time of day and she's still beautiful.

All Photography Copyright © Justin Hill

Wednesday, 16 September 2015

Magnificent View, No Longer Grand and Geologist Beach

Magnificent View :- When we look out of a window a vast majority of of us stare out onto a road or built up area. More and more land is being lost to various building contracts as they use the housing shortage as an excuse to build 'executive' homes on Greenfield sites. It was wonderful to wander around the magnificent Scotney Castle near Lamberhurst in Kent and see that it was still surrounded by open land. The fact that the land remains undeveloped is even more amazing when you consider that the old Scotney Castle was first built here around 1378 just after the 14th Century French Pirates raided the Sussex and Kent coast in 1377. Both Sussex and Kent have somehow managed to retain much of the green and pleasant land that they are made up of. Brighton is surrounded by the 'protected' South Downs and you only have to drive 10 or 15 minutes out of the City before you are surrounded by trees and open fields. This shot was taken on the mid landing of the grand staircase within the 'new' Scotney Castle which was built between 1835 and 1843.

No Longer Grand :- Some old structures from the 1920's and 30's were demolished so that a few modern monstrosities could be constructed in their place. They were built. They were opened. They were closed. They were left to rot. Such is the modern age where style and elegance is made to take a back seat as greed and ignorance tramples over it and makes it to the forefront of everyday living. Brighton is famous for its seafront. It's one of the few places you can go and see just what the Victorians and Edwardians did. They took pride in everything and it shows. Right now we are battling to save much of it that's East of the famous Pier. If you want to see just how they used to do things I suggest you get to Brighton asap before it all collapses or is simply left to rot some more.

Geologist Beach :- The undercliff walk comes to a sudden stop in Saltdean to the East of Brighton. Telscombe Cliffs then take over and thunder off for a while until they meet up with Peacehaven when another undercliff walk suddenly springs up for a while before dying out at Friars' Bay. It's a treacherous area without the safetly of the concrete promenade. I made sure the tide was out for a while before venturing over the rocks and to the foot of the chalk cliffs. The last thing I wanted was to find myself suddenly cut off with the English Channel coming my way. I didn't go too far either as I made sure I was only a few minutes away from the undercliff walk and safety of the beach at Saltdean.

All Photography Copyright © Justin Hill

Tuesday, 15 September 2015

Shaded Path, On The Up and White Out

Shaded Path :- Hard to believe this shot and image was taken smack in the middle of Brighton and Hove. It's not even a large public park. Due to the way that certain areas of these seaside towns were laid out large grassy areas and gardens were included. This shot was taken near the bootom of Palmeira Gardens in Palmeira Square, Hove. The square was built from 1855 to 1870 and joins onto Adelaide Crescent which connects to the seafront. Before Palmeira Square was built this was the site of the Anthaeum which was quoted as being "the world's largest conservatory". Unfortunately for its creators the Anthaeum collapsed and was completely destroyed on the day it was due to open to the public in 1833. Its wreckage occupied the site up until the building of the square began.

On The Up :- A view of Brighton's changing coastline as seen from the end of its famous Pier. The newly built (but not yet finished) i360 now dominates the skyline. It's not only the tallest structure now in brighton but has the honour of also officially being the tallest structure now in Sussex. Just a few weeks ago on Sunday 23rd August (2015) the i360 tower reached it's full height of 162m or 531 ft. There's still alot of building work to be done and the 'pod' that will carry people up and down the shaft is still currently being manufactured and put together somewhere in France.

White Out :- Many drive down or walk through this tunnel without thinking much about it at all. It's an access route and nothing more but to me it's another of Brighton's delves into the past. When Brighton Station was originally built in 1840 access to the station was up and around to the grand Italianate frontage designed by David Mocatta. This was because the engineer John Rennie built the station on a man-made plateau which was created by excavating part of the hillside at the top of Trafalgar Street which was where (at the time) the road from London met Brighton. In 1845 Queen's Road was built and at the same time the railway company built the iron bridge over Trafalgar Street to connect with the newly built road providing direct access to the front of the station.

All Photography Copyright © Justin Hill

Monday, 14 September 2015

Terminus Road, Ball and In the Middle of Your Little World

Terminus Road :- My images are usually to a landscape format with the odd portrait shot thrown in once in a while. It's very unusual for me to post an image that's square so today is a rare occasion. The shot was taken in Terminus Road which lies between Surrey Street and Buckingham Place and curves up and around the side of Brighton Station. As it bends around towards Buckingham Place it offers a spectacular view of the enormous glass panelled roof of the Grade II* listed Brighton Station which was built by the London & Brighton Railway in 1840. The large double-spanned curved glass and iron roof is a testament to Victorioan design and engineering and is just as spectacular from the outside as it is from the inside.

Ball :- Ok, so it's a discarded float or a buoy that's broken free rather than just a ball. I was walking along the undercliff walk from Ovingdean into Brighton a few days ago (10th Septemeber 2015) when the float and it's reflection caught my eye. So I took a slight detour, doubled back on myself a little and made my way down to the beach and across the rocks to where the large pool of water and the reflected objects were. The large stone block in the water is obviously man made with its 90° angles and is most probably one of the concrete sleepers and a remnant of the Brighton and Rottingdean Seashore Electric Railway which was in operation from 1896 to 1901. It it was known locally as the "Daddy Long-Legs" but its official name was "Pioneer". Various blocks can still be seen at low tide and entire sections of parallel stone sleepers remain in certain areas.

In the Middle of Your Little World :- You can't plan these things. It's out of your hands. All you can do is grab your camera and get out there when you can and take your chances. A lot of the time you come back with nothing spectacular. Granted you get the odd shot that you can do something with like a great bit of architecture, an empty park or a rainy seafront but for the most part 9 out of 10 times not a lot happens. However when it does happens it well and truly makes up for all those times when it didn't. This was one of those occasions. It was shot at the end of November 2014 from the very end of the large breakwater (The Norfolk Groyne) that's near the ornate Brighton Bandstand and opposite the Mercure Brighton Seafront Hotel (previously known as The Norfolk), a Victorian hotel that's on the main King's Road. This strange and beguiling sky had developed slowly as I'd walked along the promenade and as the clouds had got darker the sun had dropped lower until the two combined and created this surreal scene. The Norfolk Groyne that I was standing on was built in 1894.

All Photography Copyright © Justin Hill

Sunday, 13 September 2015

Returning Tide, St Mary's Door and Towards Mount Caburn

Returning Tide :- A cold January sky and a turbulent sea manged to suck the colour out of the scenery. The long breakwater with the chains running along its length is the 'Medina Groyne' also known locally as the "Hove Walkway". As far as I can ascertain the large breakwater was constructed sometime in the 1880's which was when the King’s Esplanade was built in Hove.

St Mary's Door :- There's usually quite a bit of road traffic in this area and more often or not a few people lurking around the alley clutching cans of beer but on this occasion the place was wonderfully quiet and free of people so I grabbed the shot whilst I could. This is the door through which you now enter the Church of St Mary's in Kemp Town, Brighton. This church was completed in 1878 but stands on the site of an earlier church that collapsed in 1876 (ironically they were rennovating it at the time). The Heritage Lottery Fund has backed restoration of this Grade-II* listed historic church back in January this year. As far as I know the work is scheduled to commence in 2016.

Towards Mount Caburn :- A hazy and atmospheric view looking East from land that lies between the historic village of Kingston and the historic town of Lewes in Sussex. The large hill to the left in the distance is Mt Caburn and is part of the National Nature Reserve. It is one of the highest landmarks in East Sussex standing at 480 feet or 146 meters and is an isolated section of the South Downs. Situated right on the top there's the remains of an Iron Age hill fort but nowadays it's become a great place to paraglide from.

All Photography Copyright © Justin Hill