Wednesday, 2 September 2015

No Diving, Monk Bar and Two Cows

No Diving :- For those of you who know Brighton this will be a bit of a blast from the past. The Level is a park situated between Richmond Terrace and Ditchling Road in the City of Brighton. In the 1700's it was a cricket ground and the Northern section of the park (which is now the gardens and houses of Park Crescent) was laid out as the Prince of Wales Ground. In the 1800's it was laid out as the 'Royal Gardens' and from time to time fairs would be erected upon its grounds. In the 1920s Captain Bertie Hubbard MacLaren, Superintendent of Parks, re-designed the south end as a playground and boating pond with surrounding columns and pergolas. As a child in the 70's my mother would often bring me here (we lived not too far from the park) and I would paddle and splash around in the large paddling pool in the summer months. Back then the pool actually extended out and went under the two stone bridges on either side. I have strong memories of hiding under one of the bridges in the water, it's what all the kids kid. Then at some point the pool changed size and shape and the bridges found they were spanning nothing. A couple of years ago the enitre park was closed, redesigned, landscaped and then reopened to much fanfare. I have to admit it does indeed look a lot better and seems to now serve the local community better but the pool (in this image) has sadly vanished completely due to rediculous health and saftey rules and regulations. I survived hiding under the bridges, laying in the water and splashing my way through it all as I charge up its length. It never did me any harm or any of the other kids I used to share it with. Everything is stifled now. We are told what we can or cannot do and are also told what our children can and cannot do. I'm pleased I got to run in this pool with hundreds of other kids before the rules kicked in and fun was eradicated.

Monk Bar :- I love this shot and image. The very old and ancient with the relatively modern. The image is full of angles , contrasts, juxtapositions and history. The shot was taken on a section of York's famous City walls and is looking towards Monk Bar, the largest of the bars (gatehouses) dating from the early 14th century. Monk Bar was a self-contained fortress with 'murder-holes' that allowed those on the inside defending the City to pour boiling water and throw objects down upon the invaders on the outside. It's also the only gatehouse that still has a working portcullis which was still in use up until 1970!

Two Cows :- A scene of rural perfection. As seaside resorts go Brighton has got to be unique, not just for its rich and fascinating history but also for it's positioning. I can't think of any other City in England that has such divers and beautiful surroundings. For a start the City is on the coast so to the South there is nothing but the waters of the mighty English Channel. To the East we have the stunning scenery of Seaford Head, Cuckmere Haven, Birling Gap and of course the awesome Beachy Head (the highest chalk sea cliff in Britain which rises up to a heart stopping 162 metres or 531 ft above sea) and to the West there's historical Arundel and Chichester. But it's the South Downs that really puts Brighton in a unique place. The seaside resort sits in a bowl of lush English countryside with little towns and ancient villages tucked here and there. This image was taken from the top of a place called Devil's Dyke which is just 10.5 kilometres or 6.5 miles from Brighton's iconic seafront and from up here you can look out over much of Sussex with its patchwork fields and hedgerows.

All Photography Copyright © Justin Hill