Tuesday, 17 November 2015

Head of a Duchess, Echoes and Outstretched

Head of a Duchess :- It's not often that you get to see a real Art Deco Steam Locomotive ... and this one's simply stunning. "The Duchess of Hamilton" was built in 1938 and is a 4-6-2 Coronation class Locomotive, No 46229 designed by William Stanier.She is an absolute stunner and not at all what you think a steam engine should look like. Her wonderful "streamline moderne" casing was lovingly restored by the National Rail Museum in York and has been repainted in the LMS maroon livery with gold stripes. She was saved from being broken up in the early 1960's by Sir Billy Butlin of British holiday camp fame.

Echoes :- There was a time when this old rusted and twisted frame was a grand pleasure pier on the South coast of England. People would flock down to to the seaside and rejoice in the various entertainments that Brighton had to offer. Of course the entertainment was very different back then. There were no flashing arcade machines or fairground rides. The entertainment was provided by military marching bands, concert hall performances, choral singers and operetta. At one point (between 1918 and 1919) this very pier saw 2 million visitors pass through its turnstiles. Now she plays host to gulls and during certain times of the year vast murmerations of starlings. In this image you can see flocks of gulls keeping her company. The West Pier was designed by Eugenius Birch and built in 1866. She closed to the public for good in 1975 and is one of only two Grade I listed piers in Britain.

Outstretched :- Tucked away in a corner this tree goes unnoticed. It stands silently watching all those that pass. Before it is a large flat plain of grass behind it is a very steep bank that drops down and away at quite an alarming rate. There used to be deep water at the bottom of the bank and the deep water surrounded the large flat plain of grass that the tree looks out over. It was a moat and where this tree now stands there would have once been thick and high walls. In places there are still traces of masonry to be seen but here, in this corner, there's just a tree. This was once the mighty Bramber Castle, a Norman motte-and-bailey castle founded after the Norman Conquest by William de Braose, 1st Lord of Bramber. The castle's history is sparse but it is known that it was confiscation during the reign of King John (1199–1216) and that in 1642 a 'skirmish' was fought in the village. All is quiet here now. The castle has long since vanished with just a few clues left behind to let those know it was once here.

All Photography Copyright © Justin Hill