Month: June 2016

Trench Ghosts part 4

Langemark A few trench ghosts I did last week then got distracted and forgot about. One of Langemark and one of the Sugarloaf salient at Fromelles. The Langemark rephoto leaps out straight away. It’s also familiar to anyone that’s ever visited the German cemetery which is just below the crossroads. As with the Messines colourised picture that I ghosted last week the aerial laps almost onto the cemetery. The beck hasn’t moved, it’s an exact fit. The squiggles in the field above are I believe small unlinked German breastworks or dislocated trench systems. Fromelles The Fromelles one was distinctly...

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Hidden History: The forgotten chapel

Ring-roads, go round and past. Nature of the beast I suppose, circling. Norwich is blessed with ever-increasing circles; from the old castle ditches and the fee to the city wall and the inner link roads, out to the proper ring-road now forming into another ripple of road cutting through the countryside to join up one end of the A47 to a field in Ringland. One day all this will be infill, more houses and crescents, parades of shops and schools to give away. The new cultures growing over the ghosts of swaying corn tops out near Crostwick and Plumstead,...

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The Walled City 4: St Augustines Gate

This used to be the back wall of Magpie Print. I remember it being an inside; a building full of printing gear with ‘Mudpie Bob’ at the helm steering it. The trade seas were rough, from letterpress through to photolitho. I used to help him out with now-and-again with holiday cover, occasionally producing phototypesetting from our old chugging Linotype in long glossy photographic galleys to chop up with scalpels, glue down with hot wax on boards on a parallel motion table, ready for the camera. Design and artwork as trade. It was a funny old building, wood fronted with a...

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Aerial ghosts: Messines updated

I had a very interesting email today from Gil Bossuyt of frontaaltours.com which has prompted this post. Gil has been looking at the image I originally colourised in this piece. It goes thus: “I went searching on trench maps to recognize some road structures, and found that bottom left is the Market Square of Messines. On that same trench map you can also clearly see the trench structures you see in the photo. I am now overlaying this photo and the original trench map, which will make a great match.” It does. This is nerdishly exciting for me as I...

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WW1: Aerial Trench Ghosts Part 3 – Lens

Someone asked if I’d done any Loos aerials, I hadn’t, it’s not an area I’m hugely familiar with, it does tend to get forgotten in between all the noise about the Battle of the Somme and The Ypres Salient. There’s plenty of front in between and some of it was very hard fought. The Arras and Loos sector in particular  along with Vimy. There’s something quite haunting about the coalfields and the heaps in particular even when blamming past to the bits I know better on the Route Anglais, and some names that conjure things in the mind, the...

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Lost in a landscape: The Denes

Summer is nearly upon us, it’s May, a bank holiday weekend. What better time for a lazy trip to Great Yarmouth for a mindless wander along the prom and up to the strange outland of the Denes, even hazy sun is nice, in this swearing breathing Martin Parr exhibition. And being practically June, it’s no huge surprise whilst driving east, just after the almost hallucinogenic weirdness and mess of the Postwick forever interchange, to find yourself disappearing under a wedge of cloud as thick as a cheap rolled-up Axminster rolling over from the North East bringing with it some...

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