LOST IN A LANDSCAPE

Lost in a landscape: Worstead

  I was looking for something else, I didn't actually find what I was after, because of gates and no access signs and the sound of people murdering wildlife in Westwick woods, but as I pootled down another dead end this vista was there, so I hopped along the...

Lost in a landscape: Gunton

When I was at primary school in the 1970s one of my friends lived in one of a row of cottages in Suffield. It backed onto a farmyard full of interlocking hay bales, knackered cars, and a grain store with an egg-timer mountain of grain surrounded by rats nests. We...

Lost in a Landscape: Wolterton

A bit of a beauty, this was nearer the start of our circuit quite obviously positioned in Wolterton Park next to the main drive; It's another life remnant a piece of the past which has gained purchase in the now by becoming a folly for the gentry. It is very pretty...

Lost in a Landscape – Lyng Easthaugh

The lands to the west of Norwich have only a passing familiarity for me. I grew up in north-east Norfolk where I recognise the landscape facets and how they fit together pretty well, the marl pits and churches and the little winding roads that dip in and to of the...

Lost in a landscape: Ditchingham – an eye for an eye

Ditchingham sits just North of the Norfolk Suffolk Border. It is to all intents and purposes a suburb of Bungay albeit in a different county and on the other side of a main road. The town and its satellite village sit on the edge of the gentle yawning line that forms...

Lost in a Landscape: Kett’s Lane, Swannington

I've written about Swannington before. It's a lovely slice of countryside, unspoilt for an area which was for a period in the mid twentieth century a fairly industrialised airfield. It sits between the main axial roads radiating outward from Norwich spidering off...

Lost in a Landscape: Trunch

There’s a lot in a name, Trunch has one that doesn't fit in in Norfolk, or in fact in England. Locally it sits uneasily with the profusion of ~hams and ~tons, and ~bys and ~thorps. East Anglia’s toponymy is that of the invaded, repeatedly settled. People who move...

Lost in a landscape: Thompson – Below the glacier.

When I was at school we had a teacher called Peter 'Percy' Williams, he primarily taught geography. At first he hammered it into our small and stupid heads; over those first three years he gradually worked out which ones of us were holding the water and who was...

Last breath: Rosary Cemetery

My inclination was to put this into the hidden history category, but then I remembered how often I end up sauntering around with people I've never met, but whose names I can see, in the light and shadows of trees and bushes and stone and thought it all sort of needed...

Coasting: Eccles beach – far away in time

Eccles beach. Not Echo Beach, but I like a nice inexpensive joke derived from a slightly odd eighties lyric now and again, you just watch me. There are a fair few Eccles in Britain the famous one is in Salford, where those crumbly buttery cakes with raisins in that...

Lost in a Landscape: Warham Camp

Warham camp is the best known and best preserved iron age hill forts in Norfolk. Hills aren't that popular in Norfolk, we like our sky to go right up to the edges of everything whenever possible, but that doesn't mean they don't exist, if you think they don't you...

Lost in a landscape: Little Snoring

When you drive you travel along the edges of things, where modern life has built a wall along the edge of the land, the tall banks, berms and tree lines of the A roads and motorways where the litter and pieces of spent tyre lie in the dust. The piles of scrapings...

Lost in a landscape: Barton Turf

It rained, my god how it rained. A bank holiday hex hanging over Easter. And typically the patterns of various occupations in one household left me on my own staring at a refracted sodden world as the cars trundling along Aylsham Road under a lead grey sky. I went...

Lost in a Landscape: Scottow

Memory has a strange tonal range, there are sparks of colour in between the washes of grey and flat spots of black or white. I have a very distinct memory of first learning to ride a bike. Oddly for some reason that escapes me it wasn’t at the hands of a parent...

Lost in a Landscape: Stratton Strawless

There is this thing were you travel through a landscape, passing things, that have become lost, part of the blur of the countryside, the unnoticed facets of a landscape which sit just back, away from our arterial routes cut as they are by human traffic. It’ is also...

Lost in a Landscape: Wayland Wood

There is a darkness in woodland, hiding in the shade of the green canopy, something that retracts in the sunlight in the corner of your vision, beyond the growing and shrinking of the shadows with each revolution of the earth on its tipping axis. Beyond the sterility...

Lost in a Landscape: Trunch

There’s a lot in a name, Trunch has one that doesn't fit in in Norfolk, or in fact in England. Locally it sits uneasily with the profusion of ~hams and ~tons, and ~bys and ~thorps. East Anglia’s toponymy is that of the invaded, repeatedly settled. People who move into...

Lost in a Landscape: Rich pickings – Swafield

‘Fruit picking’ and ‘Pick your own’, still seen on cardboard hand painted signs still wedged in hedges and gateways, were and are a summer long routine in Norfolk. The memory flickers up from somewhere as I drive, I'm here and not, between sunlight and...

Lost in a landscape: Little Witchingham

There's a sea of barley, the horizon a shadowed thin night cloud line of trees. In the late afternoon heat this far from the coast there's no wind, no air sucked in by the heated land to move the thorned tops. Everything is calm. The summer hasn't advanced enough to...

Lost in a Landscape – Lyng Easthaugh

The lands to the west of Norwich have only a passing familiarity for me. I grew up in north-east Norfolk where I recognise the landscape facets and how they fit together pretty well, the marl pits and churches and the little winding roads that dip in and to of the...

Lost in a landscape: Edingthorpe – Rising toward the surface

Lost in a landscape: Edingthorpe - Rising toward the surface The cloud has almost boiled back, the sun chasing a lowering and disintegrating weak ridge of low pressure, there's a space for early summer between it and the next low dragging in from the south west....

Vanishing Points

Vanishing Points is a long-form photographic series with accompanying interpretation consisting of stories relating to the landscapes of the Western Front, memorials and some of the figures that peopled them.

A selection of 36 final images was made from over 120 photographs which formed the core of the 2018 exhibition and collection at St Peter Hungate in Norwich, The exhibition was timed to coincide with the centenary of the Armistice and ran for two weeks.

The response was truly staggering.

The original articles can be found on the links below and images can be purchased from the collection in the shop.

 

 

Articles

Vanishing Point: Dartmoor – father and son

There's a focus, out there. You'll see it in most cemeteries on the old front. The famous dead, the men, and boys who achieve some infamy by dint of their bravery, age or circumstances. Sometimes it's a footballer who scored big in 1912 before signing away four years,...

Vanishing Point: Bernafay Wood

After Carnoy the cloud started to drop, a shield of it obliterated the sun. Within twenty minutes the light had almost completely failed, the air filled with prickles of moisture. It took a good hour to lift as the edge of a small front slid in from the South West. It...

Vanishing point: Courcelette

I've been fortunate at times out on the front, walking the levelled trenches, across the flattened shell holes and in the regrown woods. You meet people, some you know via the curious world of social media, shared interests in a shared space eventually made flesh out...

Vanishing point: Guillemont, Trones and Jünger’s Lane.

It suddenly struck me yesterday, what I'm trying to finish the unfinishable. The Great War may have ended in 1918, but it didn't, and so it goes, new layers of images, understanding and history being laid down with every word typed and shutter click. I'd set various...

Vanishing Point: Carnoy to Montauban

I'm not far from here. Sitting in a hotel room on a laptop, near a roundabout and Le McDonalds, watching a dubbed film which was bad enough in English in the first place. So I thought I'd start doing something apart from lazy hotel drinking. Carnoy is just to the...

Lost boys: Sid Northrop

I recently rediscovered this. It was something I'd put on Flickr. It is the tale of another family member and his last few days and hours in the Great War. We visited the panel he is remembered on at Tyne Cot a couple of years ago. He was my grandmother Jesse Parr's...

Vanishing points: The Bull Ring, Etaples

Etaples was one of the main base camps along the coast of Northern France, being a port, a lot of men, thousands of them would have disembarked here. Many more would have embarked. It was known as "The Bullring", as were most of the base camps, but this one was the...

Vanishing Point: Out of sight

Genealogy is an inconsistent science and growing a family tree quickly becomes an obsessive work of semi-fictional detective work. The urge to push further and further backward heading into our peasant laden past, hankering after the occasional sight of a king or...

Vanishing Point – Langemark

Langemark is I feel one of the most desolate corners of the Western front. As I mentioned in another piece on Vladslo there is something so desperately bleak and sad about German cemeteries. They don't lack in any of the respectfulness of the loss or the death or the...

Vanishing Point: Devil’s Wood

Oak is a feature of the English psyche, a fabled national wood if there is such a thing. It proliferates throughout our history from warships and traders building an Empire to the familiar furniture and ancient twisting house frames. The royal Oak subverted to shelter...

Vanishing Point: High Wood

The way to start these things is difficult sometimes so here is a Piece of Mackintosh, not perhaps his best poem, but he can sum up the general situation in the area of High Wood better than I can. He knows what it was like because he was there in 1915 and wounded...

Vanishing Point: Fricourt New

The best and the worst of it all are hidden over a brow. You won't find the chattering crowds of the nexus points where death draws itself to a peak, this is not Thiepval or the Menin Gate. Nobody talks, no one sniggers, there is no rustle of frite wrapper when a hush...

PRINT SHOP

If you would like to buy a Limited Edition or Standard Print from the Vanishing Points Exhibition you can click here and go to the shop to select or click through the images below.

Delivery in the UK is free, please get in touch if you live outside the UK and would like to purchase one.

THROUGH GLASS

Through glass: Norwich 1963 – The Phoenix slides part 1.

This is the first of a series of posts. These will be based around a collection of found photographs which were pointed out to me by a friend in possession of someone else I know who didn't really know what to do with them. These were picked up at a jumble sale; a...

Found photos: The lost boys of Cromer

I go through people's leftovers, their old clothes, the maps of lines on their faces, sit in their seats and eat from their plates; strangers' stuff. They are people I can't know nor ever will in the vast majority of cases, nearly all of them are unreachable; dead,...

Through Glass: The lost villages of Stanta

There's been a few reports and exhibitions of work undertaken by photographers who have delved into the lost landscapes of the Stanford Training Area. There are tours, carefully marshalled around the activities that the army undertake in there as they have done since...

Through glass: Norwich 1960s – part 3, churches.

There aren't many of churches in the Phoenix collection, but what there are are fairly interesting. A selection and also some of the archaeological dig in near the Garth at Blackfriars and the Art College, Norwich. Norwich in the 1960s Part 3 St Helen's Church,...

Through Glass – Philip’s Glass: Trams

A few sample images from a batch of glass of Trams in Norwich I've got access to via a friend Phil. There are only three of these and they are in a bit of a state, looks like they weren't fixed terribly well and are quite badly smoked so I've had to pull them back a...

Through glass: North Norfolk, Herbert Thomas Cave

A second set of Philip's glass. These are 6 x 6 inch glass plates, mostly in rather nice condition, a few are de-laminating slightly and they're a bit dotty in places but basically all sound. These are believed to be by a photographer called Herbert Thomas Cave. The...

Through glass: Great Yarmouth

I'm always on the lookout for old photographs, negatives, slides and plates. In particular, the old, forgotten and unseen. The vague visual detective work involved in trying to work out when the shutter fell as much as where, it is that act of identifying with a...

Through Glass: Lowestoft early 1960s

I recently went to visit Phil to take some stuff back. I'm terrible for not getting round to things and I'd had a pile of glass sitting on my desk at work for about three months, it's heavy, he's shut when I'm open and open when I'm shut and I just never got round to...

Through Glass: Dartmoor

Another set of odd negatives and plates I received a while ago via a very old friend Dave Guttridge. Dave is a photographer, musician and DJ by trade and also has an interest in the past, in particular shellac and the art of the gramophone. He found these while...

Through Glass: Norwich 1900

A few years ago I was fortunate enough to have a box of glass slides come into my possession, here are a few of them, one day I'll get the whole lot scanned in and shared. But for now here are a selection of Norwich through the glass from about 1890 to 1920. I...

Through glass: 1960s norwich – part 4, streets

Difficult to subdivide these really, so the obvious one was to produce a post of 1960s Norwich street scenes or buildings which were shot. Some things are instantly recognisable, others less so. some things just haven't changed much beyond a coat of paint, others are...

Through glass: North Norfolk holiday 1960s

Another small collection of found slides. These ones came via Martin Snelling (@LeftofNever on twitter), ex-Norwich lad, who runs View From This Side; a project which collects found transparencies and slides. I swapped them for a few slides of Albania, because... I...

Mystery: Albert and the returning troops 1916

A mystery photo. Last week Bethan Holdridge who works for the Museums service in Norwich invited me to have a look through her Great Grandfather Oliver Isaac Brown's collection of photos. He was a Suffolk man but lived in Great Yarmouth, a sapper in the Royal...

Through Glass: Norwich Skyline 1890s

I love a bit of glass, particularly when it shows the city spread out like this. Believed to have been taken in 1890 this is a magic lantern slide. It appear to have been taken from St James Hill. You'd probably struggle to replicate the shot now due to the amount of...

Through glass: Norwich 1960s – part 2, Pubs.

There are a fair selection of pubs in Norwich in this batch, some still exist, some don't, all are interesting in one way or another. These are in no particular order and are pretty much straight out of the box. Norwich 1960s Part 2 The Plough Inn, Farmer's Avenue....

REPHOTOGRAPHY

Rephotography: Ghosting history

I should of course have done a piece on the Ghosts stuff properly ages ago, but time passes and what one minute seems to be the important and interesting bit of whatever you're doing suddenly isn't as much as it was three or four years ago. The recent conservation of...

Ghosts: Norwich Market & the Garnet Wolseley

I did these back in the olden days when sticking one photo on top of another was magical and cool. Then I forgot to publish them, I've just moved some backups about and lo, verrily these three popped up. The Garnet or the Sir Garnet or The Garnet Wolseley and the...

Blitz Ghosts: St Benedicts Gate

On the 28th April 1942 this was the result of a 1000kg Hermann that burst on what is now the traffic lights at the bottom of Grapes Hill. The men aren't short, they standing in the edge of a hole that was rather wide and very deep caused by the blast a Herman was...

Ghosting: Angel ghost

Originally produced for Len Holman as a leaving present. The photo is from the 1910s I believe. Angel Road school has quite an interesting history, it's changed a lot over the years, not physically, but in terms of what it is; certainly was a girls secondary for a...

City Station – Norwich

A Blitz Ghost of the Portico of City Station, just at the bottom of Barn Road in Norwich being dismantled by one man and a hammer. The Station was bombed on the first night of the raids, Not built on entirely solid ground, it's basically marsh land round there and I...

Blitz Ghost: Alexandra Road and Helena Road

Alexandra Road, another Norwich Blitz Ghost. A 250kg bomb took out about 4 properties, quite a precise slice, which is still very evident if you look at the row today the missing block was replaced with a more modern variant of the generic terrace, a pattern you can...

Lost city ghosts: Pitt Street

Pitt Street, now a scattering of industry and a quite a few nice trees. The entrance to Gildencroft, an alleged old jousting field now opened up to the corner of St Augustines and the churchyard, breathing some green into the traffic. Pitt Street once...

Blitz Ghosts: St Benedicts Church

Quite hidden away, a poor little thing. The tower is still there, preserved like like a thick flint chimney, or a Cloigtheach except no bells ring here, It reminds me of Messines in Flanders too. It's set in some grass just off St Benedicts Street, behind a new...

Plunkett Ghost: Flood Levels 1961

  Flood level gauges New Mills Yard. 27th August 1961 > 2012 Recording Norwich Flood levels 1570-1912. Boy's height 4 feet. The photographer's younger son, Jonathan, aged 6; he who has uploaded an enormous number of his father's photos to the triple-dub and...

Blitz Ghosts: St Michael at Thorn

St Michael at Thorn, or it was, just behind the Archant building, sort of opposite or adjacent to the shops that survived the flame-grilling of Bonds in April 1942, this is 11 years before the bombs fell in 1931. So I'm standing roughly, within a foot or so of where...

Time warps Alkmaar

A Guest post from Mark Alphenaar on the Regional Archive at Alkmaar. At the Regional Archive Alkmaar in The Netherlands we think that history should be easily accessible to all people, young and old no matter their background. We think we have found a way to do just...

Blitz Ghosts: Oak Street & Sussex Street 1942

More scenes from the Norwich Blitz. Probably the morning of 28th April 1942. Tough ones. I spent far longer trying to work out where it was than normal, and there's story behind this scene that you will find below that brings the cost of it home. I found the spot...

Ghosting: Norwich 1943

In Norwich in 1943 White stuff was an International, GAP was a Barclays bank, Buntings is Habitat, or was and Bullen's remains unchanged. The originals of these photos were taken  by Lew Funk: his Son John is digitising his fabulous and fascinating collection which...

Blitz in Colour: Curls Store 30th April 1942

Outside Curls store, Rampant Horse Street corner with Brigg Street, 30th April 1942. They're standing in the wreckage caused by the incendiary bombs that fell on Norwich on the second night of the Baedeker Raids on Norwich. So this is the 30th of April 1942. The...

Ghosting: Norwich’s first computer

The Treasurer's Department takes delivery of its Norwich's first computer at City Hall,  in February 1957... and in 2013. I'm curious as to whether Westwood of Beccles is any relation to our Tim... Drop da bomb etc. Original photo courtesy Norfolk Record Office....

Ghost Airfields of WW2: Part 1

I did these a few years ago, basically sticking aerial photos onto Google maps, I'd pretty much forgotten them until earlier. They seem worthy of a few posts. There are hundreds of these sites in East Anglia, and all, where accessible are worth a visit. If you want...

Blitz Ghosts: Church of St Julian Norwich

One of the best known Blitz victims in Norwich, because of it's famous St Julian thing. Hit head on by a 250kg, it was all but obliterated as you can see. Beautifully rebuilt, and a fabulous little church, even if you don't do the whole religion thing it's a very...

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...

WW1 Aerial photos in colour: Messines

You start to doubt your sanity slightly when you spend an hour colouring in a photo brown that was, erm, brown, well sepia, but I've also tried to pull the detail out a bit as well. This is Messines Just to the South East of Ypres, This was taken on the 2nd of June...

Lost City Ghosts: The Forum and St Peter’s Street.

Peter Mancroft & Forum - White Swan Yard Ghost 1960 > 2013, Part of a series I start and stop doing as the desire takes me as you do. I might do some more soon just for the hell of it. The site has seen a fair bit of turmult over the last 60 years, what with...

Trench Ghosts part 5 – The Somme – High Wood and Courcelette

A couple of ones that nearly got away, I forgot I'd done the High Wood one until a few minutes ago when someone asked so this makes sense. The Courcelette one is appropriate for today (15th September 1916/2016) High Wood © Nick Stone 2016 IWM/Google, High Wood...

Magdalen Street 2: St Botolph the traveller

Magdalen Street's hidden history: The lost churches Part 2, St Botolph. St Botolph or St Botulph or even St Botwulf was a church named after a saint  that now only really lives on in an adapted street name. Ignominiously lost in a few street signs in the precincts...

Lost city: St Augustines

I miss this, every time I buy a pork pie or a can of beans in the deep end of Spar I miss it. The cheap hot chocolate, the stinging eyes and the freezing water, those weird "no bombing, no petting..." signs. A post war development, not perhaps the most attractive...

Cinema Ghosts – The Odeon

Assembled for "Norfolk at the pictures" The Odeon stood on Botolph Street, long before it became the Odeon that glowered down in a 70s style over Magdalen Street, which is of course now a Hollywood cinema, with it's 'no clues there' logotype. This particular...

Ghosts of D-Day

I rather missed the landing craft with these, I mucked about setting up the post last week in anticipation of the 70th Anniversary and then ran out of time to do it. But here they are in the second wave, lost behind the Tsunami of other Ghosts of D-Day that suddenly...

Blitz in Colour: The British Gas Light Company, Dereham Road

Post-April 27th 1942,  this was the scene at the corner of Heigham Road and Dereham Road in Norwich during some kind of clear up work, probably to do with the gas supply. The whole crossroads here was badly damaged, the pub to the rear of the picture made of sturdy...

Blitz Ghosts – St Augustines

St Augustines School 1940, a posed shot for George Swain as the children enact an air raid drill, there are a few others in this series, showing twisted lines of children waiting to enter, one of the other ones lines up with the wall and some door and windows behind...

Norwich Castle Museum Ghost 1941 > 2012

Parachute troops, bare-headed and wearing 'jump jackets', in Norwich during exercises in Eastern Command, 23 June 1941. (Credit: IWM collection). Original Taken by Lt Puttnam, Official War Office photographer. Image of drizzle and murk, Nick Stone, Official...

Blitz Ghost – St Andrews

This is Harmer's Factory on St Andrews Broad Street in Norwich on the 18th March 1943 and the 2nd March 2012, almost seventy years., it's also a weird bit of land with not much on it, sort of an entrance to a car park of sorts. Harmer's was hit several times, firstly...

WW1 Aerial photos in colour: Water filled shell holes

I'm not sure where this is as I found it, it could be almost anywhere on the front at various times, a watery landscape where trenches are merely shell holes joined together, It could be Chateau Wood, it could be near Passchendaele or Hooge or somewhere on the front...

FORGOTTEN OUTPOSTS

Dead cities: RAF Swannington

RAF Swannington, known locally as RAF Haveringland, either way it's a little Gem, I spent the best part of a blisteringly hot afternoon messing around on the edges of an all but invisible Second World War airfield. It's just there, lost in the landscape, the fields...

Lost in a Landscape: RAF Happisburgh

Everyone I mean *everyone* in North Norfolk, and the Eastern bit of North Norfolk, or East Norfolk as I like to call it when I'm a bit y'know, not from London or the home counties, knows Happisburgh. It's the most interesting bit of Norfolk Coast by a long way. This...

Coasting: Winterton’s war

Yet more lumps of concrete, I doubt a the vast majority of people even give them a thought apart from trying not to scratch the car. Bit strange though, 13 ton blocks of concrete in a car park, and on the beach in one of those lovely little Norfolk corners....

Forgotten outposts: The Bure line at Oxnead

You will, as you drive around north and east Norfolk, pass these all over the place. In fact you'll find them all over the county as you will tank blocks and mortar spigots, even the odd trench line still exists all still protecting us from a long dead, now...

Coasting: Guns of Mundesley

An odd little place is Munsley, somewhere inbetween Victoria and now you can sense a fading  into much more of a backwater than was probably intended by the holiday destination builders. A pretty Victorian resort perched on high soft glacial sand cliffs, protected...

Dead cities: Thorpe Abbotts

In February I was fortunate enough to get invited by Waveney Valley Community Archaeology Group with the permission of Lord Mann on a reconnaissance mission for a project they are doing on studying standing buildings on the site of Thorpe Abbotts airfield; A Second...

Forgotten outposts: Brandiston type 22

There are hundreds of these scattered across Norfolk, it's not a modern phenomenon either. Defence starts at the gate to your house, there's ramparts and forts, dating from the late Neolithic to fairly recent lumps of Cold War concrete dotted about on awkward corners...

Dead cities: Langham Dome

A sort of anti-axis forces death star type thing. It looks a bit like one of those chocolate bombs or a steamed pudding, but about 18 feet high, made of reinforced concrete and painted black. Nestling on the edge of an abandoned airfield about 4 miles from the coast,...

Lost in a landscape: Wretham Circles

There's a lightness about Breckland, A dryness and pallor to the soils that make it feel somehow different from the rest of Norfolk. It's in the earth, the thin sand with it's luggage of chalk and flint, the exhausted soldierly lines of Scots pine twisting away as...

Dead Cities: Deopham Green

RAF Deopham Green, latterly home to 452nd Bombardment Group (Heavy), becoming USAAF designation Station 142*. The group flew B-17 Flying Fortresses as part of the Eighth Air Force's strategic bombing campaign. This is a remnant of the North Runway and a runaway...