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...

Vanishing point: Berlin Sap

It looks like a field, because it is a field, one that slopes gently up to a low ridge, 60 metres at its highest point, best appreciated either from a mile or so back in the open areas behind the old line. It looks like nothing much, close up it is...

Vanishing Point: Mash Valley and Ovillers

The Somme is exceptionally beautiful. For me a landscape that feels like home. It is chalk downland, when you get up onto the solitary heights of the Redan Ridge or the plateau where Thiepval sits is feels so similar to parts to the South Downs....

Vanishing point: The Leaning Madonna

She's not leaning anymore obviously, originally designed by sculptor Albert Roze and dubbed the 'Golden Virgin' - she stands holding aloft a golden baby Jesus on the very top of the Basilica of Notre-Dame de Brebières in the middle of Albert. In...

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...

WW1: Aerial Trench Ghosts Part 1

I did one of these to explain something to someone, then tweeted it and it all went a bit nuts, so it makes sense to put some of them together into posts on here rather than having them scattered to the 00000100 corners of the digital world....

Vanishing points: The Sad Angel of Kemmel

The French Memorial at Kemmel. She sits next to a steep road in a cup in the trees, standing a fair way up the slopes of the mount on a clutch burning incline. Known as Mont Kemmel, Mount Kemmel or Kemmelburg depending on your nationality, all of...

Vanishing Point: Essex Farm, The Eve brothers

I'm fortunate, I get to go to Ypres and the Somme and indeed various other bits of the Western Front fairly often, I do it mostly for my own vicarious pleasure/misery or whatever you find you want to call it. If I face facts it is I suppose a...

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...

Vanishing Point: Flatiron Copse

There are parts of the Somme where you can and do suddenly feel remarkably isolated in the sun, bits around Serre in the tractor tyre marks and up on the swallowing heights of Redan Ridge with the wind and the larks. For me Mametz is one of the...

Jagger Swagger

All cities are full of nexus points, the crossings of networks of roads that run the city. Because most of our major ant colonies grow irregularly, they form and coalesce around point sin the landscape and those points shift and change over time,...

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...

Vanishing Point: The Somme still flows – Schwaben redoubt

I've been distracted enough not to put fingers to keyboard for the last week or so. Mainly because I had an upcoming trip to France, my first on my own due to some fairly uncontrolled sets of human circumstance and how time plays its stupid games....

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...

Great War: Blinded

A set of six postcards produced by the National Institute of the Blind, now RNIB for St Dunstans in Regent's Park. These were fundraisers for the trust. A slightly mawkish view of something fairly horrific, but then how do you honestly portray...

Vanishing Point: Rosebeke

A strange day. I've been working very loosely on an ongoing project called 'Vanishing Points' for a while. I'm a bit of a fan of VPs, lots of artists are as a way of leading the eye into compositions, focussing the viewers...

Vanishing Point: Sint Juliaan – Under a green sea

The Brooding soldier; Sint Juliaan or St Julian or Vancouver Corner, take your pick, Flemish, English or Canadian. It sits just to the North East of Ypres on the way to Langemark/Poellcappelle and not far from Passchendaele It is primarily a...

Vanishing Point: Vladslo – Mother and son

Deutscher Soldatenfreidhof Vladslo. The Cemetery is about a mile and half north east of Vladslo which sounds like it should be on the steppe somewhere but isn't, it's in Western Flanders towards Diksmuide, Belgium, itself about 20 miles North of...

Ghosts: Ypres in the Great War

This is an ongoing series of Ghosts that I tend to do on an as and when I'm in the right areas to do them and can find where they were taken. The difficulty being the extend of the damage to the front and the 100 years mean sometimes it's difficult...

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...

Vanishing Point: Thiepval

72,191 names. Rising up as it does above the trees on the Thiepval ridge on the Somme, it is by turns a beautiful, vast and horrifying edifice of brick and stone, coloured like blood and bone. A list, a huge frightening and sobering list. The...

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...

WW1: Trench Ghosts Part 2

Part 2 in a series of an uncertain number of these things. There's no project like an open ended one... St Eloi 1915 St Eloi is just to the South East of Ypres on the Salient, not that far from Hellfire Corner, or Hellfire Roundabout as it is now....

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...

Shot at Dawn: John Abigail

John Abigail; A local lad, local to anyone in Norwich It's a longer story than I can write, and a sad tale too. Born in Thorpe Hamlet, they moved to Oak Street shortly before the outbreak of The Great War. John was one of eight children, the family...

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...

Football, Xmas, WW1 & misinformation

  This is a photo of Officers and men of 26th Divisional Ammunition Train playing football in Salonika, Greece on Christmas day 1915. It has nothing whatsoever to do with the Christmas Truce of 1914 at all, in any way whatsoever, so I'm sticking it...

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...

Cambridge – persistence of memory

My mum grew up here. Her and my ancestors were here for hundreds of years working as maids and cleaners, labourers, cartmen and brickies, laying the railways, further back pulling the root veg through the surface of the peaty soils to the north or...

Vanishing Point: The Ridge

It's quite an apposite moment, the ridge being what it is, a symbol of so much thrashing about in the earth trying to gain a foothold, somewhere that looms large in Canada's psyche and it's nearly Canada Day, a day that symbolises so much about the...

Vanishing Point: The Redoubt

There are areas of the Somme where you can really feel the past; where the landscape whilst modified hasn't been essentially changed. This is one of those places. What remains isn't difficult to spot and is easy to get too a walk down a grass...

Vanishing points: Mining the front – Messines 1917

The anniversary of the massive mining attack passed at 3.10am on Saturday the seventh of June, ninety-seven years since. This year rather overshadowed by the 70th anniversary of D-Day on the sixth of June and justly so. But this is one of those...

VANISHING POINTS

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 now. Sitting in a hotel room on a laptop, watching a dubbed film which was bad enough in English in the first place. So I thought I'd start work. Carnoy is just to the South West of Albert in the Somme region, maybe five miles from the town. It...

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...

PRINT SHOP

The Vanishing Points Exhibition opens at St Peter Hungate in Norwich on the 11th of November 2018.

Anyone who wishes to buy a Limited Edition or Standard Print can click here and go to the shop to select.

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

VANISHING POINTS EXHIBITION

Running from 11th to the 25th of November 2018. Open 10 – 4 (Closed Mondays and Tuesdays)

Hungate Medieval Art, St Peter Hungate, Princes Street, Norwich.

For more information click here.

News:

I’m currently updating the site which has become rather out of date and doesn’t have the functionality I need it to have. This has been causing some problems with people finding certain content and is also hampering my ability to develop the shop as I’d like to, and has been slowing the load time of the site down to a crawl.

Everything is still here and can be accessed in a rather rudimentary way via the menus or the search function. Apologies for the disruption.

Thanks for popping by, please call back soon.

Nick

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...

THROUGH GLASS

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: 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...

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: 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...

REPHOTOGRAPHY

Ghosts: Sheringham

Originally Part of the touring exhibition – Tradition and Innovation: The Story of Market Towns. From the press release: The exhibition will be touring to museums in Sheringham, Diss, Swaffham and Wymondham from November 2013 to July 2015, before making its way to...

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...

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...

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...

FORGOTTEN OUTPOSTS

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 you...

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...

Forgotten Outposts: Stella Plage Atlantikwall

A beach in Northern France, Pas De Calais actually, just south of Le Touquet and Etaples. It's a beautiful beach, so I ignored it and took photos of this bunker. I can't find anything much out about it. Except it's a Vf style reinforced personnel bunker, obviously...

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...