Things to look at and read

Magdalen Street 3: St Margaret – beating the demons

Magdalen Street's  hidden history: The lost churches Part 3, St Margaret. About thirty years ago, there was a little club in Magdalen Street; a brilliant grubby little hand-me-down from the age of jazz, blues and skiffle. It sat towards the end of Magdalen Street...

Hidden History: The Great Hall Oak Street

A medieval traders hall, which always seems all but forgotten. One of the few survivors of the blitz and the clearings on the whole of Oak Street it nestles between Moonraker cycles which used to be Slaughters backing on to Mitchell's Reclamation Yard which shows some...

Approaching Nirvana

Heroes are strange beasts, as is memory. Nirvana never were particularly the former for me, but are very much part of the latter. Retrospectively – 25 years on almost to the day, it's still quite nice to know you were present at the stuttering birth of a new squalling...

Hidden City: St Mary – The Chapel in the fields.

St Mary – The Chapel in the fields One of the most intriguing things about any landscape urban or rural isn’t so much what you can see as what you can’t, and how what is there covers up what was, or how it gives up clues. The Assembly House in Norwich covers a...

Vanishing Point: High Wood

At locations like High Wood, sometimes the only way to start these things is difficult, 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...

Lost Rivers of Norwich

I'm nothing if not unoriginal, this has come about for two reasons; me watching the excellent Thames Discovery project at work on Twitter, And more recently an idea of Jon Welch's based on seeing this rather remarkable work of Art by Stephen Water; his is hours of...

Magdalen Street 6: All Saints Fybriggate

Magdalen Streets' hidden history: The lost churches Part 6, All Saints Fybriggate There were two All Saints in Norwich, the remaining one stands in the shadow of Westlegate House, the old Provident Mutual office block which towers over it like the tall kid who hit...

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,...

Dead Cities: RAF Deopham Green

RAF Deopham Green Latterly, RAF Deopham Green was 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...

The forgotten chapel – William of Norwich

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...

Vanishing Point: Sint Juliaan – Under a green sea

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

Waterland: Strumpshaw fen

There is something mysterious and magical about the Broads. I've idled a fair while in the past sitting in a boat, the idiot at the other end of the line from the maggot or more correctly a dead lamprey or smelt when I used to fish. It's basically trying desperately...

New from The Flatland

Forgotten Norfolk - Brian Wells

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New Forms – City

Photographs of Norwich North taken from forever to 2023

Vanishing Points

Western Front prints from 2012 to 2018, from the 2018 exhibition.

Colour

Landscapes, prints from various series and some one-offs by request.

Lost in a landscape

Various prints from the East, Lost in Landscape and Coasting series.

New Forms – edge

Photos of Great Yarmouth between 2000 and 2021.

Coasting

Photography from along the coast of East Anglia

Posters

A selection of posters based on various buildings, objects and projects.

Limited Editions

Special edition numbered/signed Giclée prints – studio printed

Flatland

Small publishing co-operative, slowly growing our book list.

Lost in a Landscape

and other places…

A series of essays

An unstructured collection of written pieces which are basically a long form series of intermittent work – mostly observational, written to accompany photographs shot over the last ten to fifteen years across Norfolk and East Anglia. These essays look both at what is seen as well as what isn’t; acknowledging the depth of the landscapes we briefly inhabit, and the lives lived that are disguised by geographical, environmental and human change.

The history of us is in our soil, mixed with the crag and flint, hidden in our place-names, and lines our fields and boundaries. The past is there, in the lines our rivers, roads, streets and buildings. The narrative we exist as part of is as deep as it is long.

Lost in a landscape: Barton Turf

Lost in a landscape: Barton Turf

Barton Turf – White light and angels. 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...

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Lost in a Landscape: Scottow

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...

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Lost in a Landscape: Stratton Strawless

Lost in a Landscape: Stratton Strawless

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...

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Lost in a Landscape: Wayland Wood

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, the greening, then yellowing, then bareness, with each revolution of the...

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Lost in a Landscape: Trunch

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...

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Lost in a Landscape: Rich pickings – Swafield

Lost in a Landscape: Rich pickings – Swafield

Swafield and Bradfield ‘Fruit picking’ and ‘Pick your own’, are something commonly seen on hand painted signs still wedged in hedges and gateways across rural East Anglia and the Fens, it was and is part of a year long routine in Norfolk, especially with summer...

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Lost in a landscape: Little Witchingham

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...

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Lost in a Landscape – Lyng Easthaugh

Lost in a Landscape – Lyng Easthaugh

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...

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Last breath: Rosary Cemetery

Last breath: Rosary Cemetery

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...

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Lost in a Landscape – Blickling Arborglyphs

Lost in a Landscape – Blickling Arborglyphs

Dogs lead sometimes, our is beige, stinks, is opinionated and prefers woods to beaches, muck and leaf mould to sand and pebbles. There's more to sniff and mark an roll in in woods and fox shit beats dead gull hands down in the scent masking stakes for some...

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Coasting – Bacton

Coasting – Bacton

Bacton; a place name to conjure with if you know North East Norfolk's emptier fringe. A confusing piece of coast where as you move north of Happisburgh; the cliff drops and as it swings further round and there is a vale where Walcott sits. A series of tiny villages...

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Vanishing Points

The Great War series

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

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

Vanishing Point: Bernafay Wood

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...

Vanishing point: Courcelette

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 enmeshed world of social media, shared interests in a shared space eventually made...

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

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

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

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 series prints

If you would like to buy a Limited or Open Edition Print from the Vanishing Points series some are still available in the shop

Like what I do?

If you like what I do you can support the site running costs here by sending me a few quid using Kofi. Always much appreciated.

Blitz ghosts, bomb maps and more…

Ten years ago I did a thing, the echo is still rattling about in my head, occasionally it slides noisily back into my consciousness so I add to it, it’s mostly here.

The Norwich Bomb map – Digitised

The Norwich Bomb map – Digitised

The Norwich bomb map was originally created by Norwich Air Raid Precautions Department to record all known bombs* dropped on Norwich between 1940 and 1945, including the extensive Baedeker Raids of 1942, giving the location, date of the raid and the type of ordinance...

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Baedeker Blitz Norwich – deaths

Baedeker Blitz Norwich – deaths

I've intended to publish this every year since about 2011, refining it slowly. A year or so ago I tweeted all of these names, these people, because every year I always try to do something or other, perhaps in an oddly selfish way, in some ways to remember them all...

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Blitz in Colour: Dereham Road Baptist Church 1942

Blitz in Colour: Dereham Road Baptist Church 1942

Dereham Road Baptist Church opened in 1904. Closed temporarily in 1942 during the Baedeker Raids. Sources point at this being a result of the first raid on the Monday night; the 27th of April; this would fit the pattern of most of the bombing being of the north and...

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Blitz in Colour: Curls Store 30th April 1942

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 photo...

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Blitz Ghosts: Church of St Julian of Norwich

Blitz Ghosts: Church of St Julian of Norwich

One of the best known Blitz victims in Norwich, because of the famed Julian of Norwich. It was hit head on by a 250kg High Explosive bomb and all but obliterated as you can see. Beautifully rebuilt, and a fabulous little church, a nice calm space that feels more like...

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Through glass

Found slides, glass plates, photographs and archive material.

American holidays 1963 to 1970

American holidays 1963 to 1970

More found slides. I can't really tell whether these are people on holiday in America from elsewhere, but I sort of have a feeling that these people are American holidaying in America. The dates range from 1963 to 1970 and comprise trips to New York, Cincinnati,...

SS Oriana from the 1960s

SS Oriana from the 1960s

I've recently been given a huge number of slides, a real mixture of stuff which I'm now slowly working my way through. This pile came in a couple of huge bags from two friends, firstly Charlie, who gave me so many photos of stately homes from the 1980s I’m not sure...

Cambridgeshire 1963/64

Cambridgeshire 1963/64

One thing lock down has provided is time to review piles of old stuff I've accumulated over the last few years. Namely boxes of slides negatives and photos I pick up for a few quid here and there in junk shops, or get given occasionally. All rescues anyway, this one...

The Goodrum slides – found photos

The Goodrum slides – found photos

Barrack street, Norwich, is a non-place. There's not much there to see, it's a place to pass through, a ring road asphalt necklace choking the medieval. Apart from some tasty post war council flats and a building I once was trained to explain Richard Branson's...

Pleasure Beach – Great Yarmouth 2009

Pleasure Beach – Great Yarmouth 2009

I've had a few minor-league unpleasant 'Oh FFS' things happen lately. The most recent was a hard-drive suddenly making a horrible keening noise and then refusing to mount. Two days of trying different software to get it working again and bingo I had a drive that...

Through Glass: Norwich Skyline 1890s

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...

Persistence of memory

Lost in music

A few years ago I did an album a day thing on social media, not entirely sure why on reflection, I guess it passed the time and time does passes. Music behaves as a bit of a catalogue or bookmark of favourite, or not so favourite, passages – it's part of our timeline,...

Jess Macdonald

For anyone who knew her - especially from the old Twitter mob, Jess Macdonald (@Jessikart) left us late in the evening of Tuesday the 2nd of January. She passed with her mum Meryl and her sister Abi by her side. She was one of my best friends, a funny, feisty, riot...

Nick Groves

Nick and I used to speculate a lot between us about the various assortments of stone we’d spot in buildings which probably didn’t originate there. Some of it came from demolished churches, you can find them dotted about like solidified memory in walls and buildings...

Mark Watson

As you get older it’s very easy to take someone’s existence for granted. It doesn’t mean you no longer care, because we as people are woven out of all we’ve said and done, those we’ve met, who we know and who we count as friends – those important people we’ve met and...

All the cars I’ve ever known

I wrote this in the early summer after reading a piece about ‘The Great British Car Journey’ – a heritage centre which has opened in Ambergate in Derbyshire. Then I stuck it to one side because it's not like my usual stuff, then the other days I thought I'd tidy it up...

Marking time

It’s been a spectacularly bad fortnight. So here’s a story about some records and what they mean. Because music holds us together, it is partly how we form up into our ranks, each beat marking our time. 33 years ago, give or take, I first saw my wife in a pub, she...

What remains – ghosts 1

I’ve built up a bow wave of subjectivity over the years about ghosts. I grew up in a lapsed-methodist household, my mum’s background was very low-church, the residual extent of which was she liked singing hymns in the kitchen at Sunday tea time. My dad sometimes, but...

Noisebox

This is primarily simply a list of all the records Noisebox in Norwich put out. Noisebox opened at the beginning of the 1990s. Set up by Pete Morgan, then fairly fresh in from Wales, and therefore known as 'Morgan the Noise'. Noisebox opened in the Old Fishmarket on...

On Landscape interview – Nick Stone

An interview by Michéla Griffith, reproduced with kind permission of On Landscape magazine, April 2019. For this issue, we have something a little different. Nick Stone describes his website, Invisible Works, as a series of fragmentary blogs and pieces about history,...

Brighton, before the fall

When I was a kid and on into my teens I used to dream about the stars moving. I mean, I know they are actually moving, but then I could see them in 3D shifting and jittering, I could see the satellites and spacecraft in amongst them like an animated model right there...

Black Dog Tales

Black Dog Tales: Toby Gill

A fresh guest tale from Nicola Miller of The Millers Tale. A curious story woven by ghosts across the Shucklands of Blythburgh. Suffolk is home to many a curious tale, from the mysterious green children of Woolpit to a mansion which disappears and re-appears in the...

Black Dogs: The Wisht Hunt of Dartmoor

A guest post from Stephen on the nature of the Wild Hunts of Dartmoor. 'The spectre pack which hunts over Dartmoor is called the “wish hounds” and the black “master” who follows the chase is no doubt the same who has left his mark on Wistman’s Wood' – The Quarterly...

The black dog of Peterloo

Guest post from Rosie Garland. A Manchester Encounter, or, The Black Dog of Peterloo From an unpublished and anonymous letter now in the collection of the Portico Library, Manchester. Typography dates it to the first quarter of the nineteenth century. Spelling and...

Black Dog tales: The Hound of St Austell

A guest post from Andrew Macdonald of Waveney Archaeology. Samuel Drew (1765-1833) was a self-taught man of letters; his special interest was metaphysics, which is perhaps why he is little known now. He was apprenticed to a shoemaker and gave the following account of...

The Black Dog of Bouley Bay

A guest post. This is actually an extract from Erren Michaels' new book on Jersey Legends which should be available very soon. It is available to pre-order here on the History Press website. On nights when the black dog roamed the hills of Bouley Bay people would lock...

The Discovery of the Lancashire Witches 1612

Guest post from Tim Hardy. Tim is a graphic designer, illustrator and history boy, he is also resident of the Pendle area. Follows a tale of Black dog as familiar, witches and the trial.   Living in the Borough of Pendle, it’s not easy to escape the area’s...

Wheal Vor – black dogs, gunpowder and goose feathers.

Guest post from Andrew MacDonald of Waveney Archaeology. Andrew lives in in South Norfolk Shuck territory, but is currently occupying his waking hours obsessing over tin mines in Cornwall. He does this in between trying to persuade people to stare at bumps in fields...

Sheringham Graffiti

August has whirled by, hardly a breath between the blowing rain and the dry panic of the harvest. Combine harvesters throw their cones of dust over the fields pulling in the barley and wheat, sucking out what remains of the stored sun. We've been busy, fitting...

Black Dogs and Cats in Suffolk

Guest post from Francis Young From Francis Young, regarding Heveningham Hall and Moreton Hall near Bury St. Edmonds. Heveningham is an area of previous alleged sightings in the 1920s which include the mention of a clanking chain, it is one of the archetypal...

Georeferencing

The Norwich Bomb map – Digitised

The Norwich bomb map was originally created by Norwich Air Raid Precautions Department to record all known bombs* dropped on Norwich between 1940 and 1945, including the extensive Baedeker Raids of 1942, giving the location, date of the raid and the type of ordinance...

Norwich, a history in pubs

This is the work of Fraser White. In 2018 he created this using Google Maps to list all the pubs in Norwich possible, that includes closed ones as listed on the Norfolk Pubs Website and elsewhere. This is the kind of project I can get behind, so that's why it's here,...

Geomapping: Norfolk’s Deserted Medieval Villages

A good few years ago Cameron Self and I were discussing DMVs or Deserted medieval Villages on Flickr, we'd both visited a few to take photos, thus began an obsession with them, not just the Medieval ones, actually all of them. There's an oddly romantic notion about...

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...

V2 aerial ghosts

Vergeltungswaffe 2 or V2, The Retribution Weapon. A less than charming name for nasty things. The Germans were way ahead of us with rocket and jet technology, in fact they were way just ahead of us with most technology for most of the war. I remember marvelling at the...

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...

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...

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...

Ghost Airfields of WW2: Part 4

It's raining and blowy, what better weather on a bank holiday for getting the scissors and glue out and sticking things together. So here's a few more; RAF Old Buckenham, RAF North Pickenham and RAF Wendling. It's all good fun this isn't it, beats getting muddy. Well...

Ghost Airfields of WW2: Part 3

Ghost Airfields of WW2 We drove around RAF Oulton today on our way away from the huge pile of humanity trying to take dogs, bikes, jetpacks and assorted noise with them to Blickling Hall. We went to Heydon, because a lot of people don't and we wanted to restfully drag...