Month: June 2014

Lost in a Landscape: Arminghall henge

Imagine for a moment flying over a landscape. There’s a city below you receding to one side, fields coming into view on the other, lots of features to look at as well as flying a plane. You look down and spot a mark in a field, and this is the sort of thing you are looking for; two clear circles and a horseshoe of some sort, just a crop mark but there is something there. So you grab a your camera and snap a couple of photos of it as you pass then carry on looking for more. The...

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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 gradual joining of the states that make up a great nation and the long separation from Britain and France and a place that joins Canada to Europe probably more so than any other. This is Vimy Ridge, a tree cover escarpment that sits like a rucked up blanket glaring over the coalfields of...

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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 clotted, tyre rutted path from Thiepval for a quarter of a mile to a clump of trees and bushes growing over what looks like a Norfolk marl pit, the Granatloch quarry was a source of chalk for the farms. The path passes on a curve through the centre, young trees almost touching above your...

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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 from the tidal extremes by a concrete rampart, the village is poised somewhere between the choppy dunes edged flats of Horsey and Winterton and the rise up towards the bright lights of Cromer. This was one of my childhood beaches, easy parking on the big field behind the arcade, ice creams in plain sight, a chippy....

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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 slowly inexorably folding back over it. It’s also a double tap to the head for me, as the settlements round here have many characteristics of DMVs (Deserted Medieval Villages). Swannington was the last airfield built in Norfolk, largely housing the beautifully built wooden framed Mosquitos, more famed for their semi fictional exploits in...

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Lost in a landscape: Feet facing the sun – Bacton

Feet facing the sun, teeth biting the chill I went through the seasons under this hill. Cameron Self. When I was a kid, we had a dog called Sally, she was what the local vet referred to as a Daisy Dog, a mixture of this and that, pretty well mannered and a bit tatty, a cross breed of indeterminable heritage with a long black coat inherited from Spaniel and enough Jack Russell to give the insurance man a nip on one visit, a nip that required my mum paying for some new suit trousers. Her daily involvement with the...

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What’s THIS for…!

You might recognise this scene for two reasons; Firstly you live in Norwich and have walked down either Duke Street or Oak Street or have sauntered down this chopped off continuation of Colegate beside St Miles Church with it’s lovely flushwork and tracery. Secondly, you are of a certain age and liked punk, post-punk and new wave stuff, which I did and still do. I had a serious love affair with several bands from about 1979 and 1980. Killing Joke were probably one of the big ten of my top 100 bands of 1981 on that moving scale of...

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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 fact she’s very shiny and golden and you can see her for miles around certainly from La Boisselle and beyond towards Poziere. Why was she called the leaning Madonna? A short explanation; The Madonna of The Basilica was shelled, well the tower was by the Germans. Mainly because it provided a good point for artillery spotters to...

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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 events that in a similar way goes beyond our normal comprehension of war and the extent to which secrecy, planning a tactical preparation can give one side so much more of an advantage than the other, it works both ways obviously, but this was one where it worked for the Empire. The mines had been scrabbled,...

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2 weeks ago

Invisible works

Not my finest work, but y'know.

Anglia Square.
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