Lost in a landscape: Mannington

Sunday seemed like it was the last blast of summer weather, that final sigh of heat and sun and as it goes some drifting was the perfect way to absorb those last few rays before the decent into the washes of winter Atlantic lows bear down across...

Norwich: “Brightest shining of the city” – part 1

We live here. It is easy to forget where Norwich comes from, we take our surroundings for granted; a city that has grown from virtually nothing over the last 1200 years. A scattering of people living on  gravel terraces above a bend in a river in...

Dead cities: La Coupole

This is the Ida railway supply tunnel, Bauvorhaben 21 (Building Project 21), Schotterwerk Nordwest (Northwest Gravel Works) at Wizernes, St Omer. Built by Organisation Todt using "compulsory labour" (about 60% French, 40% non combatant German) the...

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...

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...

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...

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...

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...

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...

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...

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...

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...

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...

Ghost Airfields of WW2: Part 3

It's been a while. 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...

Coasting: Morston

This isn't really my home Coast, I grew up with The stretch from Mundesley in the middle, awareness stretching from Sheringham to Winterton, the bits beyond were different, Great Yarmouth to the South was the stuff of fevered dreams and slot...

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...

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...

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...

Lost in a Landscape: Pleasure beach

An set of photos from 2009, taken during a phase of producing 'candids' or 'street' photos, it's an alleged art-form that involves trying to take photos of people in an interesting way without them realising and not getting your head kicked in....

Lost in a landscape: Bowthorpe DMV

We live in Bowthorpe for about three months, it wasn't my cup of tea, I've never quite got my head around modern houses, preferring to live in a series of brick built Victorian freezers with leaky roofs and nowhere to park, I'm clever like that....

Coasting: Walcott

We used to go to Walcott quite a lot when I was a kid, it's was and is all concrete, groynes and flat inland space, with the rising glacial moraines starting just to the North towards Trimingham. You can see the past up on the cliffs to the North...

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...

Lost in a landscape: Antingham

You can see Antingham, and identify it from quite a distance which is why I ended up there, I saw it from Suffield, remembered the view from trips to the coast up the A140 or across country out towards Aylsham. It stands out because of the two...

Coasting: Happisburgh Low light

It's a habit, almost a ritual. On Boxing day we go on a beach walk, blow away the cobwebs, usually at Happisburgh. This drives further back than our family now. We did the same when I was a child. My mum and dad and whoever else happened to be...

Airfields in Norfolk: Mapped

Several years ago, I did this entirely to satisfy my own wanderings, it is publicly visible on Google already, but it made sense to post it on the website to so it's more findable. It is worth noting that a lot of these sites are on private...

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...

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...

V2 aerial ghosts

Vergeltungswaffe 2, 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...

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...

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 first drops and as you swing further there is a vale where Walcott sits. As the cliff...

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...

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...

LOST IN A LANDSCAPE

Hidden corners, holloways, tracks, and desertion in the deep landscape.

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...

COASTING & WATERLANDS

The sea edged curve of Norfolk and the waters within

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 first drops and as you swing further there is a vale where Walcott sits. As the cliff starts to rise a...

Coasting: Sidestrand – the moving edge

There are a few places where you can really see the dynamism of the erosion of the soft coastline. It is obvious along nearly the whole length of Norfolk and well into Suffolk, our soft glacial memory is easily eroded. Shifts can be seen in the surfaces, the revealed...

Coasting: Happisburgh Low light

It's a habit, almost a ritual. On Boxing day we go on a beach walk, blow away the cobwebs, usually at Happisburgh. This drives further back than our family now. We did the same when I was a child. My mum and dad and whoever else happened to be there on Boxing Day were...

Coasting: Trimingham – On the beach

I wrote a bit about Trimingham a few weeks ago, it was canvas really, the backdrop, the beach is the deep history. Being what it is and how quiet it can be we went back. There was a bitter driving Northerly, ice bearing, even the hardy fishermen had all packed up and...

Coasting: Happisburgh

I keep trapping myself in series' of work and forgetting that sometimes I take a photo just because I happen to be somewhere and something special happens. I was just poking about in my digital shoe boxes and I came across these. We went along the coast the day after...

Coasting: Caister

March 2013, a scouring North Easterly for a few weeks changed the profile of Caister (and Hopton) beaches, revealing some secrets that haven't been seen for a decade or so, estimates indicate losses of between five and ten feet of sand, most of what was left seemed to...

VANISHING POINTS

The Landscapes of the Western Front

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...

Urbanism and the hidden city

Walking the old streets

Hidden City: 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 particularly interesting one....

Up city: St Giles Street, Norwich

I've realised recently I rarely write about the city itself, or at least I don't on here. This is actually based on something I wrote for something that was a sort of outline history of St Giles in relation to a couple of properties. I found it recently while rooting...

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...

Collapsing new buildings: Barrack Road Gasometer

Another thing to collect, often more by chance than design. These are unmistakable monuments in our urban landscapes and I happened to pass this yesterday in Great Yarmouth and happened to stop and get my camera out and take a few snaps of it after it skylined in...

Westlegate: The tall boy at the back

I first met Westlegate tower in the 1970s, I would have been about seven or eight. It was just part of the background noise in a city where I had yet to link up all the parts. In 1975 it was just a place where my brother-in-law worked. And on a couple of occasions I...

Collapsing new buildings: Sheffield

I used to go to Sheffield a fair bit, less so now as one of the reasons we went as often as we did (one of my children) now lives in Slovakia, one of the estimated 2 million Britons living in Europe that handily get ignored by the hysterics burbling on about...

Hidden history

What you don’t always sense

Gate guardians – Coltishall and Horsham.

This post is a short one, more of a response to this post and the photo which was found in a jumble sale in 2016 by Julie Chettleburgh. It contains a fabulous photo of a Spitfire on Farmer's Avenue (above) which caused a flurry of excitement as everyone either...

Hidden history: The burial mounds of Greenwich

I've been to Greenwich twice in my life once when I was at school, I can't remember why except we looked at the Cutty Sark sat in the water, I have no other memory than that, it's lost in the maze at Hampton Court, and in the stalls of the Old Vic where I went on...

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...

Norwich: “Brightest shining of the city” – part 1

We live here. It is easy to forget where Norwich comes from, we take our surroundings for granted; a city that has grown from virtually nothing over the last 1200 years. A scattering of people living on  gravel terraces above a bend in a river in wooden houses, living...

Hidden History: The Mousehold heath air crashes

It's an odd little memorial just off the side of the Road near the football pitches near Gilman Road. I'm not entirely sure of the circumstances either. Mousehold was at the time a dummy airfield chances are that either plane could have been making that way to try and...

Hidden history: Myths – Tombland, Norwich and the Plague

It's odd where you end up in conversations, the same is true in a digital landscape as it is in an analogue one. In between the pictures of cats, the videos of fat people falling over and the flux of skulking, trolling and pixel-fist-waving/bumping that goes on in our...

The Walled City

The flint and water circle

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...

The Walled City 3: Pockthorpe gate and city wall

Barrack Street is pretty dull these days, a humdrum piece of grey carriageway winding through crossings and traffic islands as it links the Magdalen Street flyover to the nexus; Mousehold, Plumstead, Kett's Heights or along Riverside. It's the epitomy of 'Innerlink'...

Maps: Norwich City Wall

Basically Norwich City Wall with all the main elements marked on, This is not 100% accurate for detail, It's stepping off point and that is all at that stage. Building started on 1294, finished in 1350-ish, then we started to pull it down. Privately financed partly by...

The walled city 2: Berstrete gates

Ber Street Gate or Berstrete Gate, sitting just on the edge of Foulgers opening off Ber a Street and Bracondale. Another Norwich city wall fragment, not the gate itself. The gate no longer exists, nor do any of the others, largely a result mainly of progress (or...

The walled city: part one

Norwich: The walled city I've been wandering around staring at flint in various forms for years. This is Norfolk after all it's ubiquitous and unavoidable from pebble built fisherman's cottages to our gazillion churches, dividing walls, farms, sheds and tumbledown...