Saturday, 21 August 2010

Dungeness Delight

Had been meaning to visit Dungeness for some time, ever since a friend went there and said that he thought I would like it, so programmed the satnav and set off after breakfast (Mark had been up at 5.30am to go Urbexing in Belgium, so I was awake earlier than usual!) arriving mid-morning.  As I was getting all the camera gear out of the boot, overheard someone saying that the structure below was an old radar station, and given its dilapidated state and "keep out" notices everywhere, naturally I went over there to have a look.  There was a gap in the fence, but no way into the building itself, and it really did look very precarious so possibly just as well.  However, it was popular with photographers and non-photographers alike - got chatting to a man called Phil from Birmingham with a Leica M6 around his neck, he said he was the only one in his camera club of about eighty people that was still shooting film, and that he particularly loved black and white.  Then another couple came along, both sporting cameras, more chat to be had, and finally with a man walking his dogs who asked me what the building was - not quite sure why I was suddenly deemed the expert on the place, I was only photographing it!

Old radar station

The new lighthouse

Boardwalk to the sea (all that shingle was
hard work to walk on!)

The base of the new lighthouse, which
reminded me of a large ocean liner

To the beach

The Serious Camera on the Serious Tripod
(all these shots taken with my trusty LX3)

The usual "my feet" shot
(it was hotter than I'd anticipated, wish I'd worn
sandals instead of Chucks)

Bits of crab and skull

See my 365 Project for the arty version for the of this

A barnacle encrusted crab arm

Hmmm, I thought Lithium was for something
entirely different ...

After taking all the above photos, I was desperate for a cup of tea and a sit down, so wandered along to the cafe by the station for The Romney, Hythe and Dymchurch Railway, bought myself a steaming mug of Earl Grey and sat outside in the shadow of the nuclear power station (as you do) to drink it.  Sat there looking up at the old lighthouse and debated with myself whether or not to go up it - was quite warm and didn't really fancy a steep climb, but the tea restored me and I decided that I would really regret it if I left Dungeness without going up.  Left the Nikon and hugely heavy camera bag/tripod in the car, and went in with my little LX3.

Oh boy, did I need this tea or what!

Looking up

The wonderful psychedelic lighthouse lens

For those interested to know more
(I was going to type this out, but now can't be bothered)

I liked "U"

Some of the brass markers showing points of the
compass around the interior of the lighthouse

That's my car down there!
(top row, sixth from the right)

Looking towards the new lighthouse

The nuclear power station

Shadow of the lighthouse

The lighthouse guide

Going down!

Lighthouse keeper's family from way-back-when.
I loved their squinty frowns (even the baby!)

Self portrait in the gift shop at the base of the lighthouse

After this I really was cream-crackered, and whilst the light was nice after more than six hours I'd had enough (although I still hadn't found Derek Jarman's cottage with the cactus garden, which I particularly wanted to see), so rather reluctantly packed up and set off home.  I knew it was called "Prospect Cottage", and of course I spotted it as I was driving away, but knew I'd have to save that one for another time.

About ten minutes into the journey I was yawning hugely (much like a Hippopotamus), and even singing tunelessly along to "Parallel Lines" wasn't enough to stop me ;)  At home I uploaded all the photos from both cameras to the computer, but no more work - had an evening of food, drink and catching up with all the pap telly I had missed earlier in the week, before heading to bed by 10pm (incredibly early by my normal standards) - it seems like a 5.30am start and a day of sun and sea air had done me in!

For more information on Dungeness, check out this delightful website

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1 comment:

  1. These are beautiful, all taking me back to a very favourite place - the fifth corner of Albion, as is said. Something about the B & W works really well for the removed, old-world quality that Dungeness seems to have - apart from indispensable colour pix of the lighthouse glass. Prospect Cottage is well worth seeing next time. Funny, although I've found it on both my trips to Dungeness, the old radar station completely passed me by!