Tag Archives: kent

SeaPeople Project (5) The Switzer Tug Guys

I spent a couple of days at Sheerness a while back and had a great session on board Svitzer Victory with Captain Steven Goodyear and Chief Engineer Shawn Scutts.  These are singular vessels with only one function and everything is geared to performing that function.  At 34m LOA it is not a very large boat but it’s with it’s two 4894bhp engines it is certainly up to the job.  The view from the command station is just that – commanding – with pretty much every part of the boat visible and most of the controls, it seemed to me, were to do with power management.

Steven Goodyear though, was a quiet unassuming guy who oozed calm and confidence, just the kind of guy you would hope and expect to be in charge of a very powerful machine!

SeaPeople Project, Steve Goodyear, Svitzer Victory, Sheerness, Port of London

SeaPeople Project, Steve Goodyear, Svitzer Victory, Sheerness, Port of London

SeaPeople Project, Shawn Scutts, Svitzer Victory, Sheerness, Port of London

SeaPeople Project, Shawn Scutts, Svitzer Victory, Sheerness, Port of London

Escaped child at Salvation Army

I’ve been working at the Salvation Army Chatham HQ recently, photographing their new building as well as their rejuvenated old building.  This is a LEllp project and as always, I like to do at least one session with the building in use.

I was invited to come down on Sunday to do some shots of the main hall in use. I got some great architectural views and while I was sifting through the files today I came across this shot of an errant but well-intentioned small child clambering up on to the stage to take his turn at the lectern.

Unfortunately he never made it, despite valiant efforts on his part – but maybe in a few years he will!

Escaped Child at Salvation Aermy

Escaped Child at Salvation Army

Hadlow Tower, Kent – Britain’s tallest folly now folly restored

Here is something I thought I had posted a couple of weeks ago but realised just now that it slipped through without a look in!

I visited the marvellous and recently refurbished Hadlow Tower a few days after it opened last month.  The project has been completed by the Vivat Trust with the support of English Heritage and the Heritage Lottery Fund and sees this once derelict folly restored to beyond it’s original glory – I say beyond because whereas it was not built with any particular use in mind other than standing tall, now it has a real function and houses a pretty swanky  three bedroom house on it’s lower five levels as well as a museum on the ground floor.

The original structures were designed in 1838 by the architect George Ledwell Taylor,for a client who had benefited from a substantial legacy and so  had no need to work but did need to do something with his time.  (the best kind of client, I should think!).  Taylor was recently made redundant from the military, where he supervised a number of mundane projects and the Hadlow Tower was one of his early commissions as a private practitioner and he was obviously relishing the break from military architecture.

Enjoy

Hadlow Tower,Kent, Heritage, Restoration, Refurbishment, Vivat Trust, English Heritage, Heritage Lottery Fund Hadlow Tower,Kent, Heritage, Restoration, Refurbishment, Vivat Trust, English Heritage, Heritage Lottery Fund Hadlow Tower,Kent, Heritage, Restoration, Refurbishment, Vivat Trust, English Heritage, Heritage Lottery Fund Hadlow Tower,Kent, Heritage, Restoration, Refurbishment, Vivat Trust, English Heritage, Heritage Lottery Fund Hadlow Tower,Kent, Heritage, Restoration, Refurbishment, Vivat Trust, English Heritage, Heritage Lottery Fund Hadlow Tower,Kent, Heritage, Restoration, Refurbishment, Vivat Trust, English Heritage, Heritage Lottery Fund Hadlow Tower,Kent, Heritage, Restoration, Refurbishment, Vivat Trust, English Heritage, Heritage Lottery Fund Hadlow Tower,Kent, Heritage, Restoration, Refurbishment, Vivat Trust, English Heritage, Heritage Lottery Fund

Relevant Links:

The full Wiki article is here:  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hadlow_Castle

The Vivat Trust is here: http://www.vivat-trust.org/properties.php?pid=121

Ashford M20 cycle & Footbridge – Nicoll Russell Architects with Jacobs

I took some time out after a shopping trip to Sainsbury’s in Ashford recently and strolled over the (now not-so) new foot bridge that joins the Eureka and Warren Business parks together.  Great for getting to the cinema!

It was conceived by a practice based in far away Dundee:  Nicoll Russell Architects and according to their website it is designed to create a kind of memorable gateway to Ashford. Jacobs did the engineering and overall I think it is a success despite gaining early and unfortunate local notoriety as as suicide point  – not something you can lay at the door of the designers who have certainly created a visually striking structure.

Ashford M20 Foot Cycle Bridge, Nicoll Russell Architects, Jacobs Engineering Ashford M20 Foot Cycle Bridge, Nicoll Russell Architects, Jacobs Engineering Ashford M20 Foot Cycle Bridge, Nicoll Russell Architects, Jacobs Engineering Ashford M20 Foot Cycle Bridge, Nicoll Russell Architects, Jacobs Engineering

St Thomas a Becket Church, Fairfield, Romney Marsh

Romney Marsh has got to be one of my favourite places in Kent.  The silent and bleak desolation is contrasted only by the endless groups of sheep nibbling at the grass and the plaintive bleats from the new lambs.  Yesterday was a gloriously sunny day so it was a perfect time to visit St Thomas a Beckett Church near Fairfield.  Apparently (according to Simon Jenkins) this is one of Kent’s most visited churches and it is in a wonderful location so one can easily understand why but if you strip out the setting, the building itself is rather plain and uninspiring.

The church now sits isolated and alone amongst the sheep and the steady trickle of visitors most of whom seem to park on the road, walk to the church and then back to their cars to drive off without stopping.  I found the atmosphere there quite compelling and was really struck by the amazing silence that surrounds the place.

The sign on the gate says that the Church key is available at the nearest house.  I was very happy to find the large key hanging next to the back door of said house.  No security, just a small note saying to please replace the key after use – wonderful.  And it was a fine looking key too!

There has been a church on this site since the 13C but all the associated houses have long gone.  The existing church structure was restored in about 1910 after it had become virtually derelict so all the exterior brickwork and roof is from that date which gives it quite a early 20C feel but the interior has certainly retained some of the original timbers.  It also has some marvellous (and very recently painted) box pews, a fine split pulpit and a lead font but I guess even taking these into account the best thing about this church is without doubt it’s location which is utterly unique.

St Thomas a Beckett Church, Fairfield, Romney Marsh, Kent

St Thomas a Beckett Church, Fairfield, Romney Marsh, Kent

St Thomas a Beckett Church, Fairfield, Romney Marsh, Kent

St Thomas a Beckett Church, Fairfield, Romney Marsh, Kent

St Thomas a Beckett Church, Fairfield, Romney Marsh, Kent

St Thomas a Beckett Church, Fairfield, Romney Marsh, Kent

Red Telephone Box resurrection in Kent and “La Cabina”

Easter is a good time to think of resurrection.

I have passed the yard of #UniquelyBritish countless times since moving to Kent 10 years ago but I visited the place for the first time last week.  Their yard is situated next door to the busy A2 motorway on it’s way to Dover but because the landscape is elevated at that point you wouldn’t realise the road is there.  And there is not much else around aside from countryside which creates a slightly incongruous and somewhat surreal environment for these red telephone boxes.

#UniquelyBritish have been resurrecting these red telephone boxes for years and send them out all over the world and are the only company in Kent doing this work and one of three or four nationwide.  They also do postboxes and some of the more standard architectural salvage stuff but the phoneboxes are the undoubted stars.  There seems to little point in regurgitating the history of these iconic British objects here, but if you are curious to know more, this is a good place to start:  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Red_telephone_box

The place made me think of the slightly weird Spanish movie La Cabina (“The Telephone Box”), an Emmy award-winning, 1972 film directed by Spanish director Antonio Mercero, and written by him and José Luis Garci.  The plot is simple:  A new phone-box is delivered to a own square.   A father tries to make a call and is trapped in it.  All efforts to release him fail and eventually he is carried away (in the box) to a hellish place where hundreds of similar telephone boxes are stored resplendent with their ex-occupants.  A weird but compelling movie.

If you’re interested it is about 30 minutes long and can be seen here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JFeERCVkAPg

Now the pictures:

Uniquely Britsh, Telephone Boxes, K6, Kent, Canterbury Uniquely Britsh, Telephone Boxes, K6, Kent, Canterbury Uniquely Britsh, Telephone Boxes, K6, Kent, Canterbury Uniquely Britsh, Telephone Boxes, K6, Kent, Canterbury Uniquely Britsh, Telephone Boxes, K6, Kent, Canterbury Uniquely Britsh, Telephone Boxes, K6, Kent, Canterbury

The innards of Canterbury Cathedral

With the Getty Museum project now complete, I thought I take a few pics of the wonderful roofspace up at the top of the cathedral.  Unfortunately the numerous firewalls prevent one getting a vista of the entire roofspace and one can only imagine what that view must be like.  But each section on it’s own has a degree of dynamism particularly those that have windows.  The other sections, without the benefit of natural light are vast caverns of darkness and in these conditiions (even with the few measly lights that there are, turned on) the rather incongruous signpost, is a very useful addition.  Carrying a compass helps too!

You get to the roof via a very long, continuous and pretty steep stone stairway complete with irregular tread heights which make slipping a constant hazard.  If you were to miss a step and start an involuntary descent, you’ll keep on going until you hit the bottom.  So one tends to use the rusty handrail thoughtfully provided.  Stone staircases in cramped settings are really difficult (if not impossible!) to shoot in such a way that demonstrates both their height and steepness.  Nevertheless I gave it a try and failed on both those counts.  But as the shot looks to me more like a snail shell than a staircase, I claim success in showing a stone staircase as a snail shell.

The last shot was taken from the Clerestory which I took simply because I was there!

Back to the world of new buildings tomorrow.

BlogCath6 BlogCath1 BlogCath4 BlogCath5 BlogCath3

BlogCath2