Tag Archives: personal

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

After my shoot at the London Eye and County Hall on Friday, I stepped out of the Merlin offices and saw this which looks a bit like a slightly creepy 1970’s sci-fi film-set to me, but is in fact the old seat of London’s Local government.

County Hall, London, Merlin, London Eye


A few years back I undertook a film based project looking at the edges of communities and in particular the structures to be found there.  I worked mostly on 6×12 and it was to be my last project undertaken on film. (I may well return to film, so let’s say last for the moment!)

I thought, given that those marvellous icons of industrial design, the Richborough power station cooling towers were blown sky high today in 2012, it would be a good time to show my Periphery project image of the towers in all their glory.


(And there is no doubt that even with the likes of Instagram, film images do have a quality of their own)

With two shoots, I had a busy day yesterday but found myself with a two hour gap, sitting in my car, without a trendy coffee shop in sight, in the rain, in one of London’s less pictorially celebrated areas and not far from that wonder of sixties civil engineering(?), the A4 Brentford flyover.

A4 Great West Road, West London

Sorry, it look rather pathetic this size, it really does need to be be big to be effective!!!

I’ve got a day in today, costings, emails, accounts, waiting for FedEx, packing up DVD’s and sorting stuff out in general.  I am also looking at the possibility of another small exhibition. Interest has been expressed in the Coast Structure series so I’ve been revisiting them to see if there is anything there I might want to show.  Whilst on my hard-drive travels I came across this shot that I had rejected originally because it didn’t fulfil the criteria I was after at the time but looking at it 3 or 4 years later, it is quite a nice pic in a pictorial sort of way.

Sea and rocks off the south coast of Kent

Sea and rocks off the south coast of Kent

To make a change from architecture and landscapesI thought I might start sharing some of the images from my SeaPeople Project.  I’ll do this one portrait at a time.

This project began about three or four years ago and has lain dormant for a while although I now have a couple of new shoots in the pipeline which has given it a exciting boost.  It is a portraiture project photographing ordinary people who earn a living from working on the sea, either aboard boats or in a supporting role.


This first portrait features Martin Cox, the Engineer Superintendent aboard Union Pluto, one of seven vessels for which he is responsible.  Originally he trained as an agricultural engineer before becoming a Cadet Engineer in 1989 working aboard a variety of large tanker and container ships on deepsea routes.  I photographed Martin at Whitstable Harbour on a very wet day in 2010.

An afternoon in Greenwich, London

Had an excellent lunch out yesterday with a good friend and afterwards visited the fine Ansel Adams exhibition at the Maritime Museum, walking past Greenwich University’s new £76 million development on Stockwell Street to get there. (Designed by Heneghan Peng Architects)  (goo.gl/O64lb) The building is only just starting to come out the ground but I rather liked the supporting structure of the houses adjacent to the site.


And the exhibition was rather good too.   The last time I saw a substantial collection of Ansel Adams’ work was in South Africa in the late 70’s and whilst not being a wild AA enthusiast his work is as brilliant and inspiring now as it was then.

Then, later on my way into the big smoke I saw this which is quite fun…