Coalhouse Fort – Tilbury

Saturday 5th April

Reiss and I decided to take the dog for a family outing/photography trip to Coalhouse Fort situated in East Tilbury on The Thames’ Estuary.

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Strategically placed on the Essex peninsular, Coalhouse Point, this unique site has been developed as a defensive position from 1402.  With a near 180 degree arc of fire across the bend in the River Thames at Stanford-le-Hope and back towards London this location was chosen as earthwork defences, Henrician blockhouse and the Victorian Coastal Defence fortress which stands today.”

There are many aspects to the area now, which include; a park area with a zip wire and picnic benches, marshland areas, the coastal area on the estuary including the watch tower, the Fort itself and some inlet water areas. Reiss and I didn’t venture into the Fort as it is only open on set days throughout the year, however the surrounding area is fascinating and offered fantastic photography opportunities.

Estuary Fort1 Skyward StepsIn the opposite direction, a power plant is in full view. A stark contrast to the natural beauty around you in the park area.

Handstand

Powerstation Powerstation2

The lookout tower has fallen into disrepair and has had some railings removed to stop the public getting to it.

Lookout

Lookout2 Handrail Brickwork Strut Strut2

Lastly their was the ‘beach’ area, it had so many wooden structures that have just been left to rot. They really were beautiful.

Waves Fingers in the sand Estury 1 Estuary 1 Estuary Reiss I don’t know if Reiss was aware that I was taking this picture, but he looked straight at me 🙂

 

Seaweed

 

 

North Weald Redoubt

Reiss and I finally had a weekend off where the weather was ok! We did some research and found a new site to explore. It isn’t too far from us and this visit was to scout it out and get a feel for the area.

It is called North Weald redoubt. Between 1889 and 1903 13 Mobilisation Centres were built as part of the London Defence Scheme. Their main function was as a store for guns, small arms ammunition, tools and other equipment required for the batteries and infantry. The North Weald Redoubt was the first of the mobilisation centres to be constructed and the only centre north of the Thames. It is situated on high ground to the south of North Weald Bassett.

It is abandoned and derelict now. It has been heavily vandalised and is flooded at the moment. However, we will be returning when the weather clears up further.

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blue

house

Metal 2

Metal b+w

pipe

wire

Block

Amsterdam – Final day

During the last day we visited an influential interior design shop called Droog. It has pioneered the careers of designers such as Marcel Wanders who I mentioned in the Stedlijk post.

After this, some students and myself went for a walk around Amsterdam with our cameras to get a feel for the culture. We visited the flower market, Europe’s largest condom shop, an amazing hand made chocolate shop, a paper craft shop ( I nearly didn’t leave) as well as many independent galleries. This was the best day for me as I felt we covered the most ground, overall I really enjoyed the trip.

Bridge building b+w Building Canal Cat Lamp post Tuips 1 Tulips Watering can

Amsterdam Day 2

On the second day in Amsterdam we visited the Stedelijk Museum as covered by my previous post. After this we went and had lunch in Vondel Park. It is a beautiful open space with ornamental lakes, wild parrots and plenty of dog walkers.

Red light

Pigeon

Gravel

Flag

Neil

Red

Twig

Twig2

The Horniman Museum and Gardens

Sunday 8th December, Reiss and I ventured to a museum in London called The Horniman Museum and Gardens. We weren’t sure what we were expecting to see but I was delighted by the range and scope of this museum. The gardens include a small petting zoo and an allotment. The Museum itself houses a taxidermy wing, and assortment of curiosities, a music wing, a photography exhibition and an aquarium.

All of the grounds and exhibitions are free to enter except a small fee of £3 per person for the aquarium, for the upkeep of the tanks. We spent around 3/4 hours here and I thoroughly enjoyed it.

Greenhouse and clocktower

Greenhouse

Bird

Rodent

My favourite thing in the museum was the jellyfish tank in the aquarium. They were beautiful and mesmerising.

Jellyfish 1

Jellyfish 2

Jellyfish 3

A Lonely Walk

At the moment I am signed off work and cannot go to public places. Im starting to get a little cabin fever so I decided to go for a walk around my local nature reserve. I know the walks where your not likely to see anyone. For my birthday I got a new lens the 55mm – 250mm and some of my shots were experimental with this new lens.

Firstly I walked to The Plotlands, the museum is called Little Haven and is a house that was used originally as holiday homes for wealthy Londoners and then as shelters for children during the air raids. Although it was closed you can still go into the gardens. I found a wheel barrow full of glass bottles.

Bottles

Bottles 2

Through the window I could see this medicine cabinet, I love the vintage advertising.

Medicine cabenet

soap copy

I walked from here through a pathway that is seldom used. I had forgotten why. It has the remains of other Plotland houses that have collapsed to the right of the path. There was a keep out sign, but I ignored that.

I only scratched the surface of this area as I didn’t have a respirator and the air quality was poor. I will be going back.

fallen house

Jacket

Bread

Next I walked over to the lake. The usual stuff here but I did pluck up the courage to venture through the cow field on my own. Reiss you should be proud!

Mallard 2

Cow

Cows 2

From the top of the lake and up the hill, there is an amazing view of the landscape between Langdon Hills and London. As the crow flies, The City Of London is about 30  miles.

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Hedingham Castle & Gardens

On Bank Holiday Monday, Reiss and I decided that a trip was long over due. The weather looked rather good, so we decided to check out a Norman Keep called Hedingham Castle.

After an hour and a half drive, we pull in to find a confused boy holding a sign saying disabled parking but not really pointing it in any direction. So we went and parked in what we thought was the over flow carpark. Others followed so we thought hey ho, everythings fine. The Gardens look rather impressive and the keep was looming behind us. We realised rather quickly that there was some form of jousting day going on with archery, an artist carving wood with a chain saw and birds of prey. We go to walk in and are asked for tickets, obviously we have none and were asked to stand aside. A few more people came up who also didnt have tickets as there was clearly a mix up at the gate. So we were taken directly into the castle to pay. On the leaflets it stated that it was £7.50 each, the gentleman in front of me was charged £12.50 each. I was slightly shocked at this price. Whilst standing in the queue I noticed a second queue had formed the other side of the till as we were in the shop. Instead of serving me next the woman behind the counter went to them. Reiss pulled me to the side and we went straight into the castle free of charge. We were there for about 3 hours, we saw everything the castle and grounds had to offer and even had a picnic by the lake, no one was any the wiser. It certainly wouldnt have been worth £12.50 and im not entirely convinced it would have been worth £7.50. All in all, it was a pleasant afternoon out and I got a few photos that I was happy with.

Castle

Flag

By the lake there was so absolutely enormous doc leaves. The sun was shining through them. I didn’t realise that doc leaves have such big spikes on them!

Dock leaves

There was a small outbuilding that was open and looked neglected and abandoned. The inside looked very strange indeed. I would love to know the purpose of this building. It was a little gem for us, photography wise.

Window

Rubble

Holes

Rubble 2

On the floor was this perfectly preserved beautiful butterfly, very hard to photograph as the like was very dim.

Butterfly

I loved the handle to the outbuilding. Beautiful.

Handle

An enjoyable afternoon, made better by the fact that it was free!