Rock Follies

Some months ago I wrote a piece about Studley Royal water gardens, and how they were created by John Aislabie when he retired from government in disgrace at the end of the South Sea Bubble Affair.  As Chancellor of the Exchequer he was greatly responsible for the scheme which was intended to refinance public debt … Continue reading Rock Follies


Foss & Nonsense

It's a pity that global warming is the culprit, but something remarkable has happened in the UK and we've had a real summer (and it's still only July at the time of writing).   At the risk of sounding ungrateful, this has had the effect of rendering almost everywhere I've been pleasurable and photogenic, with … Continue reading Foss & Nonsense

TA & the NT. An Open Letter.

Dear National Trust On my recent visit to Hardwick Hall I wanted to get a photograph that included both the shell of the old hall and the Elizabethan structure that superseded it, but of course the topography of the site, combined with the plentiful trees makes that virtually impossible from the ground. Which is why … Continue reading TA & the NT. An Open Letter.

Get your clicks (on Route 66)

America's Route 66 may be one of the most famous highways in the world (thanks in no small part to Nat King Cole and others who have covered Bob Troup's song over the last 70+ years), but England has its own cross-country highway, and one with a considerably longer history. The A66, like its namesake … Continue reading Get your clicks (on Route 66)

A Sanddancer among the Cockneys*

Rainham Hall in Essex has been described as one of the finest and best preserved examples in England of a medium sized early Georgian merchant’s house which seems a fairly narrow category to dominate but never mind.  The merchant in question was not a Londoner, he was born near to me in the North East. … Continue reading A Sanddancer among the Cockneys*

666 is no longer alone*

* Genesis - Supper's Ready   People attach special significance to certain numbers whether they're religious, freemasons, or just seeking the advantage of a little luck.  Depending on which sources you read, any number from 1-25 (and many more beyond that including the number of the beast in my title) has special meaning in the bible. … Continue reading 666 is no longer alone*

4 Funerals, No Wedding

When I was in Essex my friend Bee suggested a visit to West Thurrock.  Not my usual sort of territory for image hunting, West Thurrock's position on the Thames means it is dominated by industries taking advantage of the riverside for the loading and unloading of raw materials and finished products.  The power station and … Continue reading 4 Funerals, No Wedding