Blog

15th December

Was good to get out today to do some good old fashioned solo exploring in North West Norfolk starting with the remains of All Saints Church at Little Ryburgh and finishing off with a lovely row of 17th century cottages of which a return visit is a must!



1st November

Just received a pleasing email from award winning author Georgia Rose who has been kind enough to mention me in her blog - (http://www.georgiarosebooks.com/7-facts-one-lovely-blog-award/



20th August

Two redundant churches and a third and final visit to a well documented farmhouse to discover a rather well preserved Wolseley - which looked like a 6/90 although I'm no expert! I was struck by the sheer quality of workmanship! Photographs to follow shortly.



24th June

A trip up to North West Norfolk today after an unsuccessful attempt to penetrate a rather grand country mansion. First stop was to a property in Setchey where I was disappointed but not surprised to discover that someone had stripped an old petrol pump from it's base! Finishing off at another 'return visit' to a small cottage in a very sad state, I notice that individuals with total disregard had trashed the place! I was losing light and suddenly the heavens opened! A hasty retreat followed - to the local pub!



22nd April

A double explore today, firstly to a location that I covered almost a couple of years ago and was surprised to discover that it was still standing considering the owner was planning on demolishing the property. I was only able to get a couple of exterior shots back then - this time however I was more fortunate in finding a way in!
So much left behind in this one and to be honest quite a challenge! The star of the show for me was a lovely Aga Range complete with copper kettle! There was even an unopened pack of 4 bottles of Guinness in the larder cupboard!
The second explore, this time on the North Norfolk coast to an old Beach Hut complete with a old abandoned railway carriage.



26th February

A fine day for visiting two different locations in Norfolk with my good friend who is the fountain of all knowledge when it comes to 'reading' a building. The first was a return visit to what I discovered to be a mixture of 17th, 18th and 19th century architecture. The original dwelling was built in the 17th century and originally had a thatch roof and was apparently the local bakery, although further research is required to confirm this. A date stone in the side of the larger adjoining house was 1810.
As I was composing my final shot, I noticed something black under one of the pillows in the main bedroom - an Edwardian ladies Mourning Bonnet. After leaving the house we adjoined a cortege through the village - spooky!
After a hearty and much appreciated meal in the local pub, our next visit took us several miles up the road to a large vacant farmhouse which proved to be rather elusive to find. Another history lesson from Mary on the the architectural structure of the building. Pictures to follow...



16th February

It was time to pay a 'reasonably remote' farmhouse a second visit, as the weather was just ideal for interior shots. I had visited the place a few weeks ago, and noticed that certain objects had disappeared which is a great shame. I discovered that the house had been empty for around 20 years or so and was once the residence of a local doctor.



January 2014

As you may have noticed, if you have browsed through the galleries recently, I have scaled down the amount of photographs that are usually on display. I felt that things were becoming too busy and as they say 'less is more'. A small selection of images shall be re posted soon including Bessingham Manor House.



August

I have joined forces with a local historical researcher who shares a mutual passion for derelict architecture and we hope to in the future produce a book documenting our travels... although when that finally comes to fruition is anyone's guess.



19th February

After visiting a couple of derelict cottages in the North West of the county; slightly disappointing bacause access was impossible I then headed to Bessingham Manor House for probably the last time. It's deterioration has been extreme and my ascent to the second floor was ruled out as was deemed to dangerous, although I shot some new images.
Bessingham is still one of my favs!



26th January

Seriously contemplating whether or not I should invest in a digital camera, as I notice that even 'die hard' traditionalists have already done so. 'Decisions Decisions...'

I am in the process of working on a large format book at present and at a conservative guess, hope to have the finsished article ready in time for Easter.



28th September

Ho Hum - my Konica doesn't like low light photograpy. I discovered the other day that the diaphragm is stuck which basically means that I'm shooting at f11 and smaller - mind you I guess I can live with that (for the time being anyway) as I have put a couple of rolls through it in slightly overcast weather and bright sunlight with no problems as you can see at a recent gathering of Bubble cars at Belton...

I just love bubble cars - I can just see myself in a Peel!

Second thoughts, it would be a good idea to get an estimate on fixing the Konica and so a quick phonecall to a repairer recommended to me by Simon at Collectable Cameras. £40 - which isn't out of the way considering it only cost me £3!
It's a shame there isn't anyone local that I can rely on to carry out repairs anymore - on a recent visit to Norwich I thought that I'd call into a wee camera shop - the one with the jovial owner accompanied by 2 odd looking chaps. I had a feeling they couldn't repair it as they couldn't repair my Mamiya - still thought I'd give em another try first!

Spoke to a interesting chap in a Lovely Red 'E' type Jaguar who was posing (well he wasn't personally) for a Jarrolds Billboard photoshoot on Elm Hill. I believe he had driven from Stratton Strawless with an 'niggling rattle' coming from the exhaust exacerbated by the road surface!

I have been lacking a little inspiration as of late, although all that is about to change soon as I shall be visiting some new locations very soon...



15th August

Bought a Konica Auto S3 from a charity shop in Stalham the other day for an absolute bargain price of £3 - A bit of a gamble because I had to put a film through to check that it was in working order (felt pretty confident though).
The couple in the shop asked me what I'd be willing to pay as they had no idea of it's worth. I hate coming up with a figure I exclaimed and so they started at £10 which gradually decreased to the £3 after some hesitation.

A few days ago I took Billy (my 'all smiles' son) to Norwich and it just so happened that one of my past reports (Yallops) was being renovated - I couldn't resist of course and I stopped to chat to the guy sanding down the fascia. He allowed us both in to take a look around - ideal opportunity to try out the Konica!!

Another trip to Norwich today, this time to hopefully see if a major retailer would be interested in stocking some cards - but alas no joy 'to nondesript for Norfolk' was the managers response ???? hmmm I was a littled puzzled as one of the cards depicted a Massey Ferg on a field in Norfolk - ah that could be anywhere he explained as he showed me 'what sells' - chocie box scenes - broads scenes, views of the city! Fair point I guess - I shall return with some 'hopefully' more suitable scenes maybe 'Norwich in Ruins' :->

What did piss me off though was that has I left the shop and glanced through the window I noticed a selection of cards depicting photos of pretty flowers and a groyne - yes I new exactly where in Norfolk these were taken :-> Shame I didn't spot the buggers whilst still in the shop.

Still - he did approve of the photographs which is something I guess.

Ending on some good news - got my results back from my little Konica yesterday and everything seemed to be in perfect working order. It's got a cracking lens after examining the negs through a lupe - the rangefinder is lovely and clear too!



April 4th

I was allowed access today to what I can only describe as one of the most poignant explores that I have encountered - The premises is currently in the process of being renovated.

Back in 1995 I was fortunate enough to persuade Mrs Joan Burton, proprietor of Yallops to allow me to photograph her for a college assignment.
She reminded me very much of my grandmother in her mannerisms; a very pleasant lady with a dry sense of humour.

Unfortunately the inevitable happened and Joan was unable to cope with the everyday running of her beloved shop and it was with much sadness that she had to go into a residential care home.

I managed to track down the new owner of the property who kindly allowed me access to record this little piece of history before it was to late.

Joan was well respected in the shoe trade and the upshot of this story is that she 'can still be as sharp as a tack' considering her 95 years!

As you will notice I have a seperate gallery that contains just a small selection of photographs.



January 21st

Had a pleasant surprise this morning from a Picture Agency as one of my images has been used on the front cover of a book by Italian author Valentian Pattavina titled La Libraia di Orvieto L'Ultima Eredita!! Italy during the Second World War in 1944.



December 9th

It's been quite some time since I posted anything, but I have been preoccupied with doing a little research on the various derelict houses that I have visited within the last few weeks; something I feel that I should have done beforehand but never got round to it!
To be honest, it's all become a little depressing at this present moment in time as some of the stories have been very sad and moving - more on that later...

Christmas letter dated 1955

The above letter was discovered in Tile Cottage, Pilson Green nr South Walsham.



September 1st

A return visit to yet another location somewhere in Norfolk; but this one is a little bit special as there is a splendid old 1930's fire engine tucked away in the corner!! It made a refreshing change to team up once again with my old chum, Steve Denby (check out Steve's Blog)
Photographs to follow at some stage ...



July 7th

170 mile trip today!! My journey through Norfolk takes me along the coast road all the way to Kings Lynn stopping off at various locations on the way.
The Heavens opened in Heacham (shame because I was then about to photograph an old derelict prefab bungalow next to the holiday park) It's a bit too far to make a return journey because I have a feeling that demolition is just around the corner - Bugger!
On the upside - a tip off from someone led me to an old hermits hut of which the location will definately be kept secret!!



May 30th

Visited an old derelict bungalow today with a fellow explorer and what an eyeopener it was too!! I had been itching to get out to this place as it has just been sold for twice the estimate price!! So many personal belongings just strewn across the floor. Even the electric was still on!!
Photographs to follow shortly...



May 5th

I had been waiting for what seemed like bloody ages for my half a dozen rolls of films to arrive all nicely sleeved and scanned. After making 3 phone calls for 'progress reports' I was assured that the order had been dispatched - I wasn't informed that the lab had 'screwed thing up!!' A 'machine malfunctioned during processing' which resulted in creases throughout the films and also a slight colour shift to top things off nicely:-> I shall refrain from 'naming and shaming' as the lab in question has decided to waiver the processing costs along with my next order. Thankfully most of the first floor shots of Bessingham Manor House are ok - thank God (as I wouldn't fancy my chances with that floor again!!).
On the subject of processing, whilst in Thetford a couple of weeks ago I decided to drop a roll of 120 into Studio 5; simply because I thought I would give them a try because it would save the hassle of keep sending them off all the time and my thoughts were that it would be nice to use someone relatively 'local'. Bad move - half the film came back scratched!! Didn't even put them into sleeves!!
Promising news to finish - I am fortunate to have been granted access to a particularly splendid building - details to follow shortly...



April 3rd

My third and final visit to Bessingham Manor House. I decided to take a look on the first floor this time, although the floorboards were very rotten and so had to proceed with extreme caution!! One of the rooms gave off a foul stench (no it wasn't Black Shucks aftershave); more likely toxic substances contained in half a dozen demijohns situated in the corner of a room!
This Manor House has an interesting history - brief report later...
Photographs to follow shortly...



March 15th

A trip to an old prefabricated derelict cottage today at Felthorpe. Fenced off and soon to be demolished in the next couple of weeks. Photographs to follow shortly...



March 10th

After 10 bloody weeks!! of a totally unproductive exploration schedule I was 'overjoyed' to once again return to the 'sticks' today. Sat Nav playing up and therefore having to rely on good old fashioned map reading skills didn't prove to be to much of a problem:-)
The subject - a lovely old derelict farmhouse, right off the beaten track. Peeling wallpaper too!!

The Chuggie.




February 15th

:-(
If I had a pound for everytime that certain individuals didn't bother to return my calls, reply to emails etc.. I'd be QUIDS IN!!
Can't rely on anyone these days unfortunately:-((
Discovered an old gnarled tree today and a quaint little cottage; will have to return at a later date though as the weather was naff.



February 6th

I strive to upload as many new photographs as possible, although whilst doing so I feel that I have somewhat overlooked many ealier images that require a little 'tweaking'.
I am therefore beginning the process of 'reworking' a selection from the Black and White Gallery.



February 2nd 2011

I thought that it was high time that I joined the 'blogging revolution'

Last month proved fairly inconclusive as far as producing any images are concerned (weather didn't help), however I am hoping that February is more promising.