Thursday, 29 January 2015

Up Close And Personal With Some Clouds

I love taking sunset shots, however tonight the cloud cover was just to dense around the sun so I concentrated on the clouds further up that were getting illuminated.  Really liked the patterns and colours that were formed, I hope you do to.

Wednesday, 28 January 2015

Tonight's Stunning Sunset

Looking from the Aegean Coast of Turkey across to the Greek Island of Samos, the sunset tonight was stunning, made all the more dramatic by some heavy cloud formations.

Thursday, 22 January 2015

Enjoying The Winter Sunshine

Ours friends dog, Efes, laying amongst the daisies, enjoying the winter sunshine here in Turkey.

Sunday, 18 January 2015

Cromer Lifeboat Station

At the end of the pier in Cromer on the Norfolk Coast in the UK can be found the Royal National Lifeboat Institution (RNLI) off shore lifeboat station.  The current building was rebuilt between 1997 and 1999, to replace the original building which had been located here since 1923.  This original building was relocated to Southwold in Suffolk where it is used as a lifeboat museum.

Cromer's volunteer crews have, over the years, been awarded many accolades for their bravery and daring rescues, spanning over two centuries.  Names of the brave crew, the lifeboats they served on, the dates of their rescue attempts and the names of the vessels in distress are recorded on the plaques that are all over the interior walls of the station.  These along with the beautifully decorated and colourful stained glass windows are a very fitting tribute.

Because this station is classed as an 'Explore' station, meaning visitors can get 'up close and personal with the impressive fully operational, working lifeboats.  It is amazing how they manage to maneuver these large boats into quite a tight space.

These three stained glass windows record some of Cromer's most famous lifeboats.

The Ruby and Arthur Reed 1 lifeboat was in service here in Cromer from 30th April 1967 until it was replaced 17 years later.  During this time she performed 125 service launches and rescued 58 people. Again she was named after the generous benefactor Mrs Reed in memory of her husband.

Henry Blogg was Cromer and probably Englands most famous and decorated lifeboat man and is referred to as 'the greatest of the lifeboatmen'.  He was born on the 6th February 1876, was coxwain of the cromer lifeboat from 1909 to 1947 and died on the 13th June 1954.  During his career he awarded three gold medals and four silver medals by the RNLI as well as the George Cross and the British Empire Medal as well as several other awards.  Due to the Watson Class lifeboats being the boats stationed here in Cromer during Henry Blogg's career, they have become the most famous type of lifeboat.

The current lifeboat stationed here is a Tamar Class named Edward and Barbara Prigmore, (in recognition of the generous donation given to the RNLI by the late Mrs Prigmore), which came into service in 2011.

The drama of the seas recreated on canvas.

If you ever get the chance to visit Cromer, please stop by the Lifeboat Station, it is a fantastic place to visit and if your timing is right you may even get to see the lifeboat being launched out to sea.

Saturday, 17 January 2015

Denver, Norfolk, UK

Denver is a small village located in the county of Norfolk in the UK.  It is recorded that its name originates from the Anglo Saxon 'Dena faer', meaning the ford or passage of the Danes, referring to the Viking invasions.

The main building that stands out in the centre of the village is the Medieval church of St Mary's dating back to the 14th and 15th Centuries, built using the local carrstone, edged with bath stone and sitting under a slate roof.  The base of the tower is of an earlier date than the rest of the church and there is evidence in some of the walls that suggests that there could have been an earlier Saxon church on the site.  The church was restored in the late 19th Century and the tower in 1986.

As is a typical layout for most villages, across the road is the village pub, The Bell Inn.  The pub has been located here since at least 1836 and was one of five pubs in this small village.

Here is a link to a photo of this pub dating to around 1935, showing very little change to the outside of the pub, apart from the pub advertising selling Halls Ales of Ely rather than a Free House and also advertising 'Good stabling', not really needed today.  Mind you, could you get arrested for drink riding!!

We are now going to head down the road to Denver Sluice, which Denver is most famous for, passing by the windmill.

You can just see the 19th Century windmill, just poking out from the surrounding trees.  The windmill was first constructed in 1835, replacing an earlier post mill which was marked on an Ordinance Survey Map dated 1824 .  The tower is listed as Grade II and has been owned by the Historic Building Trust since 1995 and restoration works on the tower are due to start shortly.

The windmill featured in an episode of the hit UK comedy 'Allo Allo - Fighting with Windmills', filmed in 1992.  The windmill also lies on the path of the Roman Fen Causeway.

We have now arrived at Denver Sluice.  The original sluice was constructed here in 1651, but it had to be rebuilt in 1713 after being damaged by an extremely high tidal surge.  The sluice plays a major role in the drainage of the fens being at the cross roads of 5 water courses that snake their way across the fens.

It is recorded that the work carried out during the flood protection works that are commemorated by the plaque shown below, were originally suggested back in 1642, 300 years before they were carried out.

Saturday, 3 January 2015

Hunstanton, Norfolk, UK

Last summer we had a trip to Hunstanton on the Norfolk Coast in the UK.  My family and I used to have a two week summer holiday there every year during my early childhood and I have some lovely memories of the place.  This trip was our first visit there in over 10 years as we are currently living abroad, so I was eager to see what it was like now.

Hunstanton developed as a tourist resort back in 1845 when a man named Henry Styleman Le Strange decided to develop a coastal holiday village here, with this triangular green, seen in the picture below, as its focal point.  The Golden Lion Hotel, seen in the centre of the picture, was built in the following year 1846.  Most of the buildings in and around Hunstanton, whether old or new, have lovely character, as many of the are constructed using the local brown carstone, often referred to as gingerbread stone.

The original pier was constructed in 1870, at a length of 830 feet.  The pavilion added to this new pier was constructed in the 1890's, but destroyed by fire in 1939 and was not replaced.  After World War II there was a skating rink and small zoo on the pier, a miniature steam railway ran the length of the pier but was dismantled in 1950.  The pier starred in the film 'Barnacle Bill' in 1956. During the 1960's the seaward end of the pier was no longer used and a two storey amusement building was added at the entrance in 1964.  In January 1978 most of the pier was destroyed in a storm with only a few uprights remaining in the sea.  In 2002 the entire building and the remains of the pier were destroyed by fire.  The building that can be seen today was built in 2003.

Hunstanton really came into its own as a Victorian holiday resort during the late 1800's, especially after the railway station was opened in 1862.

Famous visitors to the town included P.G. Woodhouse and H.G. Wells.

The bandstand which was constructed in 1992, adds additional interest to the green.

As I mentioned previously, I had not visited Hunstanton in over 10 years, and there were two things that struck me when I looked along the beach, the first was how much sand has disappeared from this once very sandy beach.  The sea is very tidal here, when the tide is in, it laps up against the promenade wall and when it is right out you feel like you are walking for miles to get to the waters edge.  When I was a child on this beach the sand often used to hurt your feet as you walked across it as the movement of the sea created quite deep, compacted, ridges in the sand.  Today however there is very little sand left just a lot of stones.

The other thing that struck me was how many people there were on the beach, I don't know that I have ever seen this many.  Having said this before we left the UK, we would never dream of venturing here in the height of summer as the roads were notorious for being busy and lots of delays due to the narrow roads and sheer volume of traffic.

One of the traditions that Hunstanton has held onto is the 'pony rides on the beach' (with ponies to suit all sizes).  Which it appears is as popular as ever and I have to say just as smelly as I remember.

Here you can see 'The Wash Monster', which you can take a trip on along the coastline to see the red and white striped cliffs in all there glory or head out to visit the sandbanks and Seal Island which has a population of between 100 and 500 Common Seals.

Loved this advert for a beach shoe in one of the shops.

Here is the only remains of the Victorian Railway and Station that has now been replaced with a car-park.

I wondered what the meaning of this pub name referred to.  The only thing that I have come up with is that 'Wash' referes to this area of coastline and 'Tope' means to drink alcohol to access especially on a regular basis!!

Parked along the main shopping street was this lovely JBA Motors Falcon V8  kit car, manufactured in Norwich, Norfolk.