WINGS AND WHEELS

Posted in aircraft, aviation, britain, camera, classic, classic car, England, english village, FIGHTER PLANES, london, motoring, news, Nikon, paratrooper, photo, photoblog, Photography, re-enactment, relax, renactment, retro, surrey, technology, tourism, travel, Uncategorized, unusual, vintage, Wales, wings and wheels, world war 2, world war one, writing on August 24th, 2014 by wabisabipix

 

A sensational bank holiday weekend at Dunsfold Aerodrome in Surrey watching the fantastic Wings and Wheels event, an absolute gem in the air show calendar,celebrating its 10th Anniversary. Wings and Wheels combines fast cars with stunning flying demonstrations. There was a fantastic range of aircraft and cars on show as well as World War II  re-enactment societies and displays. There was a awesome display by the Breitling Wing Walker “amazons” who at times, were showing steely eyed skill as they held on without harnesses and inches from those deadly propellors and amazed the crowds.At one point they almost touched hands while flying inverted,remarkable!

Iron Maiden rock star Bruce Dickinson made a surprise appearance and hopped into a World War 1 Fokker Triplane and duelled his Great War adversaries  around the airfield in a  simulation of a world war I air battle. Also present were the famous last two remaining Lancaster Bombers,one from Canada,bringing a nostalgic tear to many eyes as they flew with a battle of Britain fighter escort. There were also many cars speeding around the race track including a Ford GT40 a variety of classics and supercars and a selection of motorbikes,some with side cars,tearing around the track famous for its role in the Top Gear TV Series.

A short video clip of an Apache Gunship and the British and Canadian Lancaster Flypast shot on a Lumix LX7 compact camera:

More images from Dunsfold can be viewed here:http://…/p763200112 Copyright Kerry Davies/All rights reserved. 

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JOURNEY INTO THE HELLFIRE CAVES

Posted in britain, Buckinghamshire, Celtic, England, film location, leylines, london, moods, mysterious, myths, pagan, photo, photoblog, Photography, quaint, secret societies, strange, supernatural, thriller, tourism, travel, unusual, village, walking, walks, writing on August 10th, 2014 by wabisabipix

Back in the 1970’s when I was a youngster I remember rushing excitedly to the local corner sweetshop to spend my pocket money on Hammer Horror movie bubblegum cards which at the time was all the rage.(http://wp.me/p1ZPuc-2Jx)

It gave a glimpse of risque movies that we were far to young to view and before the days of video and DVD, were not able to see anyhow except on the occasional late night black and white TV showings like “Dracula” and “Curse of the Werewolf”and “Quatermass and the pit”,which sent us running to the bedroom terrified.

Later as we grew up I watched with fascination as a TV series from the same film makers produced called the Hammer House of Horrors (http://www.hammerhouseofhorrortvseries.co.uk/) and looked forward to such horror instalments as “The House That Bled to Death” and”Guardian From The Abyss”.

Later in life I was lucky to meet Christopher Lee in the course of my work in Los Angeles and listened with fascination as this giant in the acting profession recalled prose from Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings, prior to his role in the film, during an interview in a Los Angeles hotel.

As the years passed I moved to London and rekindled my interest in filming that had taken place over the years.I became aware that many of the film locations from the classic films I had been a fan of were filmed in locations in the areas of Buckinghamshire, Berkshire and the High Wycombe area and I spent some time tracking down a few of these locations. The bulk of these films were made at Bray Studios in Bray,Berkshire, a giant in the film industry that diabolically has now fallen into decline despite the surge in British film making at nearby Shepperton and Pine Wood.Films Such as The Mummy(1959), Alien and The Rocky Horror Picture Show where also made here and it is facing its own horror story of being turned into a care home by developers.(https://www.facebook.com/savebraystudios) Incidentally the location of the Gothic Style hotel in the Rocky Horror Picture Show portrayed as Frankenfurters mansion was indeed the Oakley Court Hotel right across the road from the Bray Studios.(http://www.oakleycourtwindsor.com/) Indeed whole area around these studios supplied the film industry with hundreds of film locations for years and it is quite fascinating to find that a sleepy village where you are quietly munching your cream tea was indeed a film set for a Satanic horror movie chase or the stamping ground of one of the Mummy horrors that unwound on the silver screen. One such location was the Hellfire caverns in the village of West Wycombe,located just off the A40 road.As you approach the village you see a sinister looking Mausoleum perched on the hill overlooking the quaint English village below.The Mausoleum was in fact used as the setting for the 1976 Hammer film “To the Devil a Daughter” starring starring Christopher Lee, Nastaasja Kinski, and Richard Widmark.The nearby Hellfire cavern was probably the influence for the film”Taste the Blood Of Dracula”. West Wycombe and the Hellfire Caverns indeed are one of those places where reality indeed is stranger than fiction. West Wycombe Park, Caves,Mausoleum and St Lawrence’s Church with its mysterious golden globe on the spire were all constructed in the mid-18th century by Sir Francis Dashwood, founder of the Dilettanti Society and co-founder of the notorious Hellfire Club which met at the George and Vulture Inn in London. The Hellfire Club with its club motto, Fais ce que tu voudras ,(do what thou wilt), would certainly have raised eyebrows and the attention of the tabloids,had they existed at the time.It was a secret society in the 18th Century that allegedly included Benjamin Franklin among its many high profile visitors. Dashwood and other high-powered politicians and society members,originally formed a club then known as The Knights of St Francis of Wycombe. They first used Medmenham Abbey, eight miles away from West Wycombe. Later on,the rather more discrete caves were allegedly used for nefarious orgies and black magic that included the presence of female”guests”referred to as nuns. Entering the creepy church like entrance of the caves you wander into the darkness occasionally stumbling across strange carved rock skulls and phallic symbols ,the whole place has a creepy atmosphere that is enhanced by the knowledge that a lot of strange things are alleged to have happened here over the centuries.As you pass through the caverns you enter the Banqueting Hall,the Miner’s Cave and finally, across a subterranean river aptly named the Styx you enter the final cave, the Inner Temple, where the meetings of the Hellfire Club said to have been held.This final cave is said to lie 300 feet directly beneath the church on top of West Wycombe hill. According to Greek mythology, the River Styx separated the mortal world from Hades, and the Inner Temple directly beneath St Lawrence’s Church signifies Heaven and Hell.Indeed it seems that all the landmarks here are linked in a symbolic manner known only to the secret society and one cannot help but suspect that the caves open to the public are only the tip of the iceberg and that there are many more hidden away in this enormous hillside.There are even rumours that members would pass unscrutinised into the caves as the moon rose and night fell via connecting tunnels from the village inn the George and Dragon and that the caves and the Inn are haunted by a servant girl called Suki that walks the corridors and caverns. In all a truly spooky place and a great day out.

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THE MAN WHO WOULD BE KING:A VISIT TO THE FORMER HOME OF RUDYARD KIPLING.

Posted in aircraft, britain, Burwell, country houses, England, english village, enthusiasts, europe, Great War Society, Nikon, photo, photoblog, Photography, quaint, re-enactment, renactment, retro, road trip, travel, vintage, walking, walks, warhorse, Western, world war one, writing on August 3rd, 2014 by wabisabipix

A glorious sunny day in August and what better a place to visit than the former home of Rudyard Kipling the author of such classics as The Jungle Book and The Man Who Would Be King. Set in the rolling countryside of the  Sussex Wield,just outside the village of Burwash,it is a wonderful 17th century Jacobean house that was his home until his death in 1936. The house is now cared for by the National Trust and is open to the public. You can wander unhindered around the splendid oak beamed interior left very much as the great man left them. His own writing desk is left pretty much as if he has just popped out for an afternoon tea,scrapped sheets of paper containing his writings piled high in the litter bin opposite his desk,even his own Rolls Royce is on display in the nearby garage for viewing. The rooms are full of artefacts that reflect Kipling’s association with the East. The gardens are a spectacular affair,sunflowers ablaze and fresh vegetables and herbs in the allotment growing in abundance. Here you can pick up one of the kindly offered blankets,borrowed to visitors,and enjoy a picnic on the spectacular lawn surrounded by its rustic charm. My visit coincided with the national commemorations of World War One. Hundreds of events are taking place across Britain to remember the “Pals”-groups of friends,neighbours or colleagues who joined up to form their own battalions in World War One.In the spirit of the event, the lawns at “Batemans”,which is the name of this splendid house,had a wartime biplane parked in its midst and a gathering of tents as re-enactors from the Great War Society sent us back on a trip in time to the beginning of the First World War. Mostly volunteers,they gave authentic displays and explanations of the weaponry from the period including pitched battles that stunned the crowds and sent the gunfire and explosions thundering across the landscape.Truly spectacular and a fitting salute to the man who wrote many classic about the period and who indeed played his well documented part in the Great War.

More images can be viewed here:http://…/p830052178 Images Copyright:Kerry Davies/No unauthorised usage/All Rights Reserved

 

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SOMEWHERE OVER A RAINBOW.

Posted in britain, deer, England, europe, folk, london, may, nature, photoblog, Photography, relax, richmond park, road trip, stag, surrey, Time-lapse, tourism, travel, Uncategorized, unusual, Video, weather, writing on May 14th, 2014 by wabisabipix

A rainy day anywhere in London is not generally something to write home about and when its blowing a howling storm its even less appealing.However this week a stroll in Richmond Park in West London armed with just a Panasonic SD700 camcorder,on a foray into time-lapse videography, proved quite a treat when I found myself perched under a tree as a heavy downpour accompanied by a howling wind and menacing clouds rolled across the area. Much to my surprise as the rain eased off for a few moments, a glorious rainbow spread across the sky forming in effect a double rainbow.Soon another deluge rolled in and yet another multicoloured manifestation spread across the sky followed by yet another deluge.In total in a matter of one hour I counted three rainbows before the dusk drew in.Not bad for an afternoon stroll but unfortunately I have yet to stumble across a pot of gold!

Copyright Kerry Davies/All rights reserved.

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Sardines and the legend of Lefi Ganderson the Goat boy

Posted in britain, Celtic, England, english village, Festival, folk, legends, london, lumix lx7, may, mayday, medieval, myths, nature, pagan, photo, photoblog, Photography, quaint, relax, Relics, surrey, tourism, travel, Uncategorized, village, vintage, walking, walks, writing on May 4th, 2014 by wabisabipix

You never know what you will discover during a stroll in the West London area of Kingston,Surbiton and Richmond on May 4th. Today was one of such day. In the quiet town of Surbiton,a popular residential area for commuters working in central London, I was drawn to a large gathering of people in a small quiet park called Claremont Gardens.It transpired that it was the manifestation of the Seething Wells Sardine festival.It’s the second year for this event that celebrates the rich history of freshwater sardine fishing in Surbiton. A chance to remember when Seething was famous for its freshwater sardine fishing industry and held its annual festival to celebrate the first catch of the season.There was much merriment and dancing and live folk bands played at the event,a great gathering of the community.The smell of fresh Sardines filled the air and there were various amusements for the youngsters including face painting and magnetic fish catching,even a large number of fairy wing wearing adults.After several great musical performances the day culminated in the crowning of two members of the community who were designated as this years Seething Wells King and Queen of hats.To much applause last years King and Queen swapped hats with this years chosen nominees.Many of the local community was present and also there were banners representing the various ancient guilds in the area such as the ancient Guilds of Seething-The Cheesemakers, The Talcum Miners, The Taxonomists, The Water- Bearers, The Sardine Fishers and The Curriers and I spotted a Cyclists Guild too.Flying on flags were images of a horned rather legendary looking character who also had a prominent statue at the front of the stage. This was a character which I was not previously familiar with but research revealed to me the surprising legend of Lefi Ganderson the Goat Boy,a local half man,half goat character who had a rather cataclysmic clash with a legendary giant.A tale that probably never pops up on the radar of average Londoner but which just goes to show what interesting legends,many ancient,that lie below the surface of even the most quiet,unassuming of places along the banks of the ancient River Thames.They say that if your tired of London,your tired of life and this is an example that there is clearly always stones that remain unturned revealing interesting legends along the way.A thoroughly enjoyable afternoon in the spring sunshine. Picture Copyright  Kerry Davies The Seething Wells Sardine Festival.Lefi Ganderson The Goat Boy
Picture Copyright  Kerry Davies The Seething Wells Sardine Festival.

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The new King and Queen of hats. Image   Fresh Sardines served to order. Image   For more on the legend of Lefi Ganderson see this excellent portrayal of the tale here:

 

Pictures Copyright Kerry Davies

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All the fun of the fair

Posted in britain, camera, classic, english village, enthusiasts, europe, fairground, Festival, galloper, london, may, mayday, moods, news, photo, photoblog, Photography, photojournalism, quaint, relax, restoration, retro, steam engine, steam locomotive, surrey, Uncategorized, vintage, walking, writing on May 4th, 2014 by wabisabipix

SP_Carter_Steam_Fair_22The Mayday bank holiday 2014 rolls around and the famous English Carter steam fair rolls into town settling on the village green in leafy Hersham in Surrey.Very much a part of vintage Britain,It is quite a sight to see the superb antique steam fairground rides assembled and running with the nostalgic sounds of ride organs playing the melodic tunes of times past.It was formed in 1977 by John and Anne Carter,collectors of all things vintage and grew from strength to strength into its present form and is very much a part of treasured British heritage that is constantly being lovingly restored and cared for while delighting new generations of children and adults.ImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImage

  images and video copyright Kerry Davies/No unauthorised use or reproduction.

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Hunting Easter eggs in the land of Dragons.

Posted in Castles, Celtic, dragons, Festival, forts, gawain and the green knight, king arthur, knights, legends, lumix lx7, medieval, medieval castle, medieval joust, Monument, moods, photo, photoblog, Photography, quaint, renactment, tourism, travel, Uncategorized, Wales, walking, walks on April 20th, 2014 by wabisabipix

A delightful place to spent a day during an easter break is the highly impressive Caerphilly Castle in South Wales.Famous most recently for its role in the popular BBC TV Series Merlin but with a long history that very much equals the drama of its fictional roles.It is an enormous stone beast surrounded by moats and drawbridges and on approach looks very much like it has just repelled a siege by a well equipped invading army.It was built by the Norman Gilbert de Clare who was an enemy of the Welsh prince Llywelyn ap Gruffydd in the 13th Century and provide the influence for many of the concentric designs of Edward I castles in North Wales.As time moved on and regime change took place,the role of the castle changed and it found itself without a purpose.The castles condition declined until eventually in the late 19th century the third marquess of Bute began preservation work on this and other castles in the region.It is a great destination for tourism and provides a great Easter egg hunt for the kids,look out for the Dragons in the ancient hallways though!

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Camera used was a Lumix LX7

Copyright Kerry Davies

No unauthorised reproduction.

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Guardian of the sands.

Posted in Uncategorized on April 19th, 2014 by wabisabipix

At Nash Point on the Heritage Coastline of the Vale of Glamorgan in South Wales stands the Nash Point light house.

Trinity House instructed Joseph Nelson to construct the two light house towers 300 meters apart.The towers and their lights helped vessels steer clear of the Nash Sands which extend 7 miles west of the headland. The sands are a major hazard to shipping which had contributed to the loss of many vessels and lives.

A passenger vessel, the Frolic, foundered on the sands in March 1831 with the loss of around 78 lives and this gave extra impetus to have the station completed as soon as was possible.The foundations for both towers were laid by 1 October 1831 and the station was completed and first shone its lights on 1 September 1832, just 11 months later, an incredible engineering achievement. The lighthouse has shone its light every night since, successfully assisting mariners in their safe passages with very few maritime incidences occurring in the intervening time.ImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImage

Photographed with a Lumix LX7

Copyright Kerry Davies No Unauthorised reproduction.

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The Brecon Mountain Railway

Posted in Brecon Mountain Railway, railway, steam engine, steam locomotive, train, Uncategorized on October 24th, 2013 by wabisabipix

The Brecon Mountain Railway is a private railway run by enthusiasts that is open to the public and takes passengers on a trip through the gateway to the Brecon Beacons National Park running from Pant along the full length of the Pontsticill Reservoir near Merthyr Tydfil, in the heart of Wales.A day out here is a lot of fun especially if you have young children! Needless to say standing behind the engine outside the carriage while building up speed down hill with smoke in your face is exhilarating.
This video shows the No.2 Baldwin Locomotive at full steam.
Built by Baldwin USA No. 61269 in 1930
4-6-2 Tender Loco 47 tons
This was built for a cement works in Port Elizabeth in South Africa.
In 1974 it ran away driver less and after travelling a few miles it left the track and was wrecked.
It was treated as an accident write-off by the insurers and was purchased as salvage, shipped back as deck cargo to Liverpool and put in to store.
Rebuilding of this locomotive began in 1990 and it finally entered traffic in 1997.
The rebuild was extensive as the locomotive had suffered severe damage in the accident.
After ten years burning oil it is now converted back to coal.
I shot the video hand held on a Panasonic SD700 camcorder.

Check out my website:www.surreypix.co.uk

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Surrey in Search of Windy Miller and a Cream Tea.

Posted in art, Bletchingley, England, london, moods, outwood, photo, Photography, relax, surrey, travel, walks, wildlife, windmill, writing on August 28th, 2009 by wabisabipix

A beautiful sunny day and the siren call of a relaxing walk in Surrey beckons.

More known for its towns it is in actual fact an area of stunning natural beauty and is dotted with quaint olde world villages never without with the atmospheric warm glowing lights of old style inns from times past beckoning you in to sample an ale or two ,a welcome break after walking the network of national trust walking routes that meander through the area.

Deep in the heart of Battle of Britain country it is steeped in history and it is easy while walking here to imagine the war time  sky battles that took place over here not so long ago.

I took a stroll in a small part of the area and found it a charming and rewarding place to spend a day.

I took a nikon D200 and a 17-35mm f2.8 lens, my usual for such wanderings,fast and very sharp..!

The walk started at the Outwood Mill ,Englands oldest working mill,built in 1665 it was the perfect place to climb and view the great fire of London that happened in the same year.

The oldest mill in England buit 1665 in Outwood Surrey.

The oldest mill in England built 1665 in Outwood Surrey.

A great place to view The great fire of London from.

A great place to view The great fire of London from.

The mill is over 40 ft high and weighs 25 tons but is so well designed that one man can operate it via a single wheel “tailpole” mechanism.

The walk took us off to the left of the mill heading across national trust pathways for a distance of about 7 miles.

Heading away from Outwood.

Heading away from Outwood.

We took a heading through a small woodland and past Outwood church before turning right onto the National Trust path well signposted as usual.

Outwood Church.

Outwood Church.

Heading along the NT path we came across a delightful grove with a pond.

delightful Village pond.

delightful Village pond.

 A place to relax.

A place to relax.

Heading north out of the woods and having crossed several stiles we were walking through open country with the sun burning down behind us,time for some sun lotion methinks…!

We headed past several farms with cattle and on through more ploughed fields with a small path clearly trailing into the distance.

A typical British scene,timeless!!

A typical British scene,timeless!!

Following the Path.

Following the Path.

A clear trail.

A clear trail.

Eventually after about 3 miles we came to a farm area which the trail took us through, past donkeys goats and other farm animals and old style barns.

Donkeys!

Donkeys!

Blackberries on the trail.

Blackberries on the trail.

Old Macdonalds Farm!!! a menagerie of different livestock.

Old Macdonalds Farm!!! A menagerie of different livestock.

Old style Barns.

Old style Barns.

Past the farms we cleared a railway line and headed north into an area of rolling fields with sheep and cottages dotted here and there.

open country.

open country.

BAAAA!

BAAAA!

Gradually the area became steeper as we approached a nearby village .

Heading up hill.

Heading up hill.

Clambering up hill after a long steady walk we reached the top of  a narrow lane passing an olde world cottage and fell upon the quaint village of Bletchingley.

Displayed on a newspaper board outside the local shop was  a Mirror Battle of Britain Special.It seemed almost as if we had been transported back in time for a moment.

Bletchingley Time Warp!!! Battle of Britain Special on Display.

Bletchingley Time Warp!!! Battle of Britain Special on Display.

The lovely village of Bletchingley.

Parched and thirsty from the walk and seduced by the signs offering cream teas we set down in a wonderful tea room called Lamingtons right in the center of the village.

Lamingtons Tea room.

Lamingtons Tea room.

The Perfect Place for a break.

The Perfect Place for a break.

Cream tea.

Cream tea.

Refueled and refreshed but dreaming of more scones and cream we head away from the tea rooms and wander through the sunkissed village past the Prince Albert pub and rejoin our route heading south back towards Outwood but following a parallel route avoiding the roads.

The Prince Albert Pub.

The Prince Albert Pub.

With the sun getting lower the landscape developed  a warmer glow and the route took us through corn fields and woodlands as we descended back down the hill towards our stating point about 3.5 miles away.

Sunkissed cornfields.

Sunkissed cornfields.

South bound.

South bound.

Soon the area is aglow by sunlight as we cross the final stage heading back to our start point the windmill.Turning a corner we stumble across a field of glowing Sunflowers.

Sunflowers.

Sunflowers.

We pass through more yellow glowing fields before finally picking up the path heading back through nearby woods and a few more stiles marked with NT markers

Dusk lit fields.

Dusk lit fields.

Breaking through the woodland shade we the find ourselves opposite the mill as the sun catches it just right.

Dusk light.

Dusk light.

perfect!

perfect!

We arrive back as the windmill is bathed in light and head off to the Bell Inn nearby with its 300 year old ships bell for a well earned pint of cider.

I really can’t think of a better way to spend a sunny sunday afternoon than a good walk in an area such as this.

Bon Voyage.

Pictures copyright: Kerry Davies

www.wabisabipix.com

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