Sunday, 13 August 2017

On Romney Marsh with a bicycle.

Church of St. Augustine, Brooklands.
I am not really into churches, despite what appears on this blog, it's just that apart from churches, Romney Marsh only has sheep and they all look the same to me.
This is the church at Brooklands. Because of the soft nature of the marshy soil, it was thought, probably correctly, that the foundations would not support the weight of a bell tower, so the tower was constructed alongside in the churchyard. 
The nave with leaning arches.

It is clad with cedar shingles.
Difficult to depict with a camera which will always distort perspective is the alignment of the nave arches. They do, in real life, splay outwards, possibly due to the soft foundations. Perhaps the weight of a bell tower above them might have held them vertical....?

Eleventh century leaden fount.
The eleventh century fount is made of lead and depicts at the top, signs of the zodiac and below, agricultural workers with their various tools.

Derek Jarman's grave, Old Romney.

Just along the road in the churchyard of St.Clement's Church, Old Romney is the grave of the film director, Derek Jarman. It bears simply his signature chiselled into the headstone and some pebbles, (possibly from his garden at Dungeness?) aligned along the top edge.

Wednesday, 9 August 2017

Passport Portraits of Yesteryear no. 28

Continuing the series of passport portraits from my collection.
Peruse and wonder.
Joseph Beaurepaire, a French engineer working for the Société Hydro Electrique de l'Eau d'Olle in 1918 was living at 9, rue Paul Bert in Grenoble at the time.

This is his photograph on his sauf-conduit issued to him by the Prefecture of the Isère which permitted him to use a motor car, registration number: 753 H2, for his business in and around Grenoble. It could only be used in conjunction with his petrol ration book and was valid for two weeks.

The use of the vehicle was reserved strictly for his business and he was entitled to this allowance because he was employed by a company which was, 'working for the national defence'.

Thursday, 3 August 2017

Church of St. James, (he of Compostella) Staple, Kent.

The Pilgrimage Window, St James' Church, Staple.
The Church of Saint James in Staple is dedicated to the patron saint of pilgrims. It is rather unusual in that it is one long building, rather like a shed. The 15th century stone fount is decorated with figures of pilgrims. In 2007 the pilgrimage window was installed, being a gift from the widow of Roger Burges, a pharmaceutical scientist who was instrumental in the discovery and manufacture of a drug to treat angina. He also played the church organ.
A strikingly modern window and the first time that I have seen a representation of pubic hair depicted in stained glass. In the bottom right hand corner of the window, a close inspection reveals the chemical formula for the drug that he invented – too small to be seen on this illustration.

I rather liked the decorated hassocks. They looked to me like mediaeval laptop cosies.

Saturday, 29 July 2017

London Military Band in Folkestone

The London Military Band playing in the church of St Mary and St Eanswythe. Folkestone
We have just returned from a superb and intimate concert at Folkestone. The London Military Band who are composed of serving but off duty military musicians and others who have studied at the Military School of Music played a selection of favourites with style, panache and skill – the Light Cavalry Overture, the Radetsky March and even selections from the Sound of Music.

If you get a chance to hear them, take it.

Thursday, 27 July 2017

Church of St. Nicholas, Ash, Kent.

Alabaster carving in Ash Church, 1612.

The Church of St. Nicholas in the village of Ash is said by knowledgable authorities to possess the finest collection of mediaeval monumental effigies of any parish church in Kent, possibly surpassed only by those of Canterbury Cathedral. 
The above carving in alabaster represents Sir Thomas and Lady Septvans, both in a position of praying. Below them, the line of seven figures represent their daughters, five of whom are carrying a skull to signify that they died as children. (see enlarged inset) The sons' effigies which originally appeared on the left of the predella have been lost at some time during the last four hundred years.
Christopher Toldervey and wife, Jane.

Interestingly, Jane, one of the two daughters who survived, figures with her husband, Christopher Toldervey on a carving nearby.

When King Henry VIII appointed himself head of the new Church of England one of the first things that he did was to have any of the Pope's insignia removed from 'his' churches and replaced with his coat of arms.
Arms of King Charles II, dated 1660, painted on wood.

Recently discovered in the church is this royal arms of King Charles II dating from his accession to the throne in 1660 with the restoration of the monarchy. Note that the shield is quartered with the Bourbon family arms, the fleur de lys, because the kings of England still claimed sovereignty over France.

Tuesday, 25 July 2017

Low tide at Folkestone.

I had to go to Folkestone today.

It was low tide and through one of the arches of the railway viaduct I could see a bait digger at work.

Ecologically powered street lamp in Folkestone.
Up in the town I came across the bizarre construction below. It appeared to be an enormous boulder moulded in glass fibre or some such material. I have it on unreliable authority that it is an artistic installation in which the lichen growing in the container will produce flammable gas which will be led off via the pipe to fuel the adjacent street lamp. 

Most illuminating. 

I wonder if it will work.

My 'unreliable authority' now informs me that the lichen is somehow producing electricity, not gas and it is this which is being used to light the lamp.

Friday, 14 July 2017

Hollyhocks at Stelling Minnis – Gone!

See my post of 2 July. Click here

Obviously the Highways Agency considers that hollyhocks constitute a danger at the side of the highway and need to be removed. Which is what they have done. So those flowers will never seed and never brighten the lives of those using Stone Street.

We must infer from this action that chopping down flowers is a more effective safety manoeuvre than filling in the awful potholes in the actual road surface.

And it is probably cheaper.

And so satisfying.