29 August 2013
Region: South East
On my return to England this summer, after eight years living overseas, my first photographic outing was to the area of Dungeness, near New Romney, in Kent.
The Old Lighthouse at Dungeness
As I was driving, trying to get used again to the narrow roads, the roundabouts - rules and politeness everywhere - I enjoyed this Kentish landscape of Rye Country. A fragrant breeze was swishing through vivid gold fields, ripe and ready to be harvested; horses and sheep from the nearby small farms, grazing on undulating, green hills; a country church every now and then ... And I breathed the cool, fresh English sea-air.
On the beach, the sun was shining brilliant and harsh and the wind was blowing on my face, impregnating my skin with a strong smell of sea. Big, brown pebbles rattled under my boots as I walked on the shingle beach of Dungeness.
Desolation and doom. The ugly nuclear power station casting gloom over derelict, ghostly boats, a sea of scrub and weeds. And yet, there is a sense of timeless beauty everywhere. The old Lighthouse, the little shacks along the road with their pretty, rocky gardens, and the smallest public train in the world.
I visited Dungeness last August with a group of photographers from the Whitstable Photographic Group (here) and the Royal Photographic Society (here).