Thursday, 19 June 2014

Green Flight, Halcyon Water and Armada Chest

"Green Flight" :- This is the upper flight of stairs within the historical Middle Street Synagogue (http://www.bhhc-shul.org/middlestreet/index.html) in Brighton, Sussex, England. It first opened its doors in 1875 and had a rather drab and mundane interior. It slowly bagan to get noticed and many famous names from the 19th century soon became connected to it. Because of this the interior was slowly added to and lavishly decorated by gifts from its many benefactors and it is now regarded as having "the finest 19th century decorative interior of any building in Brighton with the sole exception of the Brighton Pavilion". I was fortunate enough to visit the building and also talk to someone who knew the it very well. He not only discussed the history of the place with me but also allowed me access to areas that the public aren't usually allowed in. Much to my delight they said I could take as many photographs as I wished and were quite happy to leave me alone whilst I was doing so.



"Halcyon Water" :- A scene of perfection and tranquility. A warm, still evening by cool still water. I shall only say that it's located somewhere in Dartmoor as this reflective pool of water belongs to prize winning author (and very good friend of mine) Philip Reeve. I was lucky enough to spend a couple of days with the Reeve's a month or so ago and the weather was actually very kind to us. I'd visited before but on my previous trip it had done nothing but rain hard so trips to the Tors or Wistman's Wood were out of he question and standing at the bottom of their garden and admiring the view in a downpour would have been an extremely silly thing to do. However, this time the sun was out during the day and the evenings were calm and quiet so standing around outside seemed perfectly rational!



"Armada Chest" :- This is not the sort of shot I normally post. I am far more at home with landscapes, seascapes and photographs of Brighton and my local area etc. But then it's not often that you actually get to see a real bona fide 16th Century Armada Chest! I can only fantasise about what it used to contain but whatever it was it must have been important or worth a lot because that locking system contained within the lid looks like it was designed to make sure nobody could get inside without the key! Apparently these chests were actually made in Germany and were originally called " Nuremburg Chests". Typically it was the Victorians who changed the name and started to call them "Armada Chests" as they imagined them to be the sort used to protect Spanish gold. I 'discovered' this particular 'treasure chest' in Mevagissey's Museum in Cornwall, England. As an extra bit of history and interest the stone and chain on the left of the image was once used to "secure" smugglers and prisoners awaiting trial.



All Photography Copyright © Justin Hill