Posts Tagged ‘cliffe’

Hoo Dec 28th 2002

Monday, December 28th, 2020

Back in 2002 the idea of expanding the UK’s airport capacity was under serious consideration and living near Heathrow we were concerned and campaigning against the building of yet another runway at an airport that even then was seriously past its best-before date. Not just because of local considerations but also because of the environmental threat posed by the expansion of air traffic.

It was a fight we won – and celebrated winning in 2010, only to have it put back on the table a couple of years later with a biased report, then taken off again by a court ruling. More recently this court decision has been put aside by what looks rather like a legal fudge, but in the current climate – and more importantly the impending climate catastrophe any expansion seems totally unthinkable.

Back in 2002, there were other proposals for increasing air traffic, some more batty than others, also being put on the table, and one was for an airport on the Hoo peninsula in North Kent. We decided to go and take a look at the area as our long family after-Christmas walk. It was around 15 years since I’d photographed there and none of the others knew it.

Here’s my account written in 2002 (when I was still suffering from a shortage of capital letters) and all the pictures I posted on My London Diary then.


“we walked off some of christmas on the 28th, taking a look around Cliffe, proposed site for a new London airport. Probably not a serious proposition, just put up so that at some point the civil aviation lobby can say, ‘as we can’t possibly build at Cliffe, we will have to have another runway at Heathrow, and yet another terminal/vast shopping centre … Its long past time that we made airlines pay fuel duties and vat and tried actively to cut the growth in air travel, an incredibly wasteful method of transport with with vast subsidies that distort the world economy.

Higham
Shornmead Fort
 Thames path at Cliffe
Thames at Cliffe
Creek at Cliffe
Cliffe
Cliffe churchyard
Near Cliffe
Near Cliffe
Near Cliffe
Near Cliffe
Near Cliffe
Higham
Higham station

These pictures were among the first that I took with my first serious digital camera, a 6Mp Nikon D100 DSLR, which I had got only a couple of weeks earlier. I’m not sure why I didn’t post more of the roughly 100 pictures I took, or for that matter why I chose these particular group other than that some of them have posters opposing an airport being built here.

At the time I only had one Nikon fit lens, a mid range zoom, I think something like a 24-80mm, which, given the DX format sensor gave the equivalent of 36-120mm.


My London Diary : London Photos : Hull : River Lea/Lee Valley : London’s Industrial Heritage : Flickr

All photographs on this and my other sites, unless otherwise stated, are taken by and copyright of Peter Marshall, and are available for reproduction or can be bought as prints.


South of the River 1985

Tuesday, April 21st, 2020
Container ship, biker, Shornemead Fort, Shorne, Gravesend, Gravesham 85-6c-43_2400

In 1984, I more or less came to an end of my work on the River Lea (though I returned to it later) and the major focus of my photography shifted to London’s Docklands, and I’d photographed the West India and Millwall Docks as well as the Royal Docks, pictures from which I’m currently posting daily on Facebook. And later in that year I also went to the Surrey Docks, where work by the London Docklands Development Corporation was well advanced.

I was very aware of the political dimensions of the redevelopment, with the LDDC taking over from the elected local authorities and imposing its own largely business-led priorities which although accelerating the development distorted it away from the needs of the local area, and particularly away from the still pressing need for more social housing and for better employment opportunities for local people.

Northfleet, Gravesham 85-8e-35_2400

In those years I read every book in my local library on the history and geography of London, and began to build up my own collection of older works bought from secondhand bookshops and by post. Before the days of on-line listings I used to receive a monthly duplicated list of books on offer from a dealer I think in Brighton, and found many topographic and photographic items of interest, often very cheaply, and would look forward to receiving heavy parcels wrapped in several layers of newspaper. Yes, there was mail order before Amazon, and it was rather more exciting.

Cement Works, Northfleet, Gravesham 85-8e-53_2400

It was reading one of the books, Donald Maxwells ‘A pilgrimage of The Thames’, published in 1932 with his imaginative text and evocative drawings (some originally printed in the Church Times) that prompted me to walk in 1985 as he did from Gravesend west through Northfleet and Greenhithe exploring what he christened ‘the Switzerland of England’. As a rather more down-to-earth guide I also had the more academic ‘Lower Thameside’ picked up for pennies in a secondhand bookshop, which included a chapter on its 1971 cement industry by geographers Roy Millward and Adrian Robinson.

Crossness Marshes, Belvedere Power Station, Belvedere, Erith 85-9j-53_2400

My series of walks traversed what was an incredible industrial and post-industrial landscape, altered on a huge scale by quarrying and industry, continuing past Gravesend along the riverside path past Erith and Woolwich to Greenwich and Deptford (areas also covered in my 1985 London Pictures), as well as walking further east to Cliffe and Cooling.

Cement Works, Manor Way, Swanscombe, Dartford 85-9g-36_2400

It was a project that I returned to for several years – and I went back to the area more recently when the Channel Tunnel Rail Link was being built as will as the occasional walk or bike ride over the years.

You can see 280 of my pictures from 1984 now on Flickr in the album
1985: South of the River: Deptford to Cliffe


My London Diary : London Photos : Hull : River Lea/Lee Valley : London’s Industrial Heritage : Flickr

All photographs on this and my other sites, unless otherwise stated, are taken by and copyright of Peter Marshall, and are available for reproduction or can be bought as prints.

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