Bradwell holiday 1


We went on holiday to Essex near a nuclear power station, but there were other pretty bits as well.

This is part 1 of the pictures (except the nuclear power station pics, which were posted separately).


The train ends up at Southminster, which is still seven miles or so from Bradwell. There's a bus, but we had a lift arranged. We looked around Southminster. Most of it was bombed in the war, and looks like it could pretty much use another one.

The pretty church! The other side of the church looks more traditional, but comes complete with 'danger - falling masonry' signs.
1/125 at f8, 12mm, ISO200 51°39′42″N 0°49′50″E

Bradwell (first day)

After arriving at the Othona community, we went for a walk by the sea, which is right there. It's an interesting stretch. I wouldn't personally want to swim in it, but lots of people did. (Apparently it's not so warm now the nuclear power station has closed.)

Interesting stakes in the sea, with barges in the background.
1/350 at f8, 10mm, ISO200 51°44′29″N 0°56′23″E

A whole sequence of barges had been sunk some way from the shore. These are coastal defences, reducing the waves to protect from erosion and such. It's maybe a bit disappointing that the only use we have for barges is to sink them in mud, but hey.

Omigosh, I took a picture with people in it. (L to R: mum, Chris, dad; background: barges.)
1/350 at f8, 22mm, ISO200 51°44′32″N 0°56′20″E

There's an exciting wind-farm (under construction, I think) that is just visible in the distance from here. Haze over the sea means I could never get a sharp picture of it, but it looks cool anyhow.

Wind farm behind stakes.
1/750 at f8, 250mm, ISO200 51°44′32″N 0°56′20″E

Nearby, a field seeded with wildflowers contains a few buildings; St. Peter's Chapel, the oldest church in England (supposedly), its vestry-hut, and a lookout tower. I don't know what they expect to see... probably just birds.

The lookout tower. Some bastard took out most of the steps from the stairs, and since I didn't have gloves, I didn't bother to climb it.
1/750 at f8, 10mm, ISO200 51°44′10″N 0°56′27″E
Inside the church (self-portrait!) - the floor is new and the door is presumably not original, so this picture doesn't really show the old part, but.
1/45 at f8, 21mm, ISO200 51°44′7″N 0°56′23″E
Another view of the wind farm in partial sunlight.
1/750 at f8, 250mm, ISO200 51°44′7″N 0°56′27″E
Plastic table by the nearby 'bird observatory' (large hide).
1/500 at f8, 16mm, ISO200 51°44′4″N 0°56′27″E

Bradwell (next day)

A few pictures from walks on the second day.

Some older Othona community buildings. Kind of glad they have new ones...
1/350 at f8, 22mm, ISO200 51°44′23″N 0°56′22″E
Another view of some of those wooden stakes at low tide. Mmmm, mud.
1/750 at f8, 194mm, ISO200 51°44′25″N 0°56′23″E
Warehouses on concrete flooring of an old military airfield.
1/500 at f8, 90mm, ISO200 51°44′5″N 0°54′35″E

Mangapps Farm

We went to see a railway museum that somebody had randomly built in a farm; there was never any railway here, but the farmer liked trains, so he laid some track. He also has the biggest collection of signalling equipment in, I dunno, some distance. And a working diesel locomotive that can pull you really jerkily down their half-mile of track and back! It was great.

One of the things I really like about old trains (and other machinery) is that the people who built them were proud of it. I guess there was still a bit of that even in 1961. And even in Doncaster.
1/30 at f8, 22mm, ISO200
Definitely the best logo for any rail network anywhere ever.
1/180 at f8, 22mm, ISO200
Yep, the owner also collects railway notices.
1/250 at f8, 22mm, ISO200
View through the diesel shunter.
1/350 at f8, 123mm, ISO400
Side of a wagon.
1/350 at f5.6, 232mm, ISO400
And another one.
1/350 at f4.5, 90mm, ISO200
British Railways (letters on the back side of the doors that join one carriage into the next one it's connected to).
1/180 at f6.7, 131mm, ISO200
Massive sign inside the large barn that holds an impressive collection of carriages and displays. Definitely not Kings Cross.
1/30 at f4, 18mm, ISO1600

The place was full of memorabilia, including some of the old posters. (I don't know if they were originals or reprints; kind of faded, though.) My favourite is probably 'Express Freight', with text 'Day and night the whole year round 425 express freight trains link together the principal industrial centres of this country'. Not something you see ads for now...


Next day we went for a long circular walk. It rained all morning.

A green thingy dumped in a drainage ditch, in the rain.
1/250 at f5.6, 250mm, ISO200 51°43′8″N 0°56′40″E
Looking out to sea, in the rain.
1/500 at f8, 55mm, ISO200 51°42′59″N 0°56′38″E

In the afternoon it cleared up. We came back by the marina (which was pretty depressing, but did have a crane whose painted lettering advised 'EXTREME DANGER' - awesome).

Some boats and a slope and whatever.
1/750 at f8, 13mm, ISO200 51°44′12″N 0°53′23″E
View across fields to St. Peter's Chapel in the distance. (It's actually pretty big.)
1/750 at f8, 250mm, ISO200 51°44′43″N 0°55′45″E
Impressive sky looking back and across the river.
1/1000 at f8, 90mm, ISO200 51°44′44″N 0°55′48″E
Yacht heading out of the estuary, and a red sign. (One of those barges?)
1/750 at f8, 250mm, ISO200 51°44′36″N 0°56′8″E

Burnham on Crouch

We went to visit Burnham on Crouch, a local tourist town on a different river (the Crouch, surprisingly) which has about seventeen sailing dinghies for every person.

A large shed on the riverside. It's probably something to do with boat-building, or possibly lawnmower repair.
1/500 at f8, 10mm, ISO200 51°37′31″N 0°48′53″E
Mooring ropes.
1/350 at f8, 79mm, ISO200 51°37′31″N 0°48′59″E, lawnmower repair, then.
1/500 at f8, 22mm, ISO200 51°37′33″N 0°48′55″E
Part of the high street. There's a planned onshore windfarm nearby (actually not very nearby here, but I guess you'll be able to see it) and the local nimby contingent had signs around.
1/750 at f8, 13mm, ISO200 51°37′32″N 0°48′58″E
Standard Tea Warehouse. I think it's a convenience store.
1/2000 at f8, 116mm, ISO200 51°37′31″N 0°49′8″E
Yay, more corrugated.
1/750 at f8, 22mm, ISO200 51°37′22″N 0°49′34″E
A crane.
1/1000 at f8, 10mm, ISO200 51°37′22″N 0°49′35″E
Some people have houseboats. This guy's got a shedboat. With solar power, no less!
1/750 at f8, 250mm, ISO200 51°37′21″N 0°49′51″E
Sideways boat.
1/2000 at f8, 70mm, ISO200 51°37′23″N 0°49′29″E
Okay, so, the Essex chapter of the Harley-Davidson Club was out in force (yes, really). One bike - I'm going to go out on a limb and suggest that the rider may have been female - had this awesome Hello Skully paint job.
1/250 at f8, 250mm, ISO200 51°37′28″N 0°49′6″E

Odd bits

On the way back from Burnham we stopped to admire a church with a stripey roof.
1/350 at f8, 100mm, ISO200 51°40′40″N 0°52′33″E
Oh, hey, here's where we were staying! (Yes, most people do that picture first, and not in the dark.) Dad said rather unkindly that it looks best in the dark.
33434 (0x829a: Exposure Time): 15 (1 Rational)s at f5.6, 10mm, ISO200

Barge heaven

Where do barges go when they die? Mudbanks in Essex, apparently. Where does my family go when it's low tide? Well...

Yep, we can get out there...
1/750 at f8, 154mm, ISO200 51°44′28″N 0°56′23″E
Standing on the lead barge. It's full of water. The solar panel powers a light to warn away shipping.
1/1000 at f8, 10mm, ISO200 51°44′34″N 0°56′35″E
The new red paint's nice, though I'm not sure it matches the rust.
1/500 at f8, 10mm, ISO200 51°44′33″N 0°56′35″E
The whole row. (By the way, this wasn't the only row of sunk barges; we saw at least one other somewhere else.)
1/750 at f8, 90mm, ISO200 51°44′33″N 0°56′35″E
Hole in the deck.
1/250 at f8, 22mm, ISO200 51°44′34″N 0°56′34″E
Omigosh a person #2! Dad up on the barge.
1/250 at f8, 10mm, ISO200 51°44′34″N 0°56′35″E
Omigosh a (distant) person #3! Mum notices we're going to spend ages climbing over the barge taking photos, and heads out to see how far the mud goes. (Answer: a long way. And yes, she did come back before the tide did.)
1/1000 at f8, 250mm, ISO200 51°44′34″N 0°56′35″E
The barge line again.
1/1500 at f8, 146mm, ISO200 51°44′34″N 0°56′35″E
Looking back toward the shore.
1/3000 at f8, 10mm, ISO200 51°44′33″N 0°56′35″E
Water draining from the barge.
1/750 at f8, 22mm, ISO400 51°44′34″N 0°56′35″E
Stakes, mud, something in the distance.
1/750 at f8, 250mm, ISO200 51°44′31″N 0°56′26″E

Not the end

Part 2 to follow! Including a proper shot of St. Peter's Chapel, two more omigosh people photos (both of my mum), bull's eggs, a dragon, and an ominous-looking military radio installation.

All images © Samuel Marshall. All rights reserved.