musings while allatsea

Musings of a curious individual

Tag: Snow

Snowed under

It is now the weekend and Tewkesbury is trying to recover from under the snow that we had on Thursday evening and Friday. It really feels like a major disaster happened although it was really just unseasonal snow (soon to be accompanied by rain). Chaos did reign though and I am sure the highways were bogged down with stuck cars and accidents. I havent been biking to work since Wednesday but hoofing it to work and back. Fortunately I do not live too far away from work.

My camera was working overtime though, and as usual I have been taking pics galore. I am sure everybody has seen the same old places in my pics, so I tried for different ones for a change. The wind was very strong on Thursday evening so some very interesting shapes were to be found in the snow drifts and wind driven snow.

 

And of course I was also fortunate enough to spot an “ice giant” lurking in the undergrowth….

He is just waiting to swallow us all!! Run away run away! 

What I did find interesting is that parts of the Carrant Brook are frozen, 

I suspect we are not finished with this lousy weather yet, rain is forecast for today and tomorrow, and that could cause the snow to freeze which will make things very dangerous. I am hoping that the cycle path will be more navigable during the week so that I can fetch my meds, of course assuming that the pharmacist pitches up for work.

And that was the weather. We now return you to our regular broadcast.

DRW © 2018. Created 03/03/2018

Updated: 04/03/2018 — 08:28

Again? Snow Again?

It is the 27th of February and theoretically Spring is close. This is however only a theory because this week (26/02 – 05/03) is seeing temperatures plunging and snow all over the UK. Now make no mistake, I love snow, it is awesome, but it is downright dangerous and extremely disruptive of everything. It is even worse when you are at work and all the white stuff is falling and you cannot go outside to see it! I believe they are calling this cold spell “The beast from the east” as it originates from Siberia. I see a conspiracy in the making there. 

At roughly 12.35 it was really coming down, although parts of the sky were bluish. These are the pics I managed to grab when nobody was looking.

Outside it is supposed to be -4, well that’s what my celery says, and how does it know anyway? it hasn’t been outside since I left home this morning.

It will be interesting going home as it is supposed to be snowing at quitting time. I will keep everybody in suspense for now…

Home time has come and gone and the sky was blue and no snow in sight. Tomorrow? your guess is as good as mine.

28/02/2018

-4 outside and my head is frozen, so much so that I have a headache! to exacerbate things there is a freezing breeze blowing and that is making it much colder. It has been one heck of a miserable day with flurries and clouds and sun and everything inbetween, although no cats and dogs yet. Shortly before quitting time we had quite a bit of snow that was sticking, and I managed to navigate my way to the shops and back in the snow on my bike! It was hairy though, one sneeze and I would have been toast.

Watch this space, I believe its going to be fun tomorrow.

DRW © 2018. Created 27/02/2018

Updated: 04/03/2018 — 08:28

Snow? Again?

To think we almost had a white Christmas this year, and it was fun to experience it at the time even though it was not Christmas. Theoretically we were all done and dusted with snow for 2017, however, the weather had more in store for us. Yesterday (Boxing day) started out as a moderately pleasant day, with the sun making a token appearance and rain shoving it out of the way towards the afternoon. At this point the Carrant Brook has been flowing quite strongly but not enough to flood the surrounding fields.

This fine morning when I opened the curtains I was in for a rude surprise (although I really had to wait for it to get lighter), outside the field was white and wet,

the Brook was much higher and there was snow on the cars and frozen patches all over the place.

This should have happened on Monday! not today when I am at work!  I did not feel too confident with heading out there on my bike, although there were tire marks in the snow (albeit wobbly ones) so I decided to hoof it instead, and seeing as I was on the hoof I would take some pics (I can’t help it, it is just something I do!). 

So, these images are what is left after last nights surprise snow. Hopefully it won’t freeze and create an ice rink across my route to work, and hopefully the Carrant Brook will also drop its level, although its level is partly determined by what comes from upstream and the height of the Avon where it joins it. I hold thumbs. 

However….

This will be my last set of images for 2017, and this weekend I will do my infamous “retrospective” for the year gone by. I will also create the new 2018 index page and hopefully all will be well in the land of Gloucestershire. 

© DRW 2017-2018, created 27/12/2017

Updated: 04/03/2018 — 08:29

Let there be snow!

Yes it is true, it is snowing outside. We had our first flakes on Friday but it was not a significant amount. But the weather forecast for the UK predicted snow wherever you go for today!

I woke at 7.30 but it was too dark to see much and I managed to bounce my flash off the flakes outside. It looked very promising and when I made my usual call home it was belting down outside. Here are some of my first pics. 

And yes, it is cold, and no I do not have snow boots and yes my hands are frozen. But… I am chuffed. I will periodically post new pics as I venture out. I am not likely to take a long trip because I do not want to get caught in it and it does appear that snow will be with us for most of the day.

11.55.

I went down to the Abbey to see what it was looking like, I was too wary to use the bike, and considering the slush on the roads I am glad I did not. Ugh, what a mess!​

 

The Abbey always presents interesting photographic opportunities, and just think how many snow storms it has seen during its long existence.​

 

My real aim was to do another “Cemetery in the snow” post, similar to the one I did in Basingstoke in 2015, but the cemetery is quite a long walk away and I was not going to tackle that! Instead I headed across to the old Baptist Chapel and its associated graveyard. I have not done a separate post on the chapel so will do that after I am finished playing in the snow.

11/11/2017

10/12/2017

And then it was time to wend my way home along the cycle path. It is hard to believe that this was once a railway line 

And that was the day, or should I say morning. It is still snowing outside although the weather forecast is for sun tomorrow. We will see when we get there. Will I use the bike tomorrow? probably not. I am not that confident with the inevitable slippery roads, and because of the low temperatures there is no way of knowing what conditions will be like out there in the morning, or in the evening. We will just have to wait and see.

Tuesday 12 December.

The leftover snow is still on the ground, the pavements are ice rinks, the temperatures are low but the light is fantastic. I took these on my way to work this morning.

And that concludes the weather. We now return to our regular programming. 

© DRW 2017-2018. Created 10/12/2017

Updated: 01/01/2018 — 17:01

It is only desultory snow

Yes it is true, it “snowed” last night, actually that may not be quite true, if anything we had a desultory fall of white stuff that may have been snow, sleet, or dandruff. It is really hard to say with this stuff. The weather had been stormy in the UK these past few days, and my weather app warned that Thursday would be interesting weatherwise.

By the time I left work last night it was just slightly cold and the roads were wet but there were no snowmen in the offing.

Apparently, early this morning round about 4 am is when it happened. I heard and felt nothing.

The results were apparent when I left for work.

The roads and tarmac were covered in a thin layer of snow, even some of the cars had a dusting

Sadly though this was NOT impressive stuff!

In fact it reminded me a lot of “the winter of ’12” and that only lasted for 5 minutes  

What I found strange was that there was none of this “snow” on the grass, it was only on the tar and pavements. I would have expected that the residual heat from the black tar would have melted what there was reasonably quickly, leaving the greenery covered. Alas that did not happen.

There were scattered patches though:

But not the sort of stuff that would make me ooh and aah, still, it was better than nothing, and the cycle track did look kind of nice.

Although it did look very much different on the 30th of October

That very spectacular bush is now quite limp after its glorious burst of colour.

And that concludes the weather. We now return you to our regular broadcast.

© DRW 2017-2018. Created 13/01/2017

Updated: 01/01/2018 — 16:42

Cemetery in the Snow

Following on my post from Saturday when we had our first snow, I shelved the pics amongst all of my others, not thinking that 3 days down the line I would have to dust off the camera again, because overnight we had an inch of snow.
  
I had a doctors appointment for 09H45, but by 08H30 I was on my way to Holy Ghost Cemetery in Basingstoke (my handy cemetery up the road). I was hoping to get better pics than the ones from Saturday, and I am confident in saying that I did. 
 
There was a lot more snow this time around and coverage was much better on the grass and headstones, in fact I was really happy with what I was seeing here.
 
Even my favourite statue was looking better with her covering of white fluff.
 
And even the grave of Captain John Aidan Liddell VC.was looking beautiful. 
 
The chapel ruins were looking spectacular too, but they look great even when it is not snowing.
 
And the path that runs past the Quaker graves and Tank Blocks was looking beautiful, it is usually a mess with greenery, but the snow smooths that out and makes everything look so much nicer.
 
There is a small garden just outside the cemetery which is probably meant as a place of reflection, although judging by the beer tins that usually sit everywhere but in the bin, it is used for drinking purposes. Today it was uniformly white, and not a beer tin in sight.
 
I was hoping that the sun would make a consistent appearance, because it kept on emerging and then hiding behind the clouds. The sun would have really made the ice sparkle and make these images so much better.  On my camera I have an effect called “Miniaturisation” which can give some very interesting effects when applied to some scenes. Cemeteries tend to work quite well with this effect, and I tried quite a few shots with it. 
I was starting to run out of time and slowly made my way out of the cemetery, shooting pics as I did. There were a lot of really great angles to be seen.
 
 
Random pics. (open in a new window)

 

So much beauty and sadness in such a small place.

 © DRW 2015-2018. Created 03/02/2015, images migrated 25/04/2016

Updated: 31/12/2017 — 09:41

Snow way! its white outside

I worked late on Friday evening, and on my walk home (at 00H10) I thought to myself that it wasn’t too cold and the sky was very clear with a bright moon. I even took some quick pics over the wall at the cemetery as an experiment (which did not work too good btw).
 
On Saturday morning, when I woke up I looked sleepily out of the window and it had snowed! It was white outside and definitely camera time. 

Granted there was not a lot of snow, but it was a nice smooth surface and after I had dressed I haphazardly headed out there. I really wanted to do a “cemetery in the snow” shoot if I was able, but I first needed a good recce on what the conditions were like outside.

My intention was to go check out the local football field and see what that was like, but it turned out to be a damp squib as there was not too much coverage there.

It was time to go home and grab my shopping bag and go to the shops, as I had to go past the cemetery to get there (conveniently). And of course, any useful images would help too. My flatmate said that when they had gone to the loo at 3am it had been snowing, so the fall was about 5 hours old.

And the local playpark was under snow too, although it did look like people had beaten me to it, as there were tracks leading to and from the park.

And then I was at Holy Ghost Cemetery. There hadn’t really been enough snow to give me the effect I wanted, but it was an interesting glimpse. Maybe another time? It is February now so anything can still happen between now and Spring. I remember seeing flurries in March 2013…..

Ok, now if somebody would just turn off the wind today.

© DRW 2015-2018. Images migrated 25/04/2016

Updated: 31/12/2017 — 09:41

Basingstoke Holy Ghost Cemetery

It’s true, I have a new favourite cemetery: Basingstoke Holy Ghost Cemetery. I spent a pleasurable hour there this morning while home hunting, and it is magnificent. It is seldom that you get a bit of everything in a cemetery, this one had most of it.
 
The entrance I used was in Kingsclere Road, and the lodge there is a real beauty. The building dates from 1865, and the cemetery is also known as Basingstoke South View, or Old Cemetery.

 

Once through the gates there is a short slope and the cemetery is there in all its glory. The information board says that this was the towns burial ground from the 13th century to the early 20th century. The cemetery is full, but there are not too many headstones, the balance of the space is taken up by unmarked graves.  There are 20 CWGC graves in the cemetery, including the grave of Capt. John Aidan Liddell VC.

 

There are not too many statues, but there are lots of very pretty headstones, and there was one anomaly that I have not before.

I don’t know if this was a footstone that was transplanted, or whether this was one way to commemorate more than one person in the same grave. Many of the smaller headstones only had initials and a date on them. I have not seen this before, so it may just be a peculiarity of the area. 

 
The cemetery also boasts of a Quaker burial ground, and I really had to search to find it, although it was right under my nose. Badly overgrown, the graves stand behind what are known as “tank blocks”
 
These date from World War 2, and were used to protect the nearby railway station. The small headstone and small green covered mounds in the image above are the Quaker graves.  Close to these graves are the chapel ruins, and these are definitely interesting. There are two distinct sets of ruins here, the lower one was built in the early 13th century, and was dedicated to the Holy Ghost. All that remains are the west wall and the door.
 
The larger set of ruins is that of Sir William Sandys Holy Trinity Chapel, its origins are from the 15th century,  it was built as a place for Sir William Sandys to bury his family. 
 
Albeit more intact the chapel suffered during the English Civil War when the stained glass windows were removed. The chapel is now in a state of magnificent dereliction, its floor still covered in the engraved slabs used as floor monuments in many of the cathedrals I have seen. The complex also served as a grammar school until 1855, when a new school was built close by.

The tower is gated closed, but inside it are some more headstones, although why they are imprisoned in here is anybody’s guess.

 
 
There are two weathered tombs with effigies of knights on them, this one is possibly the tomb of Sir William De Brayboeuf, and dates from 1284.
 
No cemetery would be complete without a great tree, and this one is no exception to the rule, a really magnificent specimen lightened up my day with its beautiful colours and sheer grace. 
 
  
It is now November so Autumn is here and the light during this session was fantastic.
 
There was only one really good statue, and it was in quite a good condition too, although a bit too high for my liking.  The headstones were generally in a good condition, although many were no longer legible. Delamination had occurred on a number of them, rendering them unreadable.

 
There were quite a few chest tombs, and of course I kept on coming back to those wonderful floor monuments in the chapel ruins. I do need to investigate at least 2 of them as they relate to the Sandys Family.
 
 
The oldest one that I noted was from 1700, and I am sure that there may even be older, but age and weathering really takes its toll so legibility is often poor with these. 
 
 
And then it was time to start making tracks and head off to my next destination. As I will be moving to Basingstoke during November I will probably be returning here. With Winter approaching the chances of catching this cemetery in snow increases, and I know it is really one that is worth the effort. It is really a beautiful space. 
Random Images.
 

And finally, on my way out I discovered this gem.

 
How many cemeteries can boast of something like this? not too many I assure you (although they probably do have, but don’t boast about it)
 

Update: 31 January 2014.
 Cemetery in the snow.

And in the early hours of 31 January 2015, the first snow fell, and while there was not a lot of it, there was enough for me to grab my camera and head out. With hindsight the pics from the 31st were mediocre compared to what I got on Tuesday. Visit the Cemetery in the Snow link to see this place in the snow. 
 

 

© DRW 01/07/2014-2018. Updated 03/02/2015, images recreated 20/04/2016

Updated: 31/12/2017 — 09:00

St Mary’s Catholic Cemetery, Kensal Green 2013

Use the arrow to return to Kensal Green
 
St Mary’s Catholic Cemetery

I do not have many images from here, but it was definitely a fantastic place, I just wish I had had the time to explore it more. Unfortunately a snow storm hit the cem just as I arrived at it and I had to abandon my photography session. I never did get back here again. I did however return in June 2016 and did a blogpost about it. It is quite odd to compare the two sets of images. 

The Belgian Soldiers Memorial (First World War)

The Belgian Soldiers Memorial (First World War)

The first thing that caught my roving eye was the beautiful Belgian Soldiers Memorial which also seemed more worthy of being in a public place than in a cemetery.
The snow was starting to become problematic as I was struggling to keep my lens dry and search for a VC grave too. But I had to admit defeat and decided that I would grab more pics and then head out of there.

   
   
   
   
I now had five of the Magnificent Seven under my belt, and only two days to go before I leave for Southampton….. I hoped that one day I would be able to see West Norwood and Tower Hamlets, and that actually happened but nearly two years after this visit. I always regretted never getting back to Kensal Green in better weather. My experience was really ruined by those grey skies and snow flurries. But that is the thing with grave hunting, sometimes you have to get the shot because tomorrow may be too late.

Kensal Green is managed by the General Cemetery Company since its inception  in 1830 and they still have offices by the main gate. It is still very much a working cemetery, and there was a service happening during my visit. The Friends of Kensal Green run tours of the cemetery on a regular basis. 

 
© DRW 2013-2018. Images recreated and links repaired 29/03/2016. Spilt off from original Kensal Green 2013 page
Updated: 28/12/2017 — 07:20

Kensal Green (2013).

Before I head off to Southampton I really wanted to squeeze in one more of the Magnificent Seven Cemeteries in London, at first I was going try for West Norwood, as it theoretically wasn’t too far from where I live, but then decided at the last minute  to try for Kensal Green. The wonderful weather I had had in Abney Park was not going to continue and even snow was forecast! This visit meant I had to change to the Bakerloo Line at Elephant and Castle and climb off at Kensal Green. In 2016 I revisited Kensall Green and I have replaced 2 of the photographs in this post.
A bit of an odd train change at the station before really confused me, but fortunately I arrived more or less intact. I did not use the main gate, but rather the gate next to St Mary’s Catholic Cemetery which was next door.
Kensal Green was the first commercial London cemetery to open in 1833 and was designed by George Frederick Carden. My first impression was of mausoleums all along the paths, and fortunately that did change as I went along, but they just kept getting grander and grander all the time. 
I do suspect that I hit paydirt when I came across this particular one with its Sphinx guardians, and extra ornamentation.
 

While hunting VC graves I returned to this mausoleum and discovered a very nice sculpt of a drovers hat with gloves in front of it. The tomb belongs to Andrew Ducrow, a British Circus Performer. What does something like this cost? £3000 apparently (and that was in 1837). 

Spirit of Ecstasy. (Thea Cannonero Altieri, born 21/06/1910, 29/10/2000)

Spirit of Ecstasy. (Thea Cannonero Altieri, born 21/06/1910, 29/10/2000)

In the meantime I continued on my way until I reached a large building which is the Anglican Chapel, and from what I have read the crypt is underneath this building.

On either wing of the building were magnificent statues, the one pictured being for Georgina Clementson. Apparently she was the daughter of John Graham Lough, who sculpted this memorial.

The other is the really magnificent Robert William Sievier (1794-1865) Memorial. It is a magnificent piece, much more suited to a museum than faded chapel in a cemetery.
 

Continuing my exploration I finally arrived at the main gate, (which I had not used), it is an impressive building on its own, but it does pale into insignificance when compared to some of the mausoleums inside the cemetery.

I also came across the Dissenters Chapel which was also very impressive, and it is the first Nonconformist Chapel to be built in a public cemetery.

Then it was time to turn around and start searching for the Victoria Cross recipient graves, of which there are  15 in Kensal Green. The problem here is that the graves are not always that legible, and the weather was really starting to become a problem, as soft sleet was occasionally falling. My route took me back along the road I had come, pausing every now and then to check a section off on my list. The selection of graves beyond the pathway was less impressive memorialwise, and some were really beautiful. 

Image from 2016

Image from 2016

The image of the horse and rider is in a very poor condition, and it is now scheduled for restoration. The records show that Alfred Cooke was interred in the tomb in 1854, and it is a grade II listed monument. 
Walking through a cemetery like this is always difficult because of the variety of ornamentation and headstones that may be all around, and every now and then there is a splash of colour.

 

Of course there are the angels and cherubs and strange statues, my personal favourite in any cemetery. Kensal Green has a lot that I had not seen before, but again there are just so many…

The child statue on the right I just had to find again, and I did in 2016, and she was just as I rememebered her. 

The VC search was not going well either,  there were just so many distractions all around me, and at some point I considered giving up the search altogether. One of the graves took me to what must have been some sort of gallery/collonades where they had wall memorials on display. It was not in a good condition and signs warned of unstable structures.  

The plaques that lined the walls before are now mostly broken off, and the interior of this pillared building has an apocalyptic feel about it.

Generally I do not hunt down celebrity graves unless they are of interest to me, and I was fortunate to encounter two graves of famous people. The first was one of Britains finest engineers. He was responsible for so many feats of engineering and shipbuilding that he is legendary. I have seen quite a few odds and ends that Isambard Kingdom Brunel created, and this grave really is special to me.

Image from 2016

Image from 2016

Surprise number two was the grave of Jean Francois Cravelet Blondin (aka Charles Blondin), the man who crossed Niagara Gorge on a tightrope. In fact the list of “rich and famous” for this cemetery is a formidable one, but I did not have access to the list so may or may not have photographed some of the graves on the list. The Victoria Cross graves mean more to me than some of the graves of the rich and famous (and titled), and many of these are simple headstones, often missed amongst the ostentation of some of these creations.

 
There is a microcosm of British Victorian Society buried in Kensal Green, and it must have really been something to see the elaborate Victorian funerals that must have taken place. Make no mistake, the Victorians had death down to a fine art, and woe betide those who did not adhere to those unwritten rules.
And in death you had to show the world a public face (or effigy, or something equally grandiose). Today many of these memorials are “listed buildings”.

Yet the cemetery is not only mausoleums and grand headstones, there are also section where the only ornamentation is a simple gravestone.

Time was marching though, and the weather was still not on my side, If anything it was becoming increasingly more unpleasant. My VC tally stood at 6 and I was not getting anywhere. I had to start preparing to go home. First, I had to pause at the Commonwealth War Graves Memorial to pay my respects. Strangely enough I had not seen too many CWGC headstones in the cemetery, and I found the Cross of Sacrifice purely by accident, 

And with that I had to close off Kensal Green, I still had to stop next door at St Mary’s Catholic Cemetery, but given how the sleet was turning to snow I expected that I would not be able to spend much time there at all.  Use the arrow below to access the St Mary’s page

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Random Images

© DRW 2013-2018. Images recreated and links repaired 29/03/2016, St Mary’s split off 01/02/2017
Updated: 28/12/2017 — 07:21
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