Monday, October 24, 2011

Water Sky Moon

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I had some fun filming timelapse on the beach in August. First of all it was a long walk on a hot day which was also very windy. Dangerous weather for me on a beach as I am liable to get burnt to crisp. There isn't much possibility of shade or shelter what with it being cliffs on one side and sea the other but fortunately I made it to some large rocks and was able to shelter behind those for few hours while I pointed the camera up and down.

In the first shot the camera ended up being a bit closer to the incoming tide than I was hoping for, so I moved it and got the shot looking down the beach the other way. I still managed to get the camera and lens covered in spray being blown off the sea, as can be seen in the increasingly obscured shot. I really should look after my equipment better.

Photo number two is the moon rising in June I think. Yes it's a moon in June. The third photo was taken earlier this evening and shows the wind picking up nicely. Time to batten down the hatches by the look of it.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

some more from the bus

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Just a quick posting of some photos taken back in the summer that I haven't had time to put up before now. These were taken on a bus trip to Okehampton for a walk I had planned and show Dartmoor in the background. The three peaks are at Belstone, where I took last years tor photographs, and the large round hill is what used to be known as Cowsand Beacon and which is now called Cosdon Hill for some reason. The last two are just a couple that got away that I liked.

Friday, October 14, 2011

The old mill at North Tawton

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From the Middle Ages and until late in the 18th century woollen manufacture was Devon's most valuable industry. The first known fulling mill in North Tawton was at Cottles Barton in 1558. As the nineteenth and twentieth century’s progressed the Devonshire woollen mills failed, one by one, although North Tawton’s was one of the last to go. The processes carried out in the factory included sorting, washing, drying, combing, spinning and weaving.

A brief history since 1930

The mill was brought by Hosken Trevithick & Polkinghorne, trading as Farm industries, for use as a store and wool grading centre.

1939-1951. The new shed was requisitioned by the Ministry of Works, and was a major centre for storing Government wool.

1948. The North Devon water Board abstracted water from the leat. Two pumps were built to extract water and the mains water was augmented by the factory supply.

1950. Ambrosia of Lapford rented a building on the site, for the storage of milk and rice, where ten women were employed sorting the grain.

1957. The North Devon Water Board leased the yard and a shed for storage at £25 per annum.

1964. The British Wool Marketing Board took over the premises, and it became an important wool grading centre. Wool buyers came from all over the country to view the board’s samples. The Wool Board made their own electricity until 1991 and sold surplus to the Electricity Board.

1992. Wool stores were closed at Buckfastleigh, Launceston and North Tawton and the business was concentrated in South Molton. Two of the remaining employees were transferred there. A sad end to what was once a great enterprise. In the Okehampton Times of 17 December 1992 it was reported that: West Devon Council issued a development brief for the wool factory, which, it is suggested, could be put to leisure use, e.g. a public sports hall, the mill leat could be developed for water sports, and buildings converted to a restaurant and/or museum connected with the former wool industry.

In 1994 the premises were bought by a local land owner, and have remained empty ever since.

I visited the site on what turned out to be a day of continual rain, which is fairly typical for Devon and not a problem. The site is very large and takes a good while to walk around even quickly as there are numerous sheds and buildings there. Many of the roofs have given way and the rain is getting into a lot of the buildings making them unstable. Some of the roofs contain glass, some of which has fallen and a lot of which still swings in the wind, so these sheds would be best avoided on very windy days. The large and beautiful mill building also seems to be leaking, as when I was inside there was a constant running and dripping of water on the large wooden stairs, so these stairs and possibly the floors above are not to be trusted. All in all an interesting site which was nearly bulldozed earlier on in the year until the plan for rebuilding fell through again and so the mill remains derelict, and is slowly being reclaimed by nature. Visiting the site is trespassing I believe and caution should also be taken due to the dangerous condition of the place.