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Dawn at Newenden

After what seems like weeks of murky weather the sun finally made an appearance. It had to burn through the mist dwelling in the valley where the River Rother passes through Newenden, but of course that creates a beautiful sunrise.

Whilst looking for photo opportunities on the river bank a man with two labradors, one brown and one black emerged from the mist. The dogs said hello and muddied my jeans then disappeared with their owner into the mist. Some time passed, and shrouded in the mist I felt quite alone. Sound travels well in the mist however and I heard two spashes, clearly the dogs had leapt into the river. Then I heard the owner:

(In an assertive voice) “Ben! Ben!, get here. Ben! Get here now. Good boy”

“Bill!, Bill!, Bill!, get over here. Bill! BILL! BILL! COME ‘ERE!”

(In an angry voice) “BILL!, BILL! Right, that’s it, come here NOW! BILL! BILL! BILL! BILL!

Gradually the owner descended to pleading to get Bill to come in from his swim: “Biiiilll, Pleeease! Biiiillll!

My parents have  always owned labradors. We’ve never had one that came back until it felt was good and ready, and it was amusing to hear someone else lose the battle of wills with their labrador.

6 responses to “Dawn at Newenden”

  1. obrienspix avatar

    Those are such great shots.

  2. compellingphotography avatar

    Thanks London Caller and obrienspix, it was a lovely morning to be out and about.

  3. Mick Pelling avatar
    Mick Pelling

    It is hard to imagine today, as you drive through the village of Newenden with its one pub, cricket pitch, small church, and a few nice houses that back in time it was a entirely different place.

    Centuries ago, the River Rother, which passes by Newenden was a good deal wider, deeper, and navigable to the sea, so much so that Alfred the Great probably had a fort on high ground in case of Viking invasion, and until the 15th century Newenden was a major port for sea going ships, and was a large enough town to support 16 taverns.

    In fact there was all sorts of activity on the Rother, some of Henry the eighths naval vessels were built at Small Hythe, not far from Newenden, Bodiam Castle, further up stream was built in case of French invasion.

    Gradually the water receeded, there was a process called “inning”,reclaiming of land from the water…similar to what has happened in Holland, as inning occured, the flow of water slowed, causing silting.
    There were major changes down on the coast, an example being the “Great Storm” in 1287 altered the course of the Rother, and now the sea is many miles away.
    Anywhere along the coast from Fairlight to Folkestone,you can look inland and see the old cliffs,the sea would have washed against these, the Rivers Rother, Brede, and Tillingham all of which meet in the Rye area would have been qiute formidable.

    A couple of other things about Newenden, the church is 13th century,and I believe was mentioned in the Frederick Forsthye book The Day of the Jackal , the villain assumes the name of someone buried in the graveyard.
    It is also said that the first recorded game of cricket took place here in 1300!

  4. Katrina Bartley avatar

    Gorgeous shots and quite an amusing story 🙂

  5. juliamcameron avatar

    Well worth the muddy encounter to get these beautiful, ethereal images.

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