The Flooded Rother

River RotherThe recent heavy rain has been too much for the river Rother, which has overflowed its banks. This flooding is not unusual, and happens every year. These photographs were taken near Wittersham, Kent.

River Rother

The morning was calm after the most recent rain moved off, leaving a patchy mist through which the sun struggled to shine. Of course these conditions are perfect for taking photographs.

River Rother

A family of swans were enjoying a morning swim, moving silently up the river and foraging for food. Looking up river, away from the rising sun, the scene looked much bleaker. The mist was thicker and made the landscape seem more mysterious. The grey mist made it appropriate for a black and white image.

River Rother

All of these images and more can be viewed on my Flicker page. Just click on them to go there.

Mary Stanford Lifeboat House

Mary Stanford Lifeboat HouseThis rundown building once housed the Mary Stanford lifeboat. It stands on the shore near Rye Harbour and is a grade 2 listed building. The old lifeboat house has remained unused since 15th November 1928. On that day the Mary Stanford lifeboat was launched with a crew of 17 to answer the distress call of a Latvian ship named ‘Alice of Riga’ which had been in a collision with a German ship named ‘Smyrna’. The wind was blowing in excess of 80 mph, as the crew manhandled the 4 ton boat over the shingle and sand, then pushed off into the storm. As they rowed away word was received that the crew of the troubled ship had all been saved. The lifeboat crew could not see the signals from the shore, and the Mary Stanford continued on. The storm overcame them and all 17 crew perished. The full details can be read here or there is a great video here that tells the story with images of the boat and crew which is worth watching all the way through.

Mary Stanford Lifeboat House

The boat house is one and a half miles from Rye Harbour, this map shows how isolated is it.

Mary Stanford Lifeboat House

Mary Stanford Lifeboat House 4

The sea defenses have been installed since 1928 as far as I know, this view was taken from the sea’s edge (or close, I didn’t get my feet wet). The tide was about half way out at the time, however there are large areas of sand flats where the shingle ends and at low tide the sea is at least another 100 meters further out. Snow Patrol filmed one of their music videos here.Mary Stanford Lifeboat House

Exposed to the elements and covered with people’s initial’s scratched into the brickwork the boat house has a certain character. It is not totally abandoned though as fund raising is in progress to restore it and possibly add a ‘coastal classroom’ for local children to use. Mary Stanford Lifeboat Poem

The impact of the disaster on the local community was huge and will never be forgotten.Mary Stanford Memorial, Rye Harbour

The crew’s memorial is in Rye Harbour church, which is here. You can buy a book about the Mary Stanford lifeboat written by Geoff Hutchinson from Amazon here. All photos here can be clicked and viewed full size in Flickr.

Long term readers of this blog my recognise this article as a repost, which is correct. I have updated the photos to better ones however!


SeascapeThis seascape was photographed on the beach below the Mary Stanford Lifeboat house, on the same cold morning that I took photos for that very post. That was over two years ago.

It had sat unseen on my hard drive since it was transferred over from the camera memory card. My hard drive is getting full now, so I’m going through all the photographs on there and deleting the ones I’ve never used. There are lots and lots of them. This is one of those saved I from the recycle bin.

You can view this seascape full size on my Flickr page by clicking on the image.

Hastings, Surfer’s Paradise

Hastings, Surfer's Paradise


Hastings is not known as a surfer’s paradise because it is not one. But when the wind is strong and blowing in the right direction and the tide is in there is, if you are inclined, a chance to surf. You will be confined to a stretch of beach about 50 meters in width at the end of the Stade. There the waves are compressed against the sea wall and grow in height as they race towards the beach. You’ll have about 5 seconds to enjoy the thrill of riding the wave.Hastings, Surfer's Paradise

I’d been on the beach for about half an hour before I noticed these guys doing their thing. They jump in, ride the waves for as long as they can before being washed up. Then they walk round to start again.Hastings, Surfer's Paradise

As I hung over the railing to take these photographs in the stiff November wind I wondered “What possesses these men to get up early in the morning and hurl themselves into cold, rough seas? “. The reason was evident in their rosy faces as they walked past; they were exhilarated by it.

You can view each of these photos full size on my Flickr page by clicking on them.

Sunrise on a Windy Day

Sunrise, Hastings Beach

The alarm going off an hour before sunrise. Forcing myself to shake off the desire to stay in the warm and go back sleep. Looking out the window to see if the skies look clear. Creeping about the flat trying not to wake the family up. Every noise from the kettle boiling to zipping up my coat sounding deafening in the quiet. Still deciding where to go as I get in the car.

Why do I do it? Because it’s great to watch the sunrise. You get to witness something different every time. There aren’t many people around. It’s free to park.

Click on the image to view it larger on my Flickr page.

St Leonards Sunrise

Driving down to the seafront at St Leonards last week I arrived just in time to see and photograph the sunrise. It was nice to see the sun after the dismal weather in recent days. These were taken a a few minutes apart and in slightly different locations. The sun rises too quickly when you are trying to photograph it. In some ways I’m too focussed on the camera to actually appreciate what is unfolding. I guess you either take a photograph or sit back, take it in and  record it only in your memory. (Click the pictures to view in Flickr)

A Grey Morning

The sun struggles to brighten the morning, but the cloud cover is thin enough in places to bring some light and mood to the scene. (Click on the image to enlarge it)

Pett Level

A man searches for lug worms as the sun rises over Pett Level beach. The darker areas in the foreground are the fossilised remains of a 6,000 year old forest.