Bridge over the Grand Union Canal

Visible from the Western Avenue, this bridge has long suffered from graffiti. When I was a boy in the 1960s, the then otherwise unpainted bridge was daubed with a flash-and-circle and the word ‘Mosley’, presumably dating back to Sir Oswald Mosley’s activities in the 1930s. By the 1980s, the bridge had been painted white, but in recent years it has become covered with graffiti. It would be good to see it restored to its original brickwork, but it would undoubtedly soon attract fresh graffiti.

A particularly fine rainbow

A torrential late afternoon shower was followed almost immediately by bright sunshine, giving rise to this spectacular rainbow against the still-dark sky. But unlike the rainbow I photographed in Sevenoaks, this one was very brief. Within five minutes, it had gone.

Sound Mirrors of RAF Denge, Kent

The Sound mirrors at RAF Denge are located between Greatstone-on-Sea and Lydd airfield, Kent, on the edge of a disused gravel pit. They were built in the late 1920s and early 1930s as part of an early warning system for detecting hostile incoming aircraft by focusing sound waves onto a central microphone.

The Denge complex is the best-preserved of several along the south coast. It comprises three mirrors:

1) The 200 foot mirror – a near vertical, curved wall, 60 m (200 ft) in length.

2) The 30 foot mirror – a circular dish, 9 m (30 ft) across, supported on concrete buttresses, which retains a microphone pole at its centre.

3) The 20 foot mirror is similar to the 30 foot mirror, but with a smaller dish 6 m (20 ft) across.

The mirrors were capable of detecting the slow-moving aircraft of the period before they came into range, but were rendered obsolete by the invention of radar. They were abandoned and left to decay, though they remain reasonably well-preserved and are now scheduled under the Ancient Monuments and Archaeological Areas Act 1979.

Moon Landing + 51

2020-07-20 09.20.29

The 51st anniversary of the Moon Landing comes around with the world in an even bigger mess than it was in twelve months ago.

We’ve also lost pioneering Russian cosmonaut & space walker Alexei Leonov.

Perhaps the most positive development has been the first crewed flight of SpaceX’s Dragon spacecraft.