For our visit to Mouldon Hill Country Park, the weather gods were relatively kind to us – the rain held off and the sun appeared at the start of the evening. Members congregated in the car park and then walked around the lake and explored the River Ray. No one found the North Wilts canal that flows through the park. Also the 100 metre gill over the River Ray proved elusive but we weren’t entirely sure what we were looking for and perhaps we just didn’t walk far enough to find it!
Mouldon Hill Park Lake
After an initial burst of sunshine, the light rapidly deteriorated and resulted in a premature end to the visit. However by this time the attendees had enjoyed some fresh air, exercise and the opportunity to capture some peaceful images of the lake and its surroundings. The foragers amongst us noted the numerous blackberry and sloe bushes, which will require a separate visit.
With weather warnings in place for thunderstorms, the photoshoot planned for Tuesday 11th August has been postponed for a week to August 18th 2020.
Our second summer photoshoot took place in Calne where we explored the town’s historic Heritage Quarter, This is an area within the town that is full of character and charm. Some of the main sights include the Proclamation Steps, St Mary’s Church, the Green, the Heritage Centre and the tiny Almshouses. The town’s historical connection with the cloth industry is evidenced by Weavers House at The Green which for five centuries was the heart of the cloth making industry following an influx of Flemish weavers who settled here in the 1300s..
Famous people associated with the town include Joseph Priestley, the man who ‘discovered’ oxygen and Jan Ingen Housz, the man who identified photosynthesis, poet Samuel Taylor Coleridge and the Harris Brothers, whose bacon factory was a huge employer in the area.
We will meet around 6.30 pm in the free car parks in The Pippin opposite Sainsburys.
From there there is a path with a bridge over the River Marden onto the start of Church Street. There is also a bridge further down the road at a place known locally as Doctors Pond, named after Dr Joseph Priestly who discovered oxygen whilst staying at Bowood House in 1774. This path leads into Mill Street which has some quite old cottages and the Proclamation Steps, where results of elections were announced. The old water mill is visible on the left
Further on is a recreation ground where there is a plaque for a Calne man who ran the fastest time for a mile but was not recorded as he was a professional athlete. Kingsbury Street has a row of tiny almshouses and opens out on to The Green which is where wealthy owners from cloth making lived.
On the Strand is the Lansdowne Arms hotel with a steep hill running up to its left called Castle Hill and the Grade 2 listed Town Hall building opened in 1886
Despite some confusion over availability of parking in the village, a small group assembled and went on a circular walk as recommended by our President, using his local knowledge of the area. The circular walk took us past the church, over the meadows and eventually back into the charming village centre.
The scenery was attractive, the roads traffic-free and we were bathed in evening sunshine. Not a single sarsen stone was photographed but that was what made this evening trip to Avebury so different and enjoyable.
At relatively short notice, our first photo-shoot of the summer is a visit to Avebury to look for different opportunities to photograph the stone circles…..and possibly sheep if they are grazing near them!
We will meet from 6.30 pm onwards and after some fresh air, exercise and hopefully some novel images of the stones, seek refreshment in the only pub in the world inside a stone circle.
As daylight hours were reducing, our final summer photoshoot activity was to go to Uffington white horse for some astro-photography and two nights were nominated to provide a contingency against unfavourable weather conditions. Unfortunately cloud cover rolled in on both evenings so it remains to be seen what images were obtained, if any.
Our new season starts on September 10th with the Awards Presentation evening followed by a viewing of the WCPF Travelling Print Exhibition, which always features some splendid images to admire and puzzle how they were obtained.
Conflicting arrangements for many Club members, coupled with the poor weather forecast for the evening, led to the photoshoot being cancelled. So, we will have the delights of Castle Combe to look forward to on another occasion.
Our third summer photoshoot featured a revisit to the Lotmead Farm Machinery collection in Wanborough. Unlike last year, the exhibits and workshops were on open display with the friendly owners keen to demonstrate the salient features. A fully fired up miniature steam tractor chugged its way around the site provided interesting photographic material but the star attractions clearly were the Scimitar tank and Saracen armoured troop carrier, both driven up and down the farm track for some action shots.
Thanks to Barry Davies for arranging this shoot. He turned up in his 1954 restored split screen Morris Minor which arguably could have provided material for a photoshoot in its own right!
A healthy turn out of members made it to the Church of St John the Baptist, at Inglesham for our second photoshoot. The church is located out in the countryside above the surrounding water meadows next to the confluence of the River Thames, River Coln and the Thames and Severn canal.
Although disused, the church portrays a rich historic past with carvings on one wall, medieval paintings on another and passages from the bible etched elsewhere. So there were several interesting images to capture both inside and outside, although once again we were treated to a very dull grey sky and no hope whatsoever of a sunset……but at least it remained dry.
Tripods were the order of the day and especially inside where the light levels were very subdued. Care had to be taken wandering around the graveyard as some plots had fallen into disrepair with grave coverings broken but we lost no-one during the evening.
Afterwards we adjourned to The Trout Inn for some riverside refreshments.