Tag Archives: Kent

BBC News – Folkestone Academy ‘outrage’ over drivers using pavements

Motorists filmed driving on pavements outside a Folkestone school are being investigated, Kent Police have said.

The footage, filmed by Beau Mallett who lives near Folkestone Academy, shows drivers mounting the pavements and driving along the pathway.

A spokesman for Kent Police said it was monitoring the situation and would be taking action.

Insp Mark Smith said officers would contact owners of vehicles identified from the film which was put on YouTube.

via BBC News – Folkestone Academy ‘outrage’ over drivers using pavements.

Strikes me as either careless driving or driving without due care and attention. I hope the police prosecute.

Incidentally:

Associate head teacher Warren Smith said: “It’s frequently busy at the front of the school but for cars to take it upon themselves to mount the pavement to avoid the traffic is absolutely outrageous.”

Cars don’t drive themselves, Mr Warren. At least, not yet on the public roads.

BBC News – Fourth South East England hub airport proposal unveiled

BBC News – Fourth South East England hub airport proposal unveiled.

Plans to build a 24-hour £39bn hub airport on large sandbanks off the Kent coast have been unveiled.

Engineering firm Beckett Rankine wants to construct a four-runway airport on Goodwin Sands near Deal.

Director Tim Beckett said it was the “most sustainable solution” to aviation expansion in the South East and would have the “least adverse impact”.

The plan for the hub airport, the fourth proposed for the South East, is being opposed by environmentalists.

The Goodwin Sands are a series of shifting sandbanks, 11 miles long and six miles wide, that are also the site of historic shipwrecks.

They just won’t give it a rest, will they?

But Campaign to Protect Rural England (CPRE) spokesman Jamie Weir said: “Many South East airports such as Manston currently have plenty of runway capacity, so why are new airport proposals being pitched on a daily basis?

“The question of whether we actually need fresh capacity is the one which needs to be answered before we start looking for sites. This proposal, like all of those in the Thames Estuary, fails to even recognise this.

“We believe that the UK government must prove the need for additional capacity before anything like this is contemplated.”

Earlier in the week, BoJo was pontificating on Stansted. That’s another airport outside his jurisdiction. Perhaps Kent County Council, Medway Council and the local authority for Stansted should start proposing wholesale redevelopment of London.

Building an island airport on the Goodwin Sands won’t cause environmental problems? They are completely barking.

The best laid plans

As you may be aware I am partial to what I term “Dawn Raids”. This is where I head out very early to catch the sun rising over the Medway. In the summer, this can mean getting up at very silly times of the night, but nearing midwinter the sun gets up at a more civilised hour.

The weather forecast looked good, with perhaps a smattering of cloud. It would be a low tide at around 8am, and the sun was due to rise at about the same time. It all looked set fair for a December Dawn Raid to Upnor.

I got there in plenty of time, set the EOS 7D up on the tripod with the Sigma 10–20mm wide angle, pointed at the horizon where the sun would appear, and I waited. While I waited, I took a couple of shots with the PowerShot G9. A church clock tolled the hour, more cloud rolled in, and there was the merest hint of pink … and that was it. I had been hoping for some blazing oranges and golds, moody cloudscapes, lit from below, something worth all the effort. It was a bit disappointing, to be honest, but I suppose that’s the chance you take. You can never guarantee anything in life.

December Upnor December Upnor December Upnor December Upnor December Upnor December Upnor December Upnor December Upnor December Upnor December Upnor December Upnor

Maidstone Photowalk – a set on Flickr

I organised a photo walk yesterday. The weather turned against us, so only four of us actually turned up. Still, we enjoyed ourselves wandering around Kent’s county town of Maidstone.

This slide show is of the images I managed to get. I’d share the images the others took, but I can’t fathom the clumsy way Google+ shows slideshows. I guess you have to be there.

No Flash? Try this link.

September Dawn – a set on Flickr

One of my infamous Dawn Raids occurred this morning. It so happened the weather was forecast to be clear, and there was a high tide coinciding with sunrise, give or take a few minutes. I headed out to Hoo St Werburgh, which has rapidly become my local sunrise location of choice.

Swapping lenses on a DSLR always increases the possibility of dust and grot getting into the camera body. Only when I got home and downloaded the images did I spot a small hair in the bottom right corner of many images, caused by my holding an uncapped lens in the crook of my arm while swapping them about. At wider apertures the fibre was all but invisible, but stopping down meant it became clearer and clearer. I’ve had to do a bit of selective cropping and cloning to tidy things up. I was lucky, really, it only encroached in a corner. It has now been removed from the camera body.

For those without Flash, here’s the direct link to the set on Flickr.

BBC News – Wildlife haven status for Thames Estuary airport land

Opponents of a new airport in the Thames Estuary have welcomed a government decision to designate the land earmarked for the project as a new wildlife haven.

The Thames Marshes have been included in a list of 12 Nature Improvement Areas and campaigners believe this could scupper the project.

The RSPB and Medway Council believe the airport would damage the environment.

However, supporters of the idea say the UK needs more airport capacity.

The airport would be built partly on reclaimed land and could be on either an island or a peninsula.

A ray of hope.

BBC News – Kent rail links “may become part of Boris’s empire”

A Kent MP is meeting London transport bosses over fears that the city may take over the running of some of the county’s train services.

Michael Fallon, who represents Sevenoaks, is concerned that his constituents could end up with a worse and more expensive service.

Boris Johnson believes routes to Dartford and Sevenoaks will improve if they are managed from London.

But Mr Fallon says many passengers cannot hold Mr Johnson to account.

BoJo’s at it again. He can’t keep his mitts off stuff that doesn’t concern him. He’ll have to go. Please, Londoners, vote for anyone else in the May election. Anyone but Boris, please.

Here’s to the future now…

I recall hoping 2011 would improve on the utter disaster that was 2010. I have to admit to being disappointed. 2011 hasn’t really been much better. I wonder what 2012 might have in store for me.

Yes, it’s that time of the year when I sit down and review where I have been over the past 12 months, and where I want to go over the next.

Not having a regular income to speak of has rather curbed my wanderlust, so any photographic expeditions in 2011 have been closer to home. Apart from a couple of sallies beyond the confines of Kent—model railway exhibitions earlier in the year took me as far as Wigan and York, and a brief day trip to Shropshire a few weeks ago took in the RAF Museum at Cosford—I have had to be content with places that don’t cost a fortune to visit.

I made a couple of exploratory visits to places during the year. Dungeness and the Isle of Grain have been earmarked for further exploration. Faversham piqued my interest, and warrants a longer visit. Trips to flesh out my “Margins” photo project were relatively few, mainly incorporating the north shore of the River Medway, which has turned into one of my regular haunts. I suppose I have managed to get some good images during the year.

Gear-wise, selling off some other hobby items enabled me to upgrade my DSLR from the Canon EOS 400D to the 7D. I also added an ƒ/2.8 70–300mm lens, and a few accessories like a remote shutter release and memory cards. There’s not a lot more I want to add to my gear, although I have one more lens I would like to acquire in the ƒ/2.8 17–70mm-ish range, and more memory cards and so on. My MacBook Pro will celebrate its fifth birthday in summer 2012, and it is just beginning to show its age. Aperture 3 gives it cause to struggle, and sadly I cannot add any more RAM to the machine to help. I’m looking at options such as a new, faster, bigger internal hard drive in order to eke out a little more life from it.

Looking to 2012, what do I wish for? I am ignoring the real world here, just looking at my own life. There is only really one thing I want: a proper full-time job. I need a nice regular income again. Life out here in the freelance artworker world is totally dead. The lack of a job has meant I have had to let another fantastic opportunity sail by without my boarding it. Later in the summer 2012, I had hoped I would be going on a photographic safari to Svalbard. Circumstances in 2011 meant I simply couldn’t commit to buying the flight tickets. So much for adventure.

I would also like to push to try and get some freelance model railway photography gigs. I’ve already blogged about that, but in the new year I intend to keep pushing at that stuck door. I am fed up with letting life pass me by. 2012 ought to be the year when I make every effort to get life moving again. 

If I don’t blog before, I would like to wish you all a merry Christmas, and my best wishes for the new year.