So there we were, motoring between tall hedges with the twin towers above their lonely beach playing peek-a-boo with us as we edged nearer to Reculver on the North Kent coast. "James Bond came down here in his Aston Martin DBIII in Moonraker" I said. "Really?" she replied, somewhat suspiciously. Quite rightly. Bond's visit was in Ian Fleming's Goldfinger (1959): He came up with a crossroads. To the left the signpost said RECULVER. Underneath was the ancient monument sign for Reculver church. Bond slowed, but didn't stop. We did, and spent a happy hour wandering about the gaunt ruins and beach, trying to avoid being in that other photographer's viewfinder. "Don't worry" he said, "I'll Photoshop you out". On the pub verandah later I mused: That's what people will say about me. "What happened to Peter Ashley?" "Oh, he got photoshopped out". Read more about the church here, read the original James Bond books to see just how much they contrast with the gadget laden later films. I really like them, and think I'll read Moonraker again, this time following Fleming's narrative in the right order, instead of backwards trying to find the word 'Reculver'.
I am a writer and photographer who spends all his time looking at England, particularly buildings and the countryside. But I have a leaning towards the slightly odd and neglected, the unsung elements that make England such an interesting place to live in. I am the author and photographer of over 25 books, in particular Unmitigated England (Adelphi 2006), More from Unmitigated England (Adelphi 2007), Cross Country (Wiley 2011), The Cigarette Papers (Frances Lincoln 2012) and Preposterous Erections (Frances Lincoln 2012)