Thursday, 14 August 2014

Marsh Mellow

 
 
 
 
It doesn't take much time on the Romney Marsh in Kent for my batteries to be re-charged, as assuredly as the ones in my cameras become discharged with every click of the shutter. Surprisingly for the time of the year it was very peaceful and quiet, winding slowly down remote lanes overshadowed by trembling white poplars and willows, sheep bleating animatedly at me every time I got out of the car. I felt utterly alone, but none the worse for that. The top photograph is of the church at Kenardington, not quite on the marsh but nevertheless winking at me continuously from its knoll above a bean field on the higher ground to the north. I think one of the reasons for my passion for these atmospheric acres is the colour palette of greens (particularly the dark) and brick reds in the houses and church roofs. The tile-hung building with the white picket fence is Hook Hall, not far from Brookland, and the beautifully isolated church is the remarkable Fairfield. Well-used as a location in Mike Newell's film of Great Expectations (2012), it was where Pip met Magwitch. 

And so up off the marsh at Appledore, but not before crossing the Ashford to Hastings railway line where trains still stop at the station. And here another gratifying note was struck. Wanderers in Unmitigated England will know of my distaste for most of today's bus and train liveries, but the Southern seems to have got it just about right here for trains traversing the marsh, and indeed through the greenery of Kent and Sussex generally. My certificate of approval too for their adaptation of the original Southern Railway lettering for the train sides.

The other side of the marsh is of course Dungeness, which never fails me for one reason another. More of this shortly.

6 comments:

Mike @ A Bit About Britain said...

Always reminds me of the Dr Syn books by Russell Thorndyke. Well before my time, of course; but ripping yarns set in this slightly mysterious part of England.

Peter Ashley said...

Hello Mike, you've just reminded me that I planned to get a copy of the Thorndyke book to read whilst I was down there. Alas...

Jon Dudley said...

Absolutely delightful. My feelings about the place exactly. No ice cream sales in Rye this time?

Philip Wilkinson said...

Fantastic. You're right, I think, about the greens and reds. Sitting here in the Cotswolds, where everything is built of stone, I do sometimes find it all a bit beige. Those red walls and roofs in Sussex and Kent really help.

Stephen Barker said...

I remember listening to the Dr Syn books on Radio 4 Extra a few years ago. I am sure they will repeat them sooner or later. I wish I was down on the Romney Marsh and visiting Rye.

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