Portland Journal

Friday 19th October
We left Little Eaton mid morning and took a slow journey on the old route we used to use of minor roads and the A5.  If you have done a journey many times a year for many years it is fascinating to see the changes if you have not been on the route for about six years.  Stopped for lunch in a country lane near Michedever.
2.55 Micheldever Forest where there is an Iron Age Banjo Settlement, so called because the plan of the settlement is the chape of a Banjo. We went just to photograph the beech wood.


We  Had a short walk around in foul weather, foggy, misty, rainy and very wet underfoot
3.25 Left there and went on to Portland Heights.  Settled in and then went to dinner.  After that I went to the evening lecture by a local photographer who was very knowledgeable about the area.  He gave out an aide memoire with lots of details on.

Saturday 20th October.
5.00 Tea
5.50 I left the hotel.  When I arrived at Portland Bill it was still dark and difficult to see but as daylight arrived there were some interesting shots to be had although not the sunrise we had been hoping for.
8.00 Back to the hotel - breakfast
9.30 Off to the quarry with the art work then St Georges Church which had a huge graveyard, with  of course, plenty of gravestones many of which had beautiful carvings.  


The interior of the church had been refurbished and decorated in the way it was when built.


Then bought petrol and drove to Studland.  Parked in the NT car park and walked the mile to Old Harry Rocks. Took the long exposure shot of The Pinnacles.


3.00 Drove to Swanage which was crowded and full of amusement arcades but would make a reasonable twilight shot including the pier.  Then back through Corfe where I parked and worked out where to go to photograph.
4.10 Arrived back at the hotel, downloaded the photographs.
Went for a cup of tea with Elaine and Ian who Beryl had spent the day with and stayed longer than I wanted to watching the beautiful sky change and knowing that I was not going to make it to Burton Bradstock where I intended to photograph the sunset.  Left there just after six and tried to make it down to Fleet to catch the sun over the water but no.  I found out later via a local photographer and a member of our group that we missed one of the best sunsets the area has seen in a long time.  Such is photography.
The evening lecture didn't start until quite late and I opted to miss it and watch the ten o'clock news instead.

Sunday 21st October.
5.50 Alarm and tea
6.30 Left for Church Ope but decided on arriving that I would be better off going back to the lighthouse at Portland Bill.  I chose a location to photograph Pulpit Rock.    I spoke to some fishermen on my way down to the photographing point as they were coming up.  One of them then went and stood right in the middle of my picture!

9.15 Breakfast
10.30 Set off for Durdle Door having not discussed it with anyone except B.  Peter got into his landrover with the three other chaps and set off.  At Weymouth he went North and we went east.  Just outside the Durdle Door turning he appeared in front of us.  We followed him in and parked next door to him.  Had a pretty successful time there.


After Durdle Door we drove on through Lulworth via military roads onto the tank firing range which showed to be open to the public to Tyneham, a village that was evacuated on government orders to extend the tank firing range.  The villagers were all tenants of the owner of the valley and the government compulsorily purchased the the lot, promising that the villagers would be able to return after the war.  However, the government rescinded and the owner never recovered from the betrayal.  Villagers still have the right to be buried in the churchyard but no-one else does.  The church and the school have been restored and looked after but the rest of the buildings, although made safe, are being left to decay.  It is a fascinating time capsual.

After this we decided to go back to the hotel and have a cup of tea and a read of the newspapers before going out again. Also downloaded the photographs.

5.15 Off to Burton Bradstock, West Bay and Abbotsbury Gardens where I walked on to Chesil Bank to have a look.
6.50 Back to the hotel shower and a drink.
7.25 Down to the restaurant.

Monday 22nd October
5.30 Tea
6.35 Decided that the weather was so foul that there was no point in travelling to Durdle Door so went to Portland Bill instead, thinking that I might put right the mistakes I made the other day.  But, the weather put paid to that.  I didn't even take the camera out but went for a walk and returned early to the hotel.
9.00 Breakfast and it was surprising to see just how many people had stayed on.
10.00 Off to find Morrison's in Weymouth but failed and decided to go on to Bridport where we knew there was another one.  Then called in at Moore's biscuits, bought some presents for other people and some food for us.  Then back to Langdon Woods where we parked the car and walked to Golden Cap.
It was very misty and stayed like that for the rest of the day.


2.25  Off to Lyme Regis.  B went off to buy a book and look round the shops. I went to the Cob, met another photographer with whom I had a chat. Asked what settings he had used.  He was giving up because there were people in the way all the time.  I said that I had two hours so I might as well take pot luck and see what happened. So I set my tripod up and started.  Photographed for about 45 minutes.  Thought of giving up several times.  A group came along and said that they didn't mind waiting and just then the couple in the way took the steps off to the side so I asked for just ten seconds and took the final shot of the afternoon with no-one in the way.  Looks OK on the laptop.  Then took some shots of the beach huts and a few of a rocky pile and a marker.






Back to Bridport for petrol and then back to the hotel.  Arrived back at 5.40.  Had a cup of tea and went for an early dinner with the intention of going to Swanage this evening to photograph the pier.  But, the fog was so thick that we struggled to see the street lamps outside the hotel so I decided to stay put, have a drink, watch some TV and read my book.

Tuesday 23rd October
7.50 Tea - I did look out of the window just after 5 and it was very misty so there was very little point in going out to take photographs.
9.05 Late breakfast
10.10 Took photographs of young students on the olympic rings outside the hotel.  After that we set off for Corfe.   We walked together across a couple of fields and then B left me  and went back to the car whilst I climbed  the hill to photograph the castle.  Joined up again and walked to the village.  I went round the castle and B looked in the shops the museum and the church.  Met up again at the car and had our lunch.

After that we went to Wareham and had a very quick look around and then to Kimmeridge which was a very pleasant drive over the ridge and through the next valley.  The bay did not look particularly inviting being of a black clay,  There was a notable folly on the hill called Clavell's Tower.  Took some photographs including the waterfall which Pete said he could not find.  By then it was gone 3.30 pm and we decided that that would be enough for the day and that we would return to the hotel.

4.45 Back at the hotel, cup of tea and downloading photographs.
6.43 Ian and Elaine arrived and just after 7.00 we went through to dinner.  They had very kindly bought me a present of a book of photographs of Dorset released that day by the local newspaper. We had a very pleasant evening chatting about all sorts, a relaxing way to finish a busy holiday.