White Horses Project #2 Alton Barnes, Swinging Jack…

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A local farmer, Robert Pile, commissioned the cutting of this white horse back in 1812 and paid the handsome fee of 20 quid to a fella named Jack The Painter, aka John Thorne a Journeyman Inn Sign Painter, who in turn sub-contracted the work to a local lad, John Harvey and then proceeded to bugger off with the cash.

Unfortunately for Jack, this was a regular occurrence and 19th century justice caught up with him and he was later hanged for a series of similar crimes.

Fortunately we live in more enlightened times and the “vandals” who adorned the horse with “an extra limb” or, and I’m quoting the Wiki page, “turned the horse into a stallion” would have got off slightly lighter if they were ever caught.

Please, head over to the wikipedia page for this horse for load more details and I know for a fact that I’m going to be digging a bit deeper, deeper than Jack ever did, for the stories with this horse.

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The Pied Piper’s Legacy…

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I’m sure you’re all aware of the Pied Piper of Hamlin, well, did you know there was a Pied Piper of The Isle Of Wight?

The small hamlet of Newtown on the Isle Of white, once known as Franceville (Freetown) and was a prosperous natural harbour, beaten up by the Danes in 1001CE and again by the French in 1377 never again to be as  vigorous apart from a little bit of favour from Elizabeth I in the 16th Century and her effort with a tad of vote rigging but I digress and before I go further a note from my “sponsors…”

The Legend:

“There are stories of a pied piper, hired for 50 pounds to save Newtown from an excess of rats, which are similar to the story of the Pied Piper of Hamelin, Germany. He is said to have played his pipe and led the rats into the Solent, where they drowned. The townspeople refused to pay the agreed price, and gave the piper 20 pounds, so he then led the children away. The town lost an entire generation, so had no young people to defend it when the French attacked in 1377.”

This post has been bought to you by Wikipedia… Ain’t the World Wide Web (aka cut and paste) a wonderful thing! 

On a genuine note though, it was flat and grey this evening but the wealth of wildlife that is evident within this beautiful setting is stunning and I spent a good hour watching them as well as working on my composition and judging my exposure. Six seconds @ f/16 ISO 100 with a sky that flat I knew I had to work on the subject, the Boat House was the obvious as were the brooks of water, I wanted to make sure they were flat like the sky, hence the long exposure. The leaning posts that obviously once served a purpose were a little bit harder to judge and it took a little bit of wading to get into the right place but I like the lines, I like the flatness of the image and now I’ve done a bit of reading up on the location I’m a huge Franceville fan and believe me, there is so much more to see there I will be returning.

 

Turners Preference…

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There’s a story around these parts that once Sir Henry Hoare (The Magnificent) had completed the gardens at Stourhead he invited the renowned landscape painter Joseph Mallord William Turner down for a ganders and maybe a painting or two… Unfortunately Bill was not impressed with Harrys’ arrogance with regards to the new gardens and chose to paint the second lake down. not part of the gardens and known to this day as Turners Paddock. I’m not sure how you give the bird in 1799 but that seems pretty close to me.

On a personal note, the fishing is good (permit from the Gillingham angling club required, mine elapsed 30 years ago…) and I used to catch Jack Pike here when I was a lad and will never forget when a Starling murmuration passed overhead and they all poo’d at the same time… The fishing kind of die a death after that, apparently Starling poo tastes better than maggots… I’ll take the fishes word on that!

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dsc_9571-editTwo Brownies for a quid… Don’t you just love car boot sales! Not sure where I’m going to get the film from but in the mean time I’m going to have a bit of fun using my new fangled gadget to get some photos of the old fellas! And they smell amazing, like old pubs from my childhood… Long story!