Seizing an opportunity between the incessant wind and rain over the Christmas 2018 period, I headed down to the small village of Porlock Weir. It’s situated just under the Exmoor hills on the North coast of Somerset. It’s not only a pretty little village with a nice harbour but it also has a couple of minor claims to fame. It’s owners like to advertise it as a film location. Indeed, part of the 1995 movie ‘Feast of July’ was shot in the harbour and it also made an appearance in the more recent BBC, ‘A Very English Scandal’ television series.
Porlock means place of the port and Porlock Weir, situated a few kilometres West of Porlock, is its harbour. The harbour is shallow, controlled at one end by lock gates and used mainly by small pleasure boats so it’s always a bit of a surprise what’s there. Previously I’ve seen ‘older’ looking wooden sailing boats but on this occasion it was mostly modern ‘plastic’ yachts presumably avoiding the winter weather.
In addition to the harbour there is a fine groyne constructed from wooden poles each of which must be at least 12-14 inches in diameter. Probably just as well as it’s holding back a beach of many thousand large, heavy stones which must exert tons of pressure. The groyne has been there for years and each of the poles is now showing signs of age and exposure to the elements of nature. It’s a striking structure with exposed natural knots, cracks and textures held together with massive rusting steel bolts. I’ve photographed the groyne before but always had the idea of returning to capture the wood in greater detail. The above photograph was captured with a 50mp camera using a 21mm lens so seen at 100% there is a huge amount of detail. During post-production I opted for a monochrome square crop to remove the whispy clouds and the distractions of colour.
Flying at the shoreward end was a Union Jack flag but rather annoyingly it never flew side-on to the camera, but viewed at 100% there is just enough to identify the flag. 😉 Shortly after the photographs were made the whispy cloud thickened signalling the approach of the next weather front and band of wet, windy weather.
Slightly earlier I’d been walking around the harbour searching for something photogenic and found the above wooden post festooned with ropes and a couple of old tyres presumably being used as buoys. It was almost midday when photographed but being so close to mid-winter the sun was low in the sky and only just peeking above the Exmoor hills. Half an hour later and it had dropped behind them. It’s a strangely basic harbour; one side is formed by the land, two sides by the stones that form the beach and the forth by a high set of old and rusting lock gates. Part of the reason it seems so strange is it’s just a short and easy walk from the harbour floor over a small stony rise to find oneself on the beach facing the sea. More so when that sea is the Bristol Channel, an expanse of water with one of highest tidal ranges (15m) on the planet!
Just a reminder to readers that clicking on the photographs will generate larger versions 🙂