You can’t go wrong with fish and chips Michael Sander
Aldeborough is a one of the rare, quintessentially British seaside towns, so when Fleur kindly offered to host a trip to Snape and then to Aldeburgh where her parents have a house, six of us at the local camera club had jumped at the chance. Aldeburgh is a favourite place of mine and the fish and chips, according to Wikipedia are cited as the best in the UK!
We arrived at Snape Maltings earlier than expected and were dismayed to find a sign on the coffee shop door stating that opening hours were from ten o’clock. Undeterred we wandered over to the river and from there took a rather meandering path across the fields where I had spotted a rather interesting dead tree to photograph. The sky looked really ominous behind us so we quickly set about taking some photographs. We were joined by a rather curious dog who stopped in his tracks and watched us for a while as we tried to find the best vantage point to shoot the tree, without capturing a busy background. Having photographed this one tree from just about every angle possible, we trekked back across the fields and into the maltings. Once upon a time there were some very interesting vintage cars and machinery in the old brick buildings. Now our entry was barred with the usual health and safety warnings and it was clear that more development had taken place since I was last there. Les found a half open door and we followed him into a very dark area where it appeared old signs and scarecrows went to die! I failed to get a picture as it was so dark and without my glasses I couldn’t read the settings on the Olympus. I settled instead for a picture of an old window surrounded by ivy.
We followed Fleur into Aldeburgh and parked our cars right next to the newly built boat house. Fleur’s father is a yachtsman so we were very lucky to have the opportunity to wander freely. I found an old boat almost completely covered by the undergrowth and a rather friendly boxer dog who didn’t seem to mind us being there. Inside the boat house where, for once, there were no health and safety signs, we were surprised to find an old Avis car. It is currently being restored by a gentleman who is also restoring a 48 foot wooden boat. I don’t think his retirement will be boring. By now it was raining and the cold wind was fierce. We took shelter inside Fleur’s beautiful cottage and her mum made us a coffee to warm us up. John and Dominic missed out as they had wandered off as usual.
When the rain eased, we ambled down the promenade and I tried to capture the odd street shot. Eventually we came upon The Fish Shack where a young gentlemen was sheltering and awaiting customers. I became fascinated by a dead fish and some crabs whilst others were persuaded to take photographs of a ‘famous door’, famous, the young man told us, because someone from the National Trust had told him it was. I was not that impressed with the graffiti or the door, but as instructed I took a photograph.
By now we were all in the mood for fish and chips and queued up with everyone else, as the rain began in earnest. Once again we took shelter at Fleur’s house where red wine flowed and the fish and chips were consumed with total enjoyment!
Part of the promenade and beach leading to the Martello Tower are blocked off to the public currently, as work has commenced to replace the shingle lost in the recent storms. The tower is owned and run by the Landmark Trust and it is the largest and most northerly of the chain of towers built to keep out Napoleon. It is constructed in the shape of a quatrefoil for four heavy guns and nearly a million bricks were used in its construction. Setting off with permission to walk through the private yacht club, we stopped for a while to photograph a race before making our way to the tower. It was at this point that John’s camera refused to work. Although he was slightly irritated I think he was secretly rather glad as now he won’t need an excuse to buy a better model!
The freezing wind became fiercer and the rain sliced down in front of us as we made our way back to the cars. We were all slightly weary and had begun to feel that ‘seaside air’ tiredness. We’d had the best of the day and thanks to Fleur and her parents we had been given access to new and interesting places as well as to much needed shelter. A big thank you to Les and Dominic for driving and to Fleur and her family for their hospitality. I thoroughly enjoyed the day.