Fair weather at Foulness

Two recordings at this incredible site at the north coast above the Thames Estuary – the first taken just across the water from Foulness Island and the second out on the Maplin Sands in a rather bracing headwind. This location has numerous historical points of interest not least of which is the fact the most of the area was requisitioned by the War Office during WW1 for the purpose of testing and developing advanced munitions, including atomic weapons at the Explosives Storage Area of the Atomic Weapons Research Establishment as early as 1947.

Tests conducted at Foulness were concerned primarily with improvements in safety and the approval of new designs. The site also contained a blast tunnel that was used to simulate the effects of a nuclear explosion. The Atomic Weapons Establishment ceased to use the Foulness site in 2000.

For an extremely detailed overview of the history of atomic research on Foulness see this article on Historic England.

Combe Gibbet

Cycling up the winding hill paths to record at Combe Gibbet – I left my Ambeo VR mic and field recorder at home in preference for the more portable Zoom H4N1. Still with all the equipment on my back I make much slower progress than expected and I finally make it just in time to see the sun set over the horizon – leaving conditions too dark to film but with enough light to take a few moody twilight photographs and watch a young family play around a replica hangman’s scaffold.

The next morning is bright and sunny, burning off last night’s heavy mist – I make two recordings one on each side of the gibbet. The gibbet itself sits atop a prominent mound which itself is at the summit of Inkpen Beacon – with the extra height the gallows would have afforded the two convicts a spectacular view over the North Wessex Downs.