Photographer's Note

This is the famous leaning tower of Chesterfield: the spire of the Church of Saint Mary and All Saints, badly constructed in the 14th century. Never heard of it? No wonder, there is only one earlier photo on TE.

Starting today I intend to show a number of ugly, grainy and badly composed B&W postcards from England in the summer of 1966. It was my first journey abroad on my own, I had a lot of fun and luckily my parents never knew just how much fun I had.

If you don't like the photos, please remember that they were taken by a teenager with a very simple camera and little experience of photography. He must have been one of the youngest members of TE ever. Rest assured that there will be very few persons seen in these photos. The teenager had not yet learned how to point his camera at unknown people.

I stayed a few nights each at three farmhouses offering bed and breakfast in different parts of the country. I spent the days seeing the surrounding countryside and towns, whenever possible hitching free rides, something I had never done before. After about ten days I went to London for a fortnight. That's when the fun really started and I had little time to take photos.

Today's three photos were all taken during my first full day in the country. I had arrived the evening before at a village called Baslow in Derbyshire in the northern Midlands.

According to my diary the day started perfectly. I had hardly even reached the outskirts of the village before I was offered a ride in an Alfa Romeo convertible. It was a short ride to the nearest town called Bakewell, but it put me in a good mood.

From Bakewell I walked about 3 km to Haddon Hall, a traditional English country house, which I described in my diary as a "castle" and where I spent "quite some time". Half hour, two hours? I have no idea.

Leaving Haddon Hall I headed towards Chesterfield, but now my luck had run out. I walked and I walked and I walked. There was very little traffic and the few cars didn't stop for me. I walked through villages called Rowsley and Darley Dale after which the empty road went steadily uphill through a desolate scenery with hardly a single house seen anywhere. It was a cloudy day but luckily it didn't rain.

I estimated I had walked for about 8 or 9 km before the driver of an old three-wheeler truck picked me up. He probably couldn't believe his eyes to find a hitch-hiker on that road.

That ride brought me to Chesterfield, which I described in my diary as a "nice little town". That's where I took today's main photo of this unusual church, shown on TE in a closer and much better photo by ktanska (Kari Tanskanen). I used my time in Chesterfield to visit my first English pub. But "The Duck Inn" disappointed me as a rather dull place, and the beer was no good.

I didn't take a closer look at the church and its twisted and leaning tower (probably caused by the 14th century architect and construction workers who miscalculated the effect of approximately 33 tonnes of lead on unseasoned (not dried) wood). The tower is twisting 45 degrees and leaning 2,9 meters from its center.

No, instead of exploring the church or climbing the twisted tower (if that was even possible) I went to the bus station and got on a bus back to Baslow.

Today's photos were all scanned from Kodak Plus-X negatives.

Here is a larger version.

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Additional Photos by Gert Holmertz (holmertz) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 10033 W: 520 N: 19319] (85229)
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