Hidden Places Around Portsmouth: Sky, Sea, Sand and Shingle

The Solent [Image © John Callaway 2020]

Local resident and photographer John Callaway gives us a glimpse into Portsmouth’s hidden places with his stunning photography. This week John muses on where land, sea and sky meet, in Eastney.

The Eastney end of Langstone Harbour remains one of my favourite places to visit, whatever the weather. Predictably unpredictable is a good descriptor, but it never disappoints me. With relatively few people about, and a choppy sea, it’s time to get on the Hayling Ferry.

Despite the best efforts of the coastal defences on either side of the channel, the area appears to be constantly changing, with the strand and shorelines seemingly different with each visit. The power of the sea is always evident, with the presence of partially eroded concrete defences, and a shape-shifting shingle and shell beach.

Towards Eastney Outfall [Image © John Callaway 2020]
The shingle beach on the Hayling Island side is much wider. The presence of life saving equipment, and the partially covered slipway attesting to the power of the sea in this area.

Towards Eastney from West Hayling [Image © John Callaway 2020]
Although the Eastney side doesn’t get off lightly, and the collapsing sea wall at the Fraser Range is a reminder that nothing is permanent…

Fraser Range, Eastney [Image © John Callaway 2020]
Sometimes, its easy to be transfixed by the horizon, even if you know that the Isle of Wight is just creeping into view, to the right of the picture below…

I have a lot of regard for the works of  Hiroshi Sugimoto, and in particular his body of work entitled Seascapes. The introduction to Seascapes on his website rings true to me. “

Water and air. So very commonplace are these substances, they hardly attract attention―and yet they vouchsafe our very existence. The beginnings of life are shrouded in myth…

Consider this to be a meditation on the myth and mystery of the Solent.

The Solent [Image © John Callaway 2020]
Or if not the sea, then the sand:

In every out-thrust headland, in every curving beach, in every grain of sand there is the story of the earth….

Rachel Carson, from Lost Woods: The Discovered Writing of Rachel Carson.

Sky, sea, sand…Hayling Island [Image © John Callaway 2020]
And as always in these brief narratives…a bit of history.

Below is a World War Two, Type 22 concrete pillbox. Go on, you know you want to find out more, here.

FW3/22 Pillbox [Image © John Callaway 2020]

This article was originally published on John Callaway’s website, Ideas & images from Portsmouth and beyond. You can read more of John’s writing on his website and also see his live music photography.

Images by John Callaway.

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