Photo 101 – Edges


The Stone Shop, Medina Yard Cowes

Shipbuilding has been carried out at Cowes for hundreds of years. Wooden “Men o’ War” were built in East Cowes before 1700. HMS Jersey was a three-decker laid down in 1697 by Joseph Nye, who then went to Russia and developed shipbuilding at St. Petersburg for the Tsar.

The street names reflect these days of optimism and adventure – “Arctic Road”, “Egypt Close” and “Nubia Close” –  glimpses of a town in it’s glamorous hay day. In Victorian times and earlier, Cowes was one of the most important boat building centres in England and ghosts of the past remain amongst the luxury yachts and blue clad second homes: The rows of terraced boat builders cottages, the crumbling dry docks and an iconic hulking crane that towers above the entrance to the River Medina.

One of my favourite haunts is the Medina Yard – home to the  Hammerhead Crane which, scaffold clad, dominates the skyline. It is a symbol of the once great ship building town,a monument to the men and women who worked there.

The yard remains, for the present at least, a welcome hub of marine craftsman and hands on industry – the bases for my sculpture are cut by  The Stone Shop – their workshop was razed to the ground earlier in the year by a fierce blaze. The structure that remains offers a rare glimpse of the skeleton of a vast industrial unit – metal twisted and deformed by the heat, hanging like huge iron curtains from the remaining steel uprights.


The Stone Shop After The Fire – Arctic Road, Cowes, Isle of Wight


The Stone Shop – Burnt Out Warehouse, Arctic Road, Cowes

For anyone who’d like to know more about the fire, the yard and some of the irreplaceable boats that were damaged…..this is a fascinating link with some great photos…

Cowes Fire 2016


8 thoughts on “Photo 101 – Edges

    1. There are – and I took plenty more today. As I drove off I saw a sleek racing yacht being painted and wanted to include it as a contrast to the derelict site – but that will have to be a shot for another day….

      Liked by 2 people

  1. Ha fantastic! Well the crane was a J S White Crane – although I think the main yard was just over the river in East Cowes although I may be wrong…. I was hoping someone might be interested enough to have a look at this….

    The sad thing is that the yard which is home to some fabulous artisan boat restoration firms and other thriving business, is likely to be turned into yet more fancy flats in the near future, forcing the makers into some out of town industrial estates no doubt.


  2. Great shots. I like how you have taken a distressed building and turned it into a beautiful b&w picture. The post was very interesting too. History can be so fascinating, and how it translates into the local landscape with the road names reflecting the romance of travel.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. The landscape is a kind of living history – whether it’s urban or simple wild country. Thanks for you comment and glad you liked them.
    This town is fascinating – Scott of the antarctic paid a visit on his last voyage and flew the flag of the yacht club on The Terra Nova.


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