Weekly Photo Challenge: Windows


What a week it has been. First of all I started having problems with my PC that in the end I resolved by doing a complete factory restore. Then the microwave went bang and I mean that literally. Finally I nearly ran a child over. He just ran out from between two cars. Fortunately I was going really slow still as I had just pulled away from a parking place…..and you know what, the parent blamed me for driving too fast.

Anyway to this weeks challenge.

As the challenge is Windows I thought I’d give you two this week, photographs that is, not windows. I did think about grabbing a screen shot from my nice clean PC, well that is a window, but in the end I thought I’d show you this Victorian Beach Shelter which can be found on the sea-front at Weston-super-Mare, England.

Early in the 19th century, Weston was a small village of about 30 houses, located behind a line of sand dunes fronting the sea, which had been created as an early sea wall after the Bristol Channel floods of 1607Weston is fortunate enough to enjoy one of the longest and naturally occurring beaches in the UK. This long beach and the Victorian era boom in seaside holidays allowed Weston to grow and prosper. Construction of the first hotel in the village started in 1808, it still stands and is called the Royal Hotel. Perhaps the most important development for Weston as a resort, was the Seafront Improvement Scheme of the 1880s. This project has left us the sea walls and a two-mile promenade still in use today….and that’s where the beach shelters come in.

Imagine being at the furthest end of the two mile promenade and it starts to rain….you need somewhere to shelter.

Well that’s my photograph(s) for this week but before I leave you I thought I’d give you some more information about Weston-super-Mare.

Isambard Kingdom Brunel and his family lived in Weston whilst he was supervising the construction of the Bristol and Exeter Railway in the area. With the opening of the railway in 1841, thousands of visitors came to the town from Bristol, the Midlands and further afield, on works outings and Bank Holidays. Also, mining families came across the Bristol Channel from South Wales by paddle steamer. 

A second railway, the Weston, Clevedon and Portishead Railway, opened on 1 December 1897, connecting Weston to Clevedon. The terminus station was at Ashcombe Road and I used to live about 4 houses away from it. The railway was extended to Portishead on 7 August 1907 but was closed in 1940.

In 1885, the first transatlantic telegraph cable of the Commercial Cable Company was brought ashore and the company started a long association with the town, ending in 1962.

Guglielmo Marconi, the inventor of wireless telegraphy, successfully transmitted radio signals across the Bristol Channel in the spring of 1897, from Penarth (near Cardiff) to Brean Down (just south-west of Weston, on the other side of the River Axe).

Notable current and former residents of the town include:

  • A. V. Alexander, 1st Earl Alexander of Hillsborough: Minister of Defence in the Attlee government, raised in Weston-super-Mare
  • Jeffrey Archer: author, politician and convicted perjurer
  • Jhonn Balance: musician, founding member of Psychic TV and founder of Coil
  • Ritchie Blackmore: guitarist and founding member of Deep Purple, Rainbow and Blackmore’s Night.
  • Peter Christopherson: musician, founding member of Throbbing Gristle and Psychic TV
  • John Cleese: actor and member of Monty Python
  • Jill Dando: murdered broadcaster and journalist, after whom the sixth form centre at Weston College and a garden in Grove Park are named
  • Arthur Stanley Eddington: one of the foremost astrophysicists of the early 20th century, grew up in the town
  • Daphne Fowler: game show champion
  • Rupert Graves: actor, born in the town 30 June 1963
  • Bob Hope: comedian and actor, lived here as a child
  • Sean Martin: writer and film director
  • Con O’Neill: actor
  • John Oldmixon (1673–1742): historian; born in Oldmixon
  • The Revd. Dr John Polkinghorne KBE FRS: particle physicist and theologian.
  • Hans Price: (1835–1912) architect; responsible for much of the architecture of the built environment in Weston-super-Mare and the distinctive character of the town
  • Paulo Radmilovic: Olympic gold medal athlete
  • Gareth Taylor: footballer; born 25 February 1972 in the town
  • Peter Trego: cricketer
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55 comments

    • Mike Hardisty

      Personally I prefer the bottom one, the top one was an afterthought which has come out rather well. I always try to give a little bit of history with my photographs as I think it puts them in concept

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  1. stephenransome

    Hello Mike. Good news about the little boy!! Close escape there. A great shot modified. Amazing how you can transform something like a shelter into a great great shot. Cheers M8y

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    • Mike Hardisty

      It was really close Steve and I only just stopped. I was pretty shaken up and it didn’t help that his loutish father wanted a punch-up in the street. Fortunately he calmed down but I phoned the police anyway to report the near miss. I don’t want him coming back later and saying I just grazed the kid or something.

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  5. frizztext

    I like this Victorian Beach Shelter which you’ve found on the sea-front at Weston-super-Mare, England; it must be wonderful to look to the ocean, but safe vs. stormy wind and raining dogs & cats …

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  7. Nel

    Weston seems to be a quaint town. Thank you for the informative side story behind your pictures. I love how the hues of blue and tangerine come together in each.

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    • Mike Hardisty

      Thank you for your comment Nel. On the outskirts Weston is all modern, but along the sea-front most of the buildings are older. I think I was lucky with the sky that night.

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    • Mike Hardisty

      The great thing about that window is the view is always changing. Yes the headland is always there but all you need is a cloudy day, the sun setting and hey presto a different photo

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    • Mike Hardisty

      Thank you. I don’t use Facebook, I prefer Google+ but I have no objections to anyone sharing or using my photographs as long as it’s not for commercial purposes.

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    • Mike Hardisty

      No you weren’t. It is a run-down sea-side town that has seen better days. However, from a photographers point of view there’s lots of things to photograph

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  11. Amy

    So beautiful… the sky… and I love the symmetry and windows and everything about the second photo… wow, just wow. Lovely.

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  13. Patti Kuche

    Mike, my husband just looked over my shoulder as I was looking at your wonderful photos. He asked me if they were my photographs, you have to know there was a high level of doubt in his voice. I could only reply with a very definite “I wish!” He thinks they are superb, as indeed do I.

    Sorry to hear abut your funny week, definitely could have been worse but mercifully not! Sharing your woes with computer problems . . . hope you have a better week ahead!

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