Chris Nation Photography
The word iconic is misused, as meaning 'famous' or 'outstanding'. The Fender Stratocaster guitar, however, IS the icon representing 'rock & roll' or 'rock music'. From its launch in 1954, notably played in the 50's by Buddy Holly, in the early 60's by Hank Marvin [the first Strat in UK] to the present day, the electric guitar of choice for David Gilmour, Eric Clapton, Jeff Beck & others, it has remained essentially unchanged. Its iconic status was sealed by being played by Jimi Hendrix.
Rooks are intensely social birds. A rookery is a noisy place throughout the daylight hours as they keep up a constant 'conversation'. Come nightfall, all goes quiet. A sentinel is posted to warn of danger.
Santa Pod Raceway, the name a nod to the SW USA & the American nature of drag racing, is based on an old RAF airfield at Little Poddington, Bedfordshire. The world record for the 1/4 mile was run at Santa Pod in 1984, in 3.58 seconds and a terminal speed of 386.26 mph (621.61 km/h), set by Sammy Miller in his Vanishing Point rocket-propelled car. I saw the first sub 5sec 1/4 mile, with a terminal speed over 305 mph. The noise from such machines is seismic. The ground shakes.
Prescott Hill Climb is a more essentially British form of motor sport. This track is a single width drive 1128 yards/1031m up the hill to Prescott House in Gloucestershire. The estate was purchased in 1937 by the Bugatti Owners Club of GB as a permanent home and racing track. Events take place regularly, the most notable being 'La Vie En Bleu', a celebration of all things French, particularly Bugatti cars. Cars go up the hill for fun, as in this case or in competion, in various classes.
Here we have a 3-wheeler, much like a Morgan, with the exposed, air-cooled V-twin engine driving the front wheels. This hairpin is a serious proposition. It is approached at speed, after a straight downhill section, climbing steeply and tightly to the left. The line of the barrier leads to a sand trap for those who arrive too fast.
A beautiful example of the C-Type Jaguar of 1951-53, the 'C' designating a competion car. 53 were built of which 43 were sold to private owners, mostly in the US. 'C'-Types won the Le Mans 24 Hrs twice, in 1951, on first time out and in 1953, being the first to achieve an average for the 24hrs of over 100 mph. 'C'Types with Le Mans history sell for millions of dollars. One that came 4th in 1953 sold for $13.2m.
Another hill climb special of the three-wheeler class. Note the supercharger running off the front end of the crankshaft. And also how the cycle mudguards do not follow the direction of the wheels. It wet weather the inside wheel, going round any corner, will throw water at speed into the driver's face.
The very essence of 'La Vie En Bleu'. Two ladies enjoying a trundle up the hill at genteel speed. This fabulous car is worth millions of pounds but, as with most marques of historic cars, they are used as they should be, on the road and at events like this. Going home, the driver passed me, going in the opposite direction on the public road in her car, and gave me a friendly wave.
An Aston-Martin Ulster of the mid-1930's. It is painted in British Racing Green, the traditional colour of British racing cars taking part in international events, before the era of commercial sponsorship. It is named 'Ulster' after the 'Ulster Tourist Trophy'. The RAC Tourist Trophy is the world's oldest continuously held motor race, in the case of the Ulster TT on the Ards road circuit in Northern Ireland.
The DeHavilland Buffalo is a short takeoff & landing aircraft capable of using surfaces impossible for most aircraft. After landing in the desert & unloading a huge estate car full of photo equipment, this plane carried out dozens of 'circuits and bumps'. This was repeated the following day. When time came to load the car back into the plane the wheels were up to the hubs in loose sand. The captain handed over takeoff to his first officer, as a first time t/o from such a surface. All went well.
Laycock is a village in Wiltshire entirely owned by the National Trust, a charity which owns property & land to protect it as heritage. The village, based around the land of the 13C Laycock Abbey, used to belong to the Fox Talbot family. It was in 1835 that William Fox Talbot took the first negative photograph, of one of the Abbey's mullioned windows, which initiated the era of endlessly reproduceable photographic images, as opposed to the single image Daguerreotype.