Photography fact finding mission to Aylesford Priory
headed out of
on route to the Blackwall
Tunnel (our entrance to
We were driven by a council driver known to us only as Steve,
an intrepid soul who had great knowledge of our planned route
and gave us a very smooth journey.
The rain was persisting down as we left base camp and all
weather forecasts that I`d heard in the previous 24 hours hadn`t
promised any respite. We were further upset to hear that Brian
had had to visit a doctor and couldn`t make the journey with us.
He had however managed to write a sheet of suggestions for our
mission, Arthur handed us these papers as we boarded the bus. I
remember thinking as we drove through the rain and mist that a
wretched time lay ahead. Why had I come?.
made our way
stopped by the time we arrived. After a few really viscous
road humps we got to the car park.
We left the bus and headed off clutching our cameras. I set off
towards the pottery with Arthur, a wise choice, he had been there
before and knew the lie of the land. It was in the pottery that
I saw a pestle & mortar I liked, don`t worry thinks I, it will
be there when I return..... it wasn`t. As we left the pottery a
strange thing appeared in the air..... yes it was BLUE SKY
The sky grew ever bluer as we moved through the grounds
towards the chapel. The whole place was really lovely,
smashing buildings and gardens, and everywhere a great
feeling of serenity and tranquillity .... yes I loved it.
Arthur and I headed off towards the chapel, inside it was a mass
of colour as the bright sun shone through the brightly coloured
glass. It was a triffik effect, at the place we stood bright
colour bathed us from three sides.
We spent the next few hours exploring, with the obligatory stops
at restaurant and gift shop.
After leaving the shops we headed for further exploration and
photographic work, it was during these travels that we made our
first searching interview. We caught sight of a monk relaxing in
the sun, he agreed to letting us take his photo, after which I
chatted to him,
We found out that he was a Carmelite monk, an open order that
work with the public as opposed to closed orders that stay in
Monasteries. That the priory had been taken from the order by
Henry VIII (he took that personally I thought) and only bought
back in 1949; hence the modern decoration and glass work in the
chapel. That he had first visited the Priory in the early
sixties on a 7/6d return from
about the Priory now and then. Although he never told us but we
think he was Irish (probably his accent),you have to keep your
wits about you in this game.
After that back to the pottery and that pestle and mortar. It was
only Merle a charming lady that brought me back from the edge of
despair as I found that my chosen item had gone. She posed for
photos and we chatted but best of all we traded cake info,
focusing on chocolate cake. A great end to a great day.
After surviving the viscous road humps again, we drove through
some beautiful scenery basking in the autumn sun.
Ralph (I did my best to be serious) Edmunds