The Blast

‘Saw the end of that iron-making town

Saw it slowly start to die

As all around the works closed down

Yet no one could really say for why

Then one morning we were told in the wet and cold

To all gather round the foundry door

Where the manager said with a shake of the head

We’re none of us needed any more’

From Iron-Making Town by Graeme Miles

Flotsam

In 1859 a great storm, which became known as the Royal Charter Storm, caused between fifty and sixty vessels to be wrecked within sight of the Tees Bay and Hartlepool. This tragic event was the catalyst for the construction of the South Gare. Work began in 1863 and was completed in 1888

Blast by Graham Vasey

Another one of Graham’s beautiful films. Filmed during a walk we took around the Bran Sands, using an ancient Ensign Auto-Kinecam camera and 16mm film hand processed in Ilford ID-11. The soundtrack was created by Greg Marshall

Back on the Gare

A week or so ago I took a walk across the Bran Sands with my friend Graham Vasey. Graham was filming the area and I was trying to capture some field recordings. Unfortunately it was blowing a gale, the wind making it almost impossible to capture the sounds of the sands.

The other day the weather was beautiful and the winds were light so I returned to the Gare to try and make some recordings. The Gare was busy with people coming and going, constant traffic noise replaced wind noise, a conspiracy between the natural and human worlds.

Ian MacDonald – Tees Estuary

From the wonderful Side Gallery Newcastle

The industrialized river mouth documented in the early 1980s by the North Yorkshire photographer, extending his 1970s work in Greatham Creek.

Macdonald wrote: ‘The Tees Estuary is visually extremely exciting. Its richness, in part, arises from the inherent contrasts of the natural environment against man-made structures – of the vast sphere of sky, serene or dramatic, against the horizontal flatness of lowland space punctuated by verticals as power stations, fractionating columns, blast furnaces and estuarine lights. The vast expanse of water reflects a permeating light which clothes objects and landscape in a unique brightness, beautiful and sensational, a delight to photographers and film-makers alike.’ Commissioned by Side Gallery, the exhibition was shown in 1982.

All images © Ian Macdonald

See the online exhibition here