Right then, I have a new type of stretchy lead for Lilly the bouncy brained labrador and about three quarts of an hour to get outside, shoot some pictures and get back, I’ll put my fell running shoes on then, it’s going to be a quick one.
I decide to go fast and light, just to test a theory about taking photos whilst attached to an energetic one year old lab, order of the day shoot fast and hand-held. The theory being that the faster the shutter the more chance I’ve got of getting razor-sharp images even though I’m naturally moving all the time and being moved by various external forces – mainly Lilly.
Shooting hand-held also frees me up from the demands of a tripod, carry it out there, set it up, get it level, attach camera, pick up camera and tripod from the floor and untangle dog lead etc, you get the idea. I needed a nearby location too, I didn’t ‘feel’ in a woodland spirit so I headed up to the Moor.
The boggy place – Nikon D7000 16-85mm, ISO200, 1/60 sec at f/16
Just South of Row Tor is the now unused military target railway, lying in open ground and slowly rusting away. The railway has a short straight section with a loop at each end, the theory being that the targets were towed along the firing line run around the loop and make a return pass. To the right of the firing line is the engine shed with its double doors and bunker like construction, this place fascinates and perplexes visitors to this day, eavesdropping on conversations can yield some wild theories as to the use and purpose of the place, which range from quite close to bizarre and downright tinfoil hat time.
Secret Government Bunker – Nikon D7000 16-85mm, ISO 200, 1/125 sec at f/8
Anyway every time I’m there I like to have a peek inside via the gap in the doors and whisper a ‘Hello’ to the little railway engine that sits patiently waiting inside. I’m a sentimental old fool and even though it’s an inanimate object I still feel sorry for little thing. I do wonder if the person who tucked it away for the last time explained what was happening as they patted the metal sides and then closed the door.
Engine Shed Doors – Nikon D7000 16-85mm, ISO 200, 1/60 sec at f/16
Today though the little engine could not be seen, I had as good a look as I could but the bay it usually sat in is empty – unless it’s been moved into the other bay and covered over with pallets and assorted crap. I hope It’s been moved to be restored, it would be brilliant to see it chuffing its way round the tracks.
If anyone does know where it is please let me know, thank you.
Big Ass Metal Plate – Nikon D7000 16-85mm, ISO 200, 1/400 sec at f/8
In the middle section of the firing line is a substantial metal plate, pock-marked with small craters, some of which looked quite new, I looked over toward the flag pole inadvertently to double-check that it was not flying a red flag.
Me and Lilly were heading north now, back to the car. The new lead had worked well, I’d only been pulled off my feet once as she espied a sheep and set forth with considerable haste. The shots I’d got looked to be mildly reasonable in terms of focus so my theory was bearing out so far.
Between us and Row Tor are the gun emplacements, huge wooden structures piled about with earth open to the rear, two of these spread apart with a smaller central position. Mostly used as shelter by both cattle, sheep and pony they also make a good place for a brew and to get out of the wind if needed. Some new piles of rock adorn the central position creating three tiny cairns, to what end is unclear.
Sound of the Guns – Nikon D7000 16-85mm, ISO 200, 1/200 sec at f/8
Me and Lilly head north, onto the flat summit of Row Tor with Its jumble of giant boulders and sprawling clitter field, onwards, down to the car, and thence downwards and down some more into the town and home.