Living in Weston-super-Mare and not being allowed to travel due to Covid-19 restrictions, we often make use of the seafront for our allowed exercise. It’s not as though we never walked there before, but now with limited choices, and only so many times you can walk around the area where we live, it’s nice to pop to the seafront. Its a short drive to the seafront from where we love and it was easy to park close to the seafront. This time we parked at Knightstone Island and popped some money in the meter.
I think for me one of the big changes over the last twelve months in the various lockdowns is how little I use cash now. Before the pandemic I would use cash for the parking at the station (though to be honest more often than not I would use phone parking). I would use cash for buying coffee or snacks. I would even use cash for larger purchases. However with the pandemic my use of cash declined dramatically as mainly I did less, bought less and moved much more to contactless payment.
It was a beautifully clear day, the sun was shining, and it wasn’t too cold. The tide was well in and even the ferry moored at the side of Knightstone Island was floating, something I don’t think I have ever seen happen before.
Generally we don’t see the sea, as the tidal range in Weston is so huge that for most of the day the sea is some distance away. Today as we walked along the seafront, it was high tide.
We walked all the way along the seafront to the old hospital and back again. When we turned back we had in the wind in our faces and it was hard going walking back and felt much much colder.
But soon we got back to the car and headed home for a coffee.
Living in Weston-super-Mare and not being allowed to travel due to Covid-19 restrictions, we often make use of the seafront for our allowed exercise. It’s not as though we never walked there before, but now with limited choices, and only so many times you can walk around the area where we live, it’s nice to pop to the seafront. Its a short drive to the seafront from where we live and it was easy to park close to the seafront.
Today it was beautifully clear day, the sun was shining, and it wasn’t too cold. However it was quite windy.
You could see clearly over to Brean Down and even further across to Cardiff and Newport in Wales.
There were kite surfers making the most of the strong winds and the high tide.
Generally we don’t see the sea, as the tidal range in Weston is so huge that for most of the day the sea is some distance away. Today as we walked along the seafront, it was high tide, combined with the winds there were waves crashing down onto the sand.
We walked all the way along the seafront to Knightstone Island and Marine Lake.
Then it was time to turn around and head back to the car to drive home.
This is a regular series of blogs about photographs of the same place taken years apart.
I quite like those Then and Now comparison photographs that you see in books or on the Twitter or Facebook.
I always think I should give them a go. However what I have started to notice is that I have been doing Then and Now photographs unintentionally over the years and have been taking photographs of the same thing or place from the same view or perspective years apart. The first instance of this that I noticed was in May 2019 when I went to Manchester.
It only really came to my attention that I was doing this a lot, when checking the Places function on the Apple Photos Mac App that I could see I had taken the same photograph of the same thing just years apart!
Living in Weston-super-Mare and visiting the seafront on a regular basis, to be honest I am not too surprised that over the years I have taken photographs of the same place from (roughly) the same perspective. One place I seem to photograph a lot from the same viewpoint is Knightstone Island.
Knightstone Island was originally an island but was then joined with the mainland. Up until the late 1800s the island was in private hands, but was then acquired by the local council who enlarged the island by building a new retaining wall on the north eastern side. The council also built a new swimming pool and a Pavilion, which both opened in May 1902.
The Pavilion included refreshment rooms, a reading room, a billiard room and a theatre. It had electric lighting and a hot water heating system. Seawater was used in the swimming pool. Band concerts, plays, operas and other shows were performed at the Knightstone Pavilion, films were also shown. However the size of the complex restricted the audience numbers so the site was unable to have big shows or names performing. By the 1970s Knightstone Pavilion was struggling financially and it finally closed in 1991. There were plans to convert the site into a leisure complex but these never came to fruition and the buildings gradually deteriorated.
This is a view of the island from near the Grand Pier in September 2005.
In 2007 the whole island has been redeveloped. The Bath House and front section of the ground floor of the Pavilion were converted into commercial premises. The rest of the Pavilion and the swimming pool were converted into homes and two new apartment blocks were built on the island.
Here is the view in December 2009. You can see the redevelopment on the site. Seeing snow on the beach is always quite a unique view.
This is the (slightly different) view in June 2011.
The same view in May 2018
Another more recent view in January 2019.
During my government sanctioned exercise we cycled down to the seafront in Weston-super-Mare. Compared to the a previous visit, back in the middle of April, it was much busier, but to be honest pretty much deserted.
There were a few people like us doing our exercise, walking, cycling, running. The odd dog walker as well.
In addition there were people kit surfing in the sea.
The council closed all their seafront car parks in an additional move to dissuade casual visitors and at the time of writing they are still closed. So in the end the place is deserted with only a few people exercising.
Just to note that I am following government advice during this national emergency and the photograph was taken during my government sanctioned exercise.