28 April 2009
email from Fraser Donachie
We have just returned from a long weekend to visit Dungeness and all our expectations were met – we even had fine weather – and we spent two days there just wandering about. My girlfriend grudgingly put up with my need to photograph just about everything – every shack, shed, boat or piece of rusting machinery – not a very original idea (there were many other photographers there on Sunday), but damn good fun.
'Prospect Cottage' is all well and good (we respected the boundary, took a single photograph and didn't 'rubberneck' for long), but is eclipsed by many of the other "buildings" scattered about. I think our favourite is 'Garage Cottage', which doesn't appear to have changed since 1923 (my estimate!) – we are now saving up £450,000 to make an offer – ha ha. I grew up on Hayling Island in the 1970s and Hayling also had, up until c. 1980, many shanty-huts and homes made from railway carriages. etc, so for me Dungeness is stepping back in time and is pure nostalgia – I wonder what John Betjeman would make of it? I know that his friend and artist John Piper admired the place and it obviously still attracts many artists. We were so struck with the place that I have managed to get a copy of 'Dungeness Remembered' by Ken Oiler on order – it hasn't yet arrived, but I'm really looking forward to it. Does anyone know why 'Garage Cottage' is named so?
Thanks and best regards to all who live, work or play in this wonderful corner of Kent.
Fraser & Karen