Sheppey - Profstoff Images

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In just 36 square miles this small island lying off the north coast of Kent displays immense variety and has a rich history. To photograph it all is a difficult task but here are some of the issues it faces and some of its history.

The clay cliffs on the north coast of the island have been falling into the sea for centuries. With a policy of non-intervention, properties continue to be at risk.

Once a thriving community with a population of 7000, now it is home to 100 people and a number of successful businesses.

The Turkey cement works opened in 1854 and ceased production in 1901. Now all that remains are a derelict schoolhouse, a fallen gravestone and some foundations. But nature has not wasted the space and it is slowly reverting to a natural environment, home to plants, birds and a colony of rabbits.

Traditional, contemporary; urban, rural; open, closed; derelict, demolished: the churches on the Isle of Sheppey are as varied as the island itself. They are home to the spiritual heart of the island and witnesses to its history.

The so-called housing crisis is putting pressure on the rural environment. On a small island like Sheppey, the impact is felt even more keenly.

I was asked to produce some “atmospheric” scenes of Bluetown to promote ghost walks in the area. The time schedule meant I had no time to take suitable pictures so I had to use what I had. This meant it became a Photoshop exercie to turn picutres taken in broad daylight on a sunny day to something that suited the purpose.

Elmley was reputedly the inspiration for the opening of Charles Dickens’ Great Expectations. The area exudes an air of mystery, especially in the fog.
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