Brush with the Law

As planned I pointed the R1200 GSA for Shaftesbury in Dorset on Tuesday. Mainly because I wanted to take some photographs of "Gold Hill" which famously appeared in the 1970's Hovis Bread advert from British TV...

Interestingly the ad is set in the North of England where's it's all "ee by gum lad", but filmed in the South West where we all talk like pirates!

I have to say that photographically it was a bad day, dull, grey and well, just didn't have any mood to it, that was until my brush with the law, more of that in a moment. Firstly, here's a couple of shots of Gold Hill, badly needed some soft golden light, but it wasn't to be. Evidently this guy has no trouble running up that hill though!

So, after taking these images I walked up the High Street. There's a museum which was closed and Shaftesbury Abbey which was also shut, a shame because I wanted to see and photo the Abbey.. Nothing for it than to try some Street Photography, only there wasn't very much going on, I soon realised that in fact nothing much does goes on in Shaftesbury. I lifted my camera and clicked a security guard loading his van outside a bank, a crappy shot which would have been deleted if it weren't for what followed. I returned  to where the motorbike was parked and stood discussing bikes with a fellow biker. A police officer appeared from nowhere and asked if we'd seen a biker with a camera. "Me" I replied, I'd already stowed the camera away in one of the panniers. "Ok" he said, "I'm following up on a lead, suspicious behaviour, this won't go on a record, but could I have your name and date of birth?". "No" I said, "if it's not going on a record what do you need my details for?". The officer thought for a second "Well, err, there's terrorism and that, you know, security". Seriously? Terrorism in Shaftesbury! I didn't give him my details and he didn't ask again. We chatted amiably about photography for a while and the law after which I took my leave from Sherlock Holmes enabling him to crack the next case! and headed out of town. As far as I'm concerned I wasn't breaking any law, but it does show how vigilant people can be. Someone had evidently reported me, suspicious of bikers or photographers or possibly both. Here's the offending photograph -

Leica M (240)  Summicron 35mm

Photography aside I enjoyed my outing. The bike was a joy to ride, in fact I rode home a rather long route, to Dorchester (home to Prince Charles' experimental project "Poundbury Village"), then to Sherborne. I left Dorset, skirted Somerset and back home to Wiltshire. This is something we'd never do in a car, too much traffic and yet with a bike an hour trip often turns into a four hour one as you loose yourself in the freedom. The only problem was the weather, which went sour on me and the winter days are so short that there really wasn't time for any more photos. Poundbury looked very interesting, surreal almost and Sherborne has always been a favourite of mine. A re-visit of that route I feel, possibly in the spring.

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