I’ve been looking forward to writing about Cambois (pronounced Kammus) for a long time now — in particular, introducing you to the photograph featured in this post.
A small Northumbrian coastal village born from the mining industry in 1862, Cambois is a wild, bizarre location.
Like many before me, I initially journeyed there to see the wind turbines mounted on the breakwater, as well as those planted out to sea.
The turbines were impressive enough and made lovely photographs but you’ve seen one turbine and you’ve seen them all, right?
On turning round to drive back home, I was overwhelmed by the scene that unravelled before me as I saw the same location but, this time, from the other direction.
Cambois (pronounced ‘Kammus’)
Stepping out from the car, my memory tells me that I was rubbing my eyes in disbelief but, in all honesty, that probably didn’t happen.
The scene looked splendid but wasn’t quite right for the kind of photograph I would like to make. Some secret sauce was required.
The necessary approach was obvious to me, a neat tip to all landscape photographers that has made the difference to so many of my landscapes…
What is that secret sauce? A step-ladder!
In this instance, those extra few feet gave me the elevation required to distinguish the elements of this landscape that, as a fan of infrastructure, holds everything for me — community, industry, power, road, rail, sea and air.
So many fundamental facets of modern living all featuring in one photograph, my own perfect landscape.
An Historic Document
To me, this photograph now has an added dimension, as the scene cannot be captured in the same way again.
A few years ago, on a frosty December morning, I drove back to the area to witness and photograph the demolition of Blyth Power Station’s four famous chimneys.
It was a moving, spectacular event and one that made my photograph of Cambois a particularly special and unique record of the area; a true moment in time.
The demolition of Blyth Power Station’s chimneys, the backdrop to my photograph.
Shot on 5×4 negative film, I still enjoy poring over the details of Cambois…
A hole in a roof with Blyth Power Station looming in the background…
The tracks wind their way to the aluminium smelter further along the coast…
To the left, a lone figure stands in the distance on the jetty (a detail I only noticed after scanning the film)…
The heavy plates bolting the tracks to their respective sleepers…
Printed signed, numbered and embossed by me, this release measures 12×8″ on 20×16″ paper.
Visit my Northumberland Print Collection to buy this print directly from this site (despite appearances, a PayPal account is not required to complete transactions).
Recently remastered for availability on this site, I was delighted that print No.1 sold within moments.
Signed, numbered and embossed print of Cambois by Jack Lowe
A Final Aside…
Paul Kenny spotted this postcard of the Cambois miners’ banner for me, which I now often show beside my print as a nod to the heritage of this small mining community…