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Betjeman's Valerian | by Tim Parkin
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Betjeman's Valerian

On one of Sir John Betjamins radio broadcasts he talked about arriving into Padstow and Valerian. The whole of the dunes around Rock and Padstow are awash with them and I wanted to capture these colours. When they sky and sand started taking on the same shades I knew something interesting should result. This is Sir John's End of the End..

 

"The next five and a half miles beside the broadening Camel to Padstow is the most beautiful train journey I know. See it on a fine evening at high tide with golden light on the low hills, the heron-hunted mud coves flooded over, the sudden thunder as we cross the bridge over Little Petherick creek, the glimpses of slate roofs and a deserted jetty among spindly Cornish elms, the wide and unexpected sight of open sea at the river mouth, the huge spread-out waste of water with brown ploughed fields coming down to little cliffs where no waves break but only salt tides ripple up and ebb away. Then the utter endness of the end of the line at Padstow - 260 miles of it from London. The smell of fish and seaweed, the crying of gulls, the warm, moist West Country air and the valerian growing wild on slate walls"

 

Sir John Betjeman - Trains and Buttered Toast

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Taken on June 22, 2008