A Rainy Easter: Photos of Chesil Beach in Dorset


West Weares from Chesil BeachChesil Beach looking westFortuneswell from Chesil BeachThe end of the sea wallThe rocks of West WearesChesil Cove and the sea wall
Chesil Cove sea wallStones on Chesil BeachFishing boats on Chesil BeachFortuneswell as the mist descendsWest Weares in the mistSky, sea and beach

A Rainy Easter: Chesil Beach in Dorset, a set on Flickr.

My apologies, to those of you who have been following my photographic projects, for the unexplained hiatus over the last few weeks. To explain briefly, I ran into two problems.

Firstly, I found myself rather overwhelmed by the number of photos I’ve taken of London since last July — over 10,000 in total, of which I’ve only managed to publish around 1,700 here. I decided that I needed to stand back from my project to record the whole of London by bike, which I began last May, and to take stock of what I have achieved so far. As a result, I have begun organising my photos by area, with the intention of organising some exhibitions and also publishing some photos in various forms, which I’ll let you know about as soon as they materialise.

Secondly, over the last few weeks the main focus of my work — the unending horror of the prison at Guantánamo — has resurfaced as an international news story, after far too long a period in which the global media appeared to have forgotten that, despite his promise to close the prison, President Obama continues to run a monstrous experimental prison where men are held indefinitely, despite never having been charged or tried. A prison-wide hunger strike got Guantánamo back in the news, and I fervently hope that President Obama can be prevailed upon to act — by, for example, freeing the 86 of the remaining 166 prisoners still held, who were cleared for release many years ago — before any of them die.

Reporting on the hunger strike continues to take up much of my time, but I hope to resume publishing photos of London soon, and in the meantime I hope you enjoy these photos from a short family holiday that I took last week in Dorset, on the Isle of Portland, by the extraordinary natural phenomenon that is Chesil Beach, a shingle beach (technically a barrier beach), which is 18 miles long (29km), 660 feet wide (200m) and 50 feet (15m) high. Part of what is known as the Jurassic Coast, it is also a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

The weather was mostly pretty awful, but the sights of the Dorset coast are so wonderful that it didn’t matter. We were staying in a lovely little place right by Chesil Beach, where, for a few days, we were free to leave the world behind — quite a relief, it must be said, as the British establishment and the wretched, desperate Tories did their utmost to claim that anyone who dared to criticise Margaret Thatcher, the monstrous butcher of Britain, after her death last Monday is some sort of traitor, when the truth is that admiring her is a sure sign of a dangerous heartlessness.

I hope you enjoy the photos. More will be along soon!

Andy Worthington is the author of The Guantánamo Files: The Stories of the 774 Detainees in America’s Illegal Prison (published by Pluto Press, distributed by Macmillan in the US, and available from Amazon — click on the following for the US and the UK) and of two other books: Stonehenge: Celebration and Subversion and The Battle of the Beanfield. To receive new articles in your inbox, please subscribe to my RSS feed — and I can also be found on Facebook, Twitter, Flickr (my photos) and YouTube. Also see my definitive Guantánamo prisoner list, updated in April 2012, “The Complete Guantánamo Files,” a 70-part, million-word series drawing on files released by WikiLeaks in April 2011, and details about the documentary film, “Outside the Law: Stories from Guantánamo” (co-directed by Polly Nash and Andy Worthington, and available on DVD here — or here for the US). Also see my definitive Guantánamo habeas list and the chronological list of all my articles, and please also consider joining the “Close Guantánamo campaign”, and, if you appreciate my work, feel free to make a donation.

13 Responses

  1. Andy Worthington says...

    On Facebook, Samiha Abdeldjebar wrote:

    Chesil Beach – one of my favourite places in the world. The naked purity of stone, sea, sky.

  2. Andy Worthington says...

    Yes, that’s a perfect description, Samiha! It was a powerful experience to be there.

  3. damo says...

    lovely photos andy reminds me of the e sussuex coast and hastings old town

  4. Andy Worthington says...

    Thanks, Damo. Yes, it was very powerful being so dwarfed by the power of the sea. They should strap the Tories to the sea wall on a stormy night, to show them how insignificant they are in the grand scheme of things. Mind you, their inadequacies are the problem in the first place …

  5. Diana says...

    I love viewing all your photos especially the the London by Bike project. I also visit your site for any of Save the Lewisham Hospital campaign coverage – and in the process learning about Guantanamo and Battle of Beanfield! I think your work in all these areas is really outstanding and inspiring and I want to express my gratitude! I will keep visiting your site!

  6. Andy Worthington says...

    Thank you, Diana. What lovely and encouraging comments!

  7. Andy Worthington says...

    Umm Ghazi wrote:

    hope u had a wonderful break with your family!

  8. Andy Worthington says...

    Simon Wells wrote:

    I used to go skateboarding on the top of Portland – in Britain’s first purpose built skate-park – was a few years ago mind!

  9. Andy Worthington says...

    Yes, I had a wonderful time, Umm Ghazi. Thanks for asking. And Simon, that’s interesting. Couldn’t find anything about it online, although a new park, right by Chesil Beach, opened in 2010: http://www.portlandskatepark.com/

  10. Andy Worthington says...

    Beverly Hendricks wrote:

    Just like Keith and Candice Marie.

  11. Andy Worthington says...

    Omigod, Beverly, Nuts in May. That film terrified me when I saw it years ago! Perhaps a fear of my own inner compulsive?

  12. Andy Worthington says...

    Beth Bailey-Kingdon wrote:

    LOVE, LOVE, LOVE your photos, Andy. Many thanks and please keep ’em comin’.

  13. Andy Worthington says...

    Thank you, thank you, Beth. Encouragement like that is wonderful!

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Andy Worthington

Investigative journalist, author, campaigner, commentator and public speaker. Recognized as an authority on Guantánamo and the “war on terror.” Co-founder, Close Guantánamo and We Stand With Shaker. Also, photo-journalist (The State of London), and singer and songwriter (The Four Fathers).
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