This trip differed from the previous two in the proliferation of both steam trains and leather vessels.
Another change was the number of sites that now allow photography that didn’t previously. The National Trust comes in for an honourable mention here, although it was inconsistently applied. I’ll share some of those photos later, there’d be more but a couple of sites absolutely littered with jacks and bottels got grumpy when I asked for permission to get the camera out, even after trying the “we just travelled 14,000 miles to get here”™ sob story, so a big theatrical boo! to Shakespeare’s Birthplace Trust and the associated Hall’s Croft. The Birthplace Trust sites were inconsistent with their own rules, because Nash’s House explained how to get permission and I was able to take a couple of sneaky shots of the shoe horn and Mary Arden’s Farm let me blaze away to my heart’s delight as long as the flash was off. If anyone has a more easily concealable camera than mine, there’s a large bombard in the back room at Shakespeare’s Birthplace and a string of eight or ten costrels in the kitchen at Hall’s Croft.
The thing is, by not allowing photography several sites missed out on our Tourist Pounds. Over the space of a five week trip, this added up to a not inconsiderable amount. There was no point going in to a site where we’d been before and had already bought the guide book if they weren’t going to let me take two photos in the back part of the building of something they considered too mundane to be in the guidebook or website. Some places with a camera ban were interesting enough that we went in and bought the guidebook and all the postcards instead, we knew about most of those before we left home and had budgeted for them. I shouldn’t be too harsh, these people own the places and objects and have the right to say yes or no, but some of them have some very funny ideas. My favourite was the group of lovely, helpful ladies a really nice place that claimed that non-flash photography of items in situ damaged things, yet had room lights on and curtains pulled back from the windows so it wasn’t UV degradation they were worried about. Maybe taking the image captured part of the object’s soul.
Karma obviously came in to play because each time, another place we visited shortly afterwards had a similar object and allowed photos.
The following morning, in a museum we didn’t even know existed, surprise Elizabethan period horn cups. It was even the same number as at the place the day before with the curtains.
Corfe Castle Museum, Town Hall, West Street, Corfe Castle, Dorset.
So people, please put your photography policy on your website so we can plan accordingly. I’ve organised permits in the past and did for one site on this trip, and other times it’s nice to leave the camera in the bag and just enjoy your place.