UK Landscapes - Lake District
Memorial & crash site of Halifax LL505,
near the summit of Great Carrs.
Technical Details: -
Over the few months prior to
this photo being taken, I'd read about and researched the crash site of
a wartime Halifax bomber on Great Carrs. The
Merlin V12 engine lying
in a stream.
I spent the next 20 minutes or so taking photos of the engine (between showers), before walking up Broad Slack in search of more remains. Almost immediately, I found a propeller hub followed shortly by another, then a large section of the airframe & what appeared to be a wing. All around there were small fragments of aluminium scattered on and between the rocks.
Propeller hub minus the
wooden propeller blades.
A shattered wing section
lying on the scree.
After spending some time looking around, I made my way up to the summit of Great Carrs to visit the memorial. When I got there the wind was very strong and it was raining quite hard, so I wasn't about take any photos. I sat down on rocks in front of the memorial for a quick rest. There's a memorial plaque on the cairn, which was placed there during a ceremony on Armistice Day in 2005 which reads: -
As I sat there reading the plaque, it made me wonder if this was indeed the actual spot where the plane came to rest, or whether it was just a convenient location for the memorial. Then, over my left shoulder I noticed a large piece of aluminium, which had melted & solidified into the ground amongst the rocks. This was almost certainly where part of the plane had melted in the fire following the crash. I immediately saw the composition of my next photo. When conditions were right, the molten metal would be positioned at the bottom of the frame leading up to the memorial cairn.
A month later I set off from the Three Shires Stone at the summit of Wrynose Pass just after 5:00am to be at the memorial by sunrise. When I arrived, I set up the camera on the tripod & composed the shot. The sun was too low to reach the cairn, so I sat down for a rest, taking a couple of shots to fine tune the composition & check camera settings & waited. I sat in that spot for about an hour waiting for the sun to rise high enough and for the clouds to let enough light through to illuminate the cross & stones. When the sun finally broke through, I took a handful of shots, checking & adjusting camera settings as I went. Then, after 5 minutes, cloud passed over the summit obscuring the cairn, so I sat and waited for the next clearing, taking the opportunity to eat breakfast. I looked up, having just taken a bite out of my sandwich to see the cloud clear & the sun light up the cross & the top of the cairn. Behind it, I could see the faint colours of a partial Brocken Spectre forming on the cloud drifting by in the background. I took a shot, checked and adjusted the exposure to ensure the colours of the mini-rainbow had recorded, then took two more shots before it disappeared. Looking at the timestamps later in the file info, it lasted about 40 seconds. It was one of those rare moments when everything comes together for a very short length of time and I was the only person there to see it. I even managed to capture it.
I waited another 20 minutes or so until I could see my own shadow on the cairn, at which point, the day was over as far as this mission was concerned I packed up my gear and continued my walk over Swirl How and Wetherlam and eventually back to Wrynose Pass for a welcome rest in the car before driving home happy in the knowledge that I'd captured more than I'd hoped for.
How, Broad Slack
and Great Carrs. The wreckage lies on the scree in a vertical line
through the centre of this view.