Sunday, February 21, 2010

What a difference a day makes

This weekend was totally exasperating!!!!!!!
My good friend Simon and I had decided some time ago that we would take our bikes up onto the North Yorkshire Moors.
Our plan was to park in 'Thornton le Dale' then cycle up through Dalby Forest onto the Moors to Goathland (The setting for the TV Series Heartbeat) and somewhere I used to live.
We would then have some lunch and maybe a pint of the local ale before boarding the North Yorkshire Moors Steam Train to Pickering, only three miles from where our car was parked.

It is a journey I have done once before, the scenery is quite breathtaking, with a view from the top of the moors whilst cycling, and from the deep gorged valleys on the return journey by Train.
So last weekend It was finally decided that this Saturday would be the day.

During the middle of last week, heavy snow was forecast for Saturday, with Sunday due to be fine and Sunny.
Undeterred we simply changed our plans to Sunday.
On Friday night the forecast had changed with both days due to be fine.
After consulting Simon we decided to stick with our new arrangements.

Needing to get my mileage in I decided to go out on Saturday as well. I had my most enjoyable ride this year, and was able to maintain a shadow on the road throughout, riding in brilliant sunshine, although it was still bitterly cold.
I only did 37 miles wanting to preserve my energy for the next day, It did however include lots of climbing (2500ft). As I took in the various vistas I thought how great it would be on the Moors and relished the prospect of cycling on Sunday.


When its sunny the Moors look beautiful in any season, when its not they look very bleak especially in winter.

On Sunday Simon was picking me up at 7am, and as I turned on the early morning news I saw a new weather warning.
Heavy snow.........arriving within the next two hours.
It was the only weather forecast that delivered !!!!!!!!

So another Sunday lost to the weather.

We have been told that this has been the worst winter since 1963. I therefore decided to look for archived material for that year. Curiously I found a video of a film called 'snow'.

It featured, moorland, snow and old steam trains, the only thing that It was missing was two over weight middle aged cyclists. It seemed quite apt to mention it in this blog.

Snow was filmed by Geoffrey Jones a documentry film maker. It was filmed for British Transport Films (BTF) but it owes its existence to a happy twist of fate. In September 1962 Jones began his research for a film about design for the British Railways Board. Armed with a 16mm camera, he travelled throughout the country, shooting film 'notes' of anything he found particularly interesting.

Viewing the footage, Jones was struck by several images of black steam trains churning down the tracks against a glaring white backdrop, and hit upon the idea of making a new, separate film contrasting the comfort of the passengers with the often Herculean efforts of the workmen to keep the trains going in hazardous conditions. On January 31st, 1963 Jones met with BTF head Edgar Anstey. Realising that the film would have to be made quickly or delayed until the following winter, Anstey agreed straightaway and shooting commenced the very next day. Jones and his barebones crew proceeded to chase winter conditions across the country.

Unable to afford his first choice of music, 'Teen Beat' by American Jazz musician Sandy Nelson, Jones had British musician Johnny Hawksworth re-record the tune, expanding it to twice its original length by reducing it to half its original speed at the start and steadily accelerating the tempo over a period of eight minutes to a speed approximately twice as fast as the original. Daphne Oram of the BBC Radiophonic Workshop added various filters.

Viewing Snow can be a hypnotic experience. Jones begins the film with a slow military throb, with the railway station and tracks all but buried beneath a mountain of snow and ice. The pace increases with the workmen's clearing of the tracks, and while the trains barrel through the snow-covered countryside, the music accelerates. The percussive editing between trains and environment reaches a joyous crescendo with a rapid succession of pounding snow, churning pistons, fields of livestock and the ever-present tracks, ending in a wild flourish of percussion.

Snow received at least 14 major awards upon its release, as well an Oscar nomination in 1965. It has been screened around the world and remains a favourite of fans of Geoffrey Jones' work and British Transport Films. Most importantly, this film marked the first full realisation of Jones' signature style, which he would expand upon and refine in subsequent films like Rail (1966), Trinidad and Tobago (1964) and Locomotion (1975). Report from James White

Here is a link to the film.............Its 7 mins of
very clever cinematography.
Next week Simon and I will give it another go and make our own film called 'No Snow'



1 comment:

jeff said...

It makes "global warming" sound pretty good, huh?