I have finally finished ‘tarting up’ the Baltic pictures. They can all be seen at the original northumbrian : light gallery site. There has been much mucking about in Photoshop so nothing appears quite as it should be. The camera always lies. For those easily bored or of a nervous disposition, be warned that there are 87 pictures – with a six second autoplay loop this is going to take nine minutes out of your life.
It is difficult to imagine this seaside resort behind an iron curtain, difficult to imagine the lives of others. The town is quaint resembling California’s Carmel although in this instance the quaintness is real, not manufactured.
The soft white sands stretch along a broad windswept beach for nearly two miles. Empty numbered basket chairs are arranged in neat little rows, facing away from the sea and prevailing winds, they seem designed for eavesdropping. Nevertheless, first impressions can be misleading. Beneath the lighthouse sits the Teepott (Teapot). This thoroughly modern sculpted building looks post-unification but was actually constructed in 1960. Administrations and appearances can be deceptive.
Margaret Leigh writing in 1941 (Driftwood and Tangle) of a disappearing life in the Scottish Highlands describes a burial-ground with its freight of memories and prayers slowly sinking into darkness. These are communities which died of natural causes brought on by progress; by contrast the disappearance of many similar communities across Europe was hastened by war and its aftermath.