Experience

Cave Dark

Wed, 15 Sep, 2010

Cave-Dark

Having grown up in Widecombe I'm a country lad - London-born but Dartmoor-bred.

Widecombe is a strange, fantastical place to grow up, there is still the remnants of a farming community there, but most of the population either work in the tourist industry or commute off the Moor to work. From the empty grey days of Winter to the teeming hordes of tourists in the Summer it is a place of extremes.

Having spent several nights up on Haytor Rocks for my time-lapse project, I find myself missing one of those extremes from childhood:

Darkness.

Living in an urban environment darkness is in short supply with streetlights on every road, outside every bedroom window, night lights, blinking LEDs from appliances etc. Widecombe in the Seventies, on the other hand, had one streetlight. Not one streetlight for the village but one streetlight for the whole 16 square mile parish. If the cloud cover was complete, so was the darkness. The settlements around the edge of the Moor were too small or too far away for reflected sodium light.

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