Photographer's Note

The West Coast of Isle of Wight is a wonderful and peaceful landscape with an area called THE Needles.. -- well in Winter it is.. apparently in Summer it is filled with damn tourists.. Thats a Tea room on top of the cliffs - One wonders how long it will before its declared out of bounds- especially as one can see a fresh landslide on the bottom of the cliff

This iconic shot reflects back in history- connected to one of the "Wonders of Britain" - linked to rocket development and of course wonderful walks..

Wikki is always a great reference

"The Needles is a row of three distinctive stacks of chalk that rise out of the sea off the western extremity of the Isle of Wight, England, close to Alum Bay. The Needles lighthouse stands at the end of the formation. Built in 1859, it has been automated since 1994.

The formation takes its name from a fourth needle-shaped pillar called Lot's Wife that collapsed in a storm in 1764.[3] The remaining rocks are not at all needle-like, but the name has stuck.

The Needles were featured on the 2005 TV programme Seven Natural Wonders as one of the wonders of Southern England

The Needles were a site of a long standing artillery battery, from the 1860s to 1954, when they were eventually decommissioned.

A nearby site on High Down was employed in the testing of rockets for the British ICBM program.[4] The headland at High Down was used for Black Knight[5] and Black Arrow[6] rocket engine tests from 195671. During the peak of activity in the early 1960s some 240 people worked at the complex, while the rockets were built in nearby East Cowes. These rockets were later used to launch the Prospero X-3 satellite. The site is now owned by the National Trust, and is open to the public. Concrete installations remain, but the buildings that were less durable have either been demolished or were torn down by the elements.

In 1982, HRH Prince Charles officially opened the restored Needles Old Battery facility. Underground rocket testing rooms are currently being restored for exhibition. The first phase of restoration was completed in 2004.[7]

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Additional Photos by Rich Beghin (Ricx) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 994 W: 51 N: 2900] (13495)
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