On the drive back home from my recent Somerset break, it was a beautiful day, and the weather perfect, so I decided to stop off at Lytes Cary Manor. It’s a National Trust property in the south of the county and one that I had not been to before.
I loaded up a roll of Portra 160 into my Rolleicord Va, and off I went. I do find something satisfactory about the format – one roll of film, 12 shots, and that’s it. The photo above was my first of the day!
I’m not sure when it was built, although, William le Lyte was a tenant as early as 1286, and it’s believed that his grandson built the chapel around 1343. Apparently in those days the yearly rent was either 10 shillings, or the contents of a swans nest on the River Cary!
By 1755 the family had fallen on hard times and in the end sold the property. It was the tenanted for 150 years and gradually fell into disrepair, eventually bought by Sir Walter Jenner and his wife, Flora, in 1907, who set about restoring the place. Their daughter died aged only 37 and with no other family alive to inherit, they left it to the National Trust in 1948.
After developing my batch of black and white, I discovered that, it looks like the slow speeds on my Va are starting to stick. In fact I knew that before I developed the films. I had trouble in Wells Cathedral, but freed up the mechanism, lost a few shots, but luckily here, these were all fine with no trouble. From memory most of the photo’s were made at or about f11 at 125th – that shutter range seems fine! I’ll have to have a little tinker to see what I can do!!
That’s it – another roll gone – and a perfectly enjoyable way to spend a couple of hours too!