Oxted Gasholder - Courtyard Gardens Build - June 2019

On site at the Courtyard Gardens housing development for 111 luxury apartments.

On site at the Courtyard Gardens housing development for 111 luxury apartments.

Welcome to this months June blog about the St William Courtyard Gardens development here in Oxted, this blog is number 6, previous ones can be found here.

For my regular readers and locals, you will be aware that the gas holder that once stood on this site for over 50 years is no more, its removal has made way for the construction of 111 luxury apartments due for completion summer 2021, my regular monthly blogs will keep you updated about the progress.

The buildings works are beginning to take shape, the previous two bases where the gas holders once sat are less visible now. This photograph taken on 11 June 2019.

The buildings works are beginning to take shape, the previous two bases where the gas holders once sat are less visible now. This photograph taken on 11 June 2019.

Moving on…

I look forward to my monthly site visits because each time I photograph I can see a vast difference that never ceases to amaze me, and this time was no exception. I know very little (maybe nothing) about the building process and find it fascinating to see the different processes involved, from the excavation, to the soil examination, to the air purifiers, that intermittently blast a mist of a fragrance that is reminiscent of freshly ironed cotton sheets, into the atmosphere to dissipate any potential soil odours. Vibration mechanisms are in place to monitor in real time the noise pollution so it is kept to a minimum and dust machines are in place to settle any excess from spreading.

The remaining rim of the base of the gas holder is over one metre wide and deep, during the removal process we have heard a tapping sound during working hours (my studio backs onto the site), which has been the result of the gradual destruction of the concrete to make way for the building works to take place. Some of the hardcore on site is recycled for use during the building process.

The photographs below show the preparation of the ground works before the sheet piling takes place next week during a six week period. There is no longer gas on the site as all essential gas equipment has been relocated, but occasionally people may notice some smells as the next phase of groundworks begins, but hopefully the air fragrance will be sufficient to destroy this. There will also be increased noise and vibration during this period. I will be on site in July to photograph this next stage.

The photographs below give you a sense of what it is like.

Each time I am on site I meet a different team of contractors as the development grows, but the two people from St William, who have remained constant are Joe Pallister the Project Manager and Ness Kingham, the lovely Site Manager, who accompanies me on my visits and tells me more about the build process each time, very educational. On this particular occasion the heavy rain over the past few weeks was one of the topics of conversation as it had made the site very muddy and slippery, a pump was needed to drain the excess water that had collected at the lowest point, it looks like we have experienced the wettest June on record!

The photographs show different machinery that is required on site to excavate the soil, move rubble and prepare the surface for the next stage. What once looked like a familiar space to me no longer feels or looks how l once remembered it.

If you would like to keep up to date and sign-up to my monthly round-up newsletter please scroll down to the ‘Subscribe to Our Newsletter’ button below to enter your contact email address.

I’ll be back next month with further updates, watch this space for further developments.

Thanks for reading, bye for now.

Stella

 

Exciting Times Ahead for SMS Creative Photography

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Exciting news for SMS Creative Photography following on from my January blog about my changes for 2019.


As many of you know I started my photography business on the high street here in Oxted on 10th February 1997. Since then I have forged so many wonderful relationships with you, photographing your weddings, your children and families and other wonderful life and business events, because of you my business has grown beyond my wildest dreams and my commissions have taken me far and wide and continue to evolve with diversity.


As previously mentioned my own family have flown the nest and other exciting opportunities beckon, that I now find myself in a position to change the way I work and to move my lovely business off the high street and adapt with the 21st century to work remotely, read on to find out more…

My passion for my work as a photographer is pulling me in different exciting directions with continued local commissions and photographing at events such as the British Grand Prix. Further afield I will be embarking on my role as a cruise ship speaker, to enlighten and entertain passengers with presentations about photographing at the British Grand Prix 2018 and other commissions in the world of Formula One and high profile motoring events. My first cruise will be later this year, travelling worldwide once or twice a year on luxury ocean liners such as Fred.Olsen, Cunard and Royal Caribbean to name a few, I will keep you posted about my activities.

As a result of this, I will be giving up my premises to allow a new and exciting business to enjoy the town at the end of July.

So this isn't au revoir, arrivederci or even goodbye, it's just a different way of working where I can use my time and expertise more efficiently and above all continue to deliver a personal and professional service and keep a foothold in the town at a new location as and when required.

I have been very fortunate to have been invited to have the use of a meeting room during the week at The Investment Boutique by my lovely customers Richard Arris and Helena Bakunowicz, who took over the premises opposite the Oxted Little Waitrose store last year, The Investment Boutique is a trading name of Raymond James Investment Services Limited.
Richard and Helena had their spacious new office refurbished to a very high standard last September and I thank them for this opportunity. I am very much looking forward to being able to arrange appointments for post location photo-shoot viewings here and a pop-up studio too, with the added benefit of on-site parking, what more could I ask for! I will also be exhibiting some limited edition photographs on their walls.

The studio phone number will remain the same and I am happy to visit you in the comfort of your own home for photo-shoots and consultations about any projects you may have in mind that you would like to discuss.

I will be increasing my online media presence to keep you updated with my activities and will, of course, continue with my blogs for both SMS Creative Photography and the other branch of my business ‘Stella’ www.stellascordells.com which has been growing steadily in the background over the past 6 years with lifestyle and commercial commissions outside of Oxted.

Please feel free to follow me on my social media platforms; Instagram @stellasms & @stellascordellis - Twitter @stellasms and Facebook SMSCreativePhotography and SScordellis

Thank you for your much-valued custom over the years, I can’t wait to start this new and exciting chapter with you.

 Stella

 





Oxted Gasholder - Courtyard Gardens Build - May 2019

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Welcome to my fifth blog about the construction process of Courtyard Gardens on the former gasholder site here in Oxted.

For those of you who live nearby and are regular readers of my blogs you will know that the gasholder no longer exists and during the past few weeks the building works have started to take shape.

The demolition of the gasholder and clearing of the site is complete ready for the building process to commence, this photograph is how the site looked on 15 April 2019.

The demolition of the gasholder and clearing of the site is complete ready for the building process to commence, this photograph is how the site looked on 15 April 2019.

St William, who specialise in redeveloping redundant gas holder sites across London and the South East has now taken over as principal contractor. The project team have now moved to the site and into the new cabins during the building process.

Friday 17th May was my first time back on site since the demolition came to an end last month and it felt like I was somewhere familiar but unfamiliar at the same time. I could see and feel the layout changing, the ground felt different, there were new faces on site, new machinery and the access areas were different and the two-storey cabins were a hive of activity.

I could really get a strong feel for the size of the land and the vastness of the build and the works that have to be done to accommodate the three blocks that will combine to make the final housing development, delivering 111 one, two and three bedroom apartments nestled in private communal landscaped gardens.

Read on to see and find out more…

The first thing you notice is the construction site entrance gates at Nursery Way have been installed and timber hoarding has progressed around the perimeter.

Groundworks have begun, starting with the removal of the tarmac from what was Johnsdale car park and the contractor is continuing to break out the concrete gasholder walls and base. Once all the concrete has been removed from the gasholder it will be processed ready for re-use on site for formation of the piling platforms.

Air quality, noise and vibration monitoring have been set up around the site by external environmental consultants which provides real-time information on the activities being undertaken.

I am finding it fascinating to photograph the building process and enjoy learning so much about it. So pleased I have captured the process from the beginning because I am already finding it hard to remember what it looked like this time last year, if it’s the same for you, you can refer back to my previous 4 blogs that started in January to refresh your memory.

During the course of the next 24 months I intend delivering one blog a month with progress photographs from my site visits - with thanks to Ness from St William for escorting and accommodating me, my cameras and my curiosity on site.

If you would like to keep up to date and sign-up to my monthly round-up newsletter please scroll down to the ‘Subscribe to Our Newsletter’ button below to enter your contact email address.

I’ll be back next month with further updates, watch this space.

Enjoy the bank holiday weekend!

Bye for now.

Stella

 
 

SMS Creative Photography and Parallax Art Fair - London - 6 & 7 July 2019

A collection of sought-after photographs of rock music legends and the cars they love to drive.

I am delighted to be taking part in the Parallax Art Fair which is being held at the magnificent Kensington Town Hall on 6 & 7 July 2019, I will be exhibiting and selling my limited edition classic & supercar photographs from the collection ‘A Drive Down Memory Lane’.

I would also like to welcome Stephen Colegrave, who will be exhibiting with me a wide selection of limited edition photographs of rock music legends, such as David Bowie and Debbie Harry and other greats from the 70s and 80s, by New York based photographer Bob Gruen and others; if you came to the studio during Christmas time you would have seen some of the photographs at our pop-up exhibition. 

The Parallax Art Fair at Kensington Town Hall

The Parallax Art Fair at Kensington Town Hall

A little bit more about what to expect, the fair exhibits more than 7000 works of fine, decorative and applied arts from around the world. The exhibitors range from recent graduates to highly experienced artists and photographers with international exhibiting experience. It is a place where different cultures mix and new ideas are shared all in uplifting surroundings and to the accompaniment of classical and jazz musicians. It is an experience not to be missed. 

This year for the first time in this fairs history, there will be a book shop with some interesting titles, the founder is hoping to have a book out which explains the history of the fair as it was one of the first of its kind after the financial crash!

It would be a pleasure to have your company at the twenty-sixth edition of Parallax Art Fair, at Kensington Town Hall, Hornton Street (just off Kensington High Street), London, W8 7NX, please come and visit us at booth number C9.

To register for your free ticket please visit the link below.

https://www.parallaxaf.co/tickets.html

We look forward to seeing you.

Stella

Led Zepplin by Bob Gruen

Led Zepplin by Bob Gruen

1963 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray Coupe

1963 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray Coupe

David Bowie on the Trans Siberian Express 1974 by Leee Black Childers

David Bowie on the Trans Siberian Express 1974 by Leee Black Childers

Stephen Colegrave’s Pop-Up exhibition of photographs by New York based photographer Bob Gruen at the studio last December.

Stephen Colegrave’s Pop-Up exhibition of photographs by New York based photographer Bob Gruen at the studio last December.

 

Your Family Meadow Photo-shoot Experience 2019

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Now that the bluebells are past their best, and yes they were stunning this year, we move on to planning our Meadow Photo-shoots, which take place in a nearby private meadow nestled beneath an undulating backdrop of the North Downs.

I have been photographing in this meadow for the past three years, I stumbled across it during an Open Garden weekend in July 2016, it was an overwhelming abundance of buttercups and daisies and smelt heavenly!

I couldn’t resist asking permission from the lovely owners to go back to do a family photo-shoot and since then they have very kindly welcomed me back each year to share the beauty of Mother Nature with others.

Every year since then it has flowered differently, in 2017 it was mainly a variety of beautiful grasses with a few daisies during late June early July, however last year, 2018, it flowered in late May with a wonderful display of buttercups, daisies and grasses too, much earlier than expected! I just managed to gather a few photo- shoots in early June before it went to seed and had to be mowed in preparation for the following year.

It is with this in mind that we are offering the opportunity for you to gather your loved ones for a photo-shoot of your own, the examples above give you an idea of what to expect and this link tells you more.

If this is something you would love to experience then please do get in touch, photographs will be taking place up to 4th June.

As it’s a private meadow there are limited times and days available with confirmed bookings already in place.

Our contact details are 01883 722282 - or do call into the studio to confirm yours.

Thank you, looking forward to a little piece of heaven on our doorstep, let’s see what Mother Nature delivers this year..

Stella

 

Last Call For Your Exclusive Family Bluebell Photo-shoot 2019

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We have been so lucky these past few days to have enjoyed such glorious weather during the Easter weekend and to have this coincide with bluebell season I could not be happier!

With another week or two to enjoy the ancient woodlands at Staffhurst Woods at their best, I have been busy with exclusive family photo-shoots, in carefully selected places at specific times of day to make the best use of the wonderful light seeping through the canopy of trees, and when the fragrance is particularly noticeable.

Do get in touch on 01883 722282 if this is something you would love to experience for your family or as a gift for loved ones, but hurry these wonderful wildflowers don’t last for long!

Our website tells you more here.

Thanks

Stella

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