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Norfolk man's amazing volcano pictures

PUBLISHED: 16:00 09 April 2010 | UPDATED: 09:34 02 July 2010

The Icelandic volcano erupts.

The Icelandic volcano erupts.

Matthew Sparkes

These dramatic pictures were taken by Norfolk man Tony Escritt while taking his life into his hands by edging close to the Eyjafjallajökull volcano in Iceland.

Lava fountains.

These dramatic pictures were taken by Norfolk man Tony Escritt while taking his life into his hands by edging close to the Eyjafjallajökull volcano in Iceland.

A series of thousands of small earthquakes began in the area at Christmas and at around 10.30 in the evening on March 20, the volcano erupted for the first time in almost 200 years.

Retired teacher Mr Escritt, from Mead Close, in Buxton, ventured to within just 400 yards of the flowing 1,200C magma to get the ideal shot.

He said: “As soon as the eruption went, my partner and I decided we were going. You don't get eruptions every day.” “You've just got to grab the opportunity to go.”

He said that the sight when he arrived was like a “colossal fireworks display”.

“It's awe-inspiring, it really is,” he added.

“It's such a powerful force and it's beautiful to look at, and at the same time it's frightening.”

Despite the ferocious temperature of the volcano itself, Mr Escritt had to brave -19C temperatures on the long journey up to it.

In recent weeks police and rescue services have had to evacuate people hoping to see the volcano due to extreme weather conditions.

But the recent adventure was far from Mr Escritt's first trip to Iceland.

He first visited the island in the 1960s when writing his geography dissertation at Oxford University, and later set up an agency advising research groups intending to travel to the area.

In this role he has arranged numerous academic visits, acted as an adviser to David Attenborough while filming a documentary and even worked on the opening scene of James Bond film A View to a Kill, which was shot on the island.

The eruptions are expected to continue for several weeks at least.

Have you been on a holiday with a difference? Call reporter Matthew Sparkes on 01603 772439 or email matthew.sparkes@archant.co.uk.

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