Wednesday, 29 December 2010

Trees In The Snow By The Infant Don


Another picture from our Boxing Day walk. This time the camera was pointing south looking across the valley of the infant River Don towards Stocksbridge.

Tuesday, 28 December 2010

Varicose Veins Against A Winter Smoke Screen

Foggy Day in Fixby : 28 December 2010
Temperatures have risen and the snow and ice have been replaced by a winter fog that provides a smoke screen against which the winter trees stand out like an old man's varicose veins.

Monday, 27 December 2010

Yorkshire View

Old Mill Lane, Thurgoland
After a perfect Christmas Day with friends, we took a walk on Boxing Day morning. There was something about this arrangement of stone walls, angular buildings and snow covered fields that was so Yorkshire.

Thursday, 23 December 2010

Sepia Saturday : A Pierrot Show On Picture Post


My Christmas Sepia Saturday contribution is making a guest appearance on my Picture Post Blog whilst News From Nowhere is prepared for a New Year New Look. And what better way to celebrate Christmas than with a group of family and friends putting on a 1920s pierrot show. I remember asking my father about this photograph a few years before he died and he was able to name a few of the participants although he was not able to identify a particular time or venue.I made a few penciled notes on the back of the photograph based on his recollection and I have now transferred these to the following image.


Enoch Burnett was his father (my grandfather) and Miriam was his sister. Some of the other names I half recognise from stories of his childhood. The group would have most likely been associated with a chapel or club in the Great Horton area of Bradford. Whatever the performance, I am sure that the entire cast will join with me in wishing all Sepia Saturday readers a very Happy Christmas.

You can view all the participants in the Sepia Saturday Seasonal Open House by following this link.


Wednesday, 22 December 2010

Frozen Landscape : In And Out

Old Lane Bradley Looking Towards Huddersfield : 21 December 2010
This is the kind of frozen landscape we live in at the moment. But as of 1.00am this morning - the point when our central heating failed - the frozen landscape is not only outside our windows, it is inside the house as well. Huddled over an electric fan heater trying to think of ways of getting some warmth into his system, your festive blogger spots a bottle of Laphroaig. Happy Christmas all.

Tuesday, 21 December 2010

He Sells Sea Shells Nowhere Near The Sea Shore


I can be fairly certain when this was taken and where it was taken. I remember the day well : that is my brother Roger on the left and me on the right. It is 1969 and we are in Maidstone Market in Kent trying to earn an honest crust by selling an extraordinary product mix of sea urchin shells and maps of the Upper Medway Navigation. I am not sure where the bulk supply of shells came from, but the maps where drawn by my brother. I was amazed to discover (isn't the internet wonderful!) that those maps are still on sale today although the price seems to have gone up a little. But I have no idea who took the photograph. Roger, if you are reading this, can you remember?

Monday, 20 December 2010

Things Change


This is a photograph I took in Hull back in the 1970s. There has been considerable redevelopment since and few of the buildings - or indeed boats - you see here will look the same now. If the snow ever goes I must take a trip over to Hull to see if I can take a photograph from the same spot, but until I come back with the evidence you will have to believe me when I say that things change. And you might want to keep that in mind when you watch the design of this blog over the coming days.

Sunday, 19 December 2010

Huddersfield On Ice


One can do nothing but admire the ability of the Local Authority not only to predict the weather we are currently enjoying it, but also proclaiming it - if not from the rooftops then at least from the roundabouts. As we drove home from a party last night the car thermometer was registering -10c at one stage. Brrrr.

Friday, 17 December 2010

The Lorna Doone - The Baton Passes On



Of course, an even greater delight of blogging is the way that once someone has taken up the relay baton, others come forward to join the team. So today I received an e-mail from one of my all-time favourite bloggers, Philip van Bergan (of The Thoughts Of Chairman Bill). His e-mail went as follows:

"Alan - would you believe it? My dad was actually there as well and also took a photo, which I have scanned.  Seems your copy has been digitally manipulated to remove the evidence. Probably something to do with the safety of our boys in the Sudan".

So, before we move on, was anyone else's' mother or father stood on that dockside taking a photograph of the Lorna Doone? And what on earth will we find in their photographs?

The Rope Removed



One of the great delights of blogging is the way that you can post something and someone else will pick it up, add something to it, and pass it on. In this way, blogging is like a great relay race of ideas and thoughts. I received a wonderful example of this yesterday when, shortly after publishing my fathers' picture of the Lorna Doone I received an e-mail from fellow blogger Michael Stanfield which included the original photograph with the rope removed. Now I am familiar enough with what Photoshop can achieve but I had to look carefully at the new image to reassure myself that this was a Photoshop retouching rather than the chance photograph of someone stood next to my father who had managed to avoid the interfering rope. Congratulations Michael, a splendid piece of digital magic.

Thursday, 16 December 2010

Lorna Doone And A Stray Rope


My father took this photograph back in the 1930s. Long before the days of SLR's and "What You See Is What You Get" - hence the hanging rope. The "Lorna Doone" was a paddle steamer on the Isle of Wight route. Built in 1891 it lasted until the 1940s when it was eventually scrapped. But it gave good service as both a passenger ferry and - during both World Wars - as a minesweeper. Such a beautiful lady is worth recording : stray rope or not.

Wednesday, 15 December 2010

And Is There Honey Still For Tea?


When we were in Cambridge a couple of weekends ago, we set off on Sunday morning to walk alongside the River Cam from Cambridge to Grantchester. For a time, Grantchester was the home of the poet Rupert Brooke and the subject of his poem about homesickness, "The Old Vicarage, Grantchester". The bright clear November sky burnt almost all the colour from the scene but emphasised the shapes of the leaf-less trees. And was there honey still for tea? I don't know, we went for lunch and to the Green Man pub. There was, however, a very decent ale.

Tuesday, 14 December 2010

Still Killybegs After All These Years


Another delight about random scanning old negatives is rediscovering places you have obviously been to (you took the photographs after all) but have forgotten all about. I must have taken this photograph sometime in the mid 1960s. The port of registration is the first clue, but if you carefully look at the old fish boxes they also suggest Killybegs (which is in Donegal, Ireland) was the location. According to Dame Wiki, Killybegs is still an important harbour which sometimes plays host to cruise ships. Perhaps I will revisit the town after all these years.

Monday, 13 December 2010

Twenty-One Again


The last of The Lad's 21st birthday parties last night. These seem to have been going on for months now. Don't waste your time sending birthday greetings to him - the date has long gone. I decided yesterday to make more use of my iPhone camera and I used it to take this photograph of The Lad and his girlfriend Heather.

Sunday, 12 December 2010

Lest We Forget


Looking out of my window and seeing the dirt-green grass and the macadam-grey road surface, it is easy to forget that just a week ago all we could see was an almost universal layer of white snow. But take heart all you lovers of black and white, the forecast says that more snow is moving in from the east.

Saturday, 11 December 2010

A Circuitous Route To Creeque Alley


On my News From Nowhere Blog at the moment I am banging on about the way chance can lead you to fascinating discoveries. I must confess that chance also dictates the way I try to scan and review the thousands of old negatives I have accumulated over sixty-odd years. Rather than work my way through the negative albums in a logical fashion I will dip in at random and scan a chance strip. Today's scan brought up this picture which I must have taken back in the early 1980s. It was taken on the island of St Thomas in the American Virgin Islands. It is one of those photographs that comes with its own soundtrack, as soon as I saw it the sound of the Mamas and the Papas singing Creeque Alley came to mind. They wrote their famous song whilst staying in St Thomas at the house of Club Owner Hugh Duffy - ""Duffy's good vibrations, and our imaginations, can't go on indefinitely" - and the house was situated on Creeque Alley. I have no evidence to support my belief, but I always think of Creeque Alley leading off this street.

Friday, 3 December 2010

Cambridge In The Snow


Another photograph from last weekend in Cambridge. I remember thinking as I took it, I had better capture some of this snow before it melts away. Oh, if only I had known.

Monday, 29 November 2010

Cambridge At Dusk


I spent a splendid couple of days in Cambridge at the end of last week. This picture was taken on Friday evening on King's Parade : midway between our pub crawl and our meal in the wonderful Cambridge Chop House. My thanks to Mark for the treat and to Tim for being such a convivial host.

Saturday, 27 November 2010

Holiday Snaps 12 : Barbados


Time to bring this selection of holiday snaps to an end. So here is the Good Lady Wife and myself sat on board a catamaran, heading for a secluded bay in order to go swimming with all sorts of tropical fish and turtles. For once I was not taking the photograph, so my thanks to Elaine for doing such a good job.

Friday, 26 November 2010

Holiday Snaps 11 : Sculpture in Dominica


Our diversion to Dominica proved to be a lucky diversion : my brother Roger lives on the island and with just 12 hours notice I was able to arrange a reunion. We went up to his house, high in the mountains, surrounded by a tropical jungle. Roger is a noted artist and sculptor and his house, studio and gardens incorporate several pieces of his own work.

Thursday, 25 November 2010

Holiday Snaps 10 : Dominica


We sailed into Roseau, the capital of Dominica. Dramatic clouds, mountains and volcanoes. You can just make out the town, clinging to the coastline.

Wednesday, 24 November 2010

Tuesday, 23 November 2010

Holiday Snaps 8 : Saint Maarten


The kind of idyllic scene you associate with the Caribbean. This particular take is on the island of Saint Maarten.

Monday, 22 November 2010

Holiday Snaps 7 : Refueling


I normally steer clear of those Filter buttons on Photoshop but this time I gave into temptation. The "Poster Edge" filter just seems to add something to this view of refueling whilst in port in St Maarten.

Thursday, 18 November 2010

Holiday Snaps 6 : Road Town, Tortola


We were sat in this pub in Road Town on the Island of Tortola, drinking beers and chatting to some Americans whose catamaran was tied up to the dock behind the pub. We talked about where we had sailed from and where we were going to next. "Which is your boat?", they asked nodding in the direction of the little yachts tied up to the dock. "That one over there", I answered pointing across the harbour.

Tuesday, 16 November 2010

Holiday Snaps 5 : Long Bay, Tortola


Still on Tortola. Here is Harry (H) capturing the beauty of a near deserted Caribbean beach. We were having lunch at a restaurant that backed straight onto the beach (my photograph is taken from the table where we sat). Gorgeous place.

Monday, 15 November 2010

Holiday Snaps 4 : Tortola


We have now crossed the Atlantic and arrived in our first stop in the Caribbean, Tortola in the British Virgin Islands. We were met off the boat by my nephew and niece (Nat and Di) and this photograph was taken from the balcony of their house. The islands you can see in the distance are (I think) Ginger Island, Cooper Island and Salt Island.

Friday, 12 November 2010

Holiday Snaps 3 : Tenerife Orchid Gardens


Still in the Orchid Gardens in Tenerife. As soon as I noticed this lady collecting admission fees, I knew there was a photograph there somewhere but struggled to get it right. It needed to be done somewhat surreptitiously otherwise the woman might start waving or shouting. It's still not quite right : it is a little out of focus; but there is something about it I like. Agatha Christie was a visitor to the gardens and her book "The Amazing Mr Quin" is supposed to be set there. Perhaps its the fact that the woman is so like an Agatha Christie character that makes the image memorable.

Thursday, 11 November 2010

Holiday Snaps 2 : Tenerife Orchid Gardens


The Orchid Gardens in Puerto de la Cruz on the island of Tenerife. A wonderful jumble of colour.

Tuesday, 9 November 2010

Holiday Snaps 1 : Puerto de la Cruz


I still belong to the generation which would return from holiday with an envelope of "Holiday Snaps". Before the days of digital photo albums and mobile phone picture messages, these would be the main means by which you could bore your friends and family and provide yourself with a modicum of recompense for having to return to a cold and cheerless home. So stand back, switch off, and get ready for my 2010 Holiday Snaps. Today we are looking down on Puerto de la Cruz on the island of Tenerife.

Thursday, 21 October 2010

ONE : 2009 - Dubrovnik


Well, that's it. In a few hours time we are off. Hopefully there will be a postcard or two sent to my News From Nowhere Blog. And this Blog will be back on my return : on the 8th of November.

Wednesday, 20 October 2010

TWO : 2008 - Camogli, Italy


2008 and it seems like only yesterday. A lovely holiday which included a visit to Camogli on the Italian Riviera.

Tuesday, 19 October 2010

THREE - 2007 - The Canary Islands


If you want to visit the moon but don't fancy the long journey or the zero gravity, go to the Canary Islands. We did back in 2007, and we will be doing so again in a few days time. Three days to go and the cases still not fully packed!

Monday, 18 October 2010

FOUR : 2006 - Venice


It's 2006 and I'm in Venice. I'm travelling on an over-large cruise ship. What I can't quite work out, four years down the line, is how I managed to take a photograph of the ship when I was obviously not on it!.

FIVE : 2005 - Tortola


It's 2005 and we are visiting Tortola in the British Virgin Islands and staying with my niece and nephew. We will be returning to the island (just for a day unfortunately) as part of our forthcoming holiday. If the above beach has not been washed away in the recent hurricane, who knows, I might be walking along it in two weeks time.

Saturday, 16 October 2010

SIX : 2004 - Tenby, Wales


It's 2004 and we were holidaying in Tenby, Wales. A beautifully photogenic place.

SEVEN : 2003 - Disneyland, Paris


Oops, I'm falling behind schedule. Here is Seven and Six will follow later today. In 2003 our holiday was in Disneyland, Paris. If nothing else the picture is a wonderful example of the innate ability of the photographer to keep taking pictures even when terrified.

Thursday, 14 October 2010

EIGHT : 2002 - Scotland


It is 2002. We have a new member of the family (the one with the four paws and the beautiful fur in the photograph) and we decide to holiday at home. In her home country of Scotland to be precise. Looking back at this photograph, it all seems so long ago. That little Lad holding Amy will be 21 in a few weeks time.

Wednesday, 13 October 2010

NINE : 2001 - San Blas Islands


In 2001 we were on a Caribbean cruise which visited the San Blas Islands, just off the coast of Panama. It was back in the days when I still smoked a pipe (oh happy days) and I was smoking my pipe when I came across this redoubtable lady. She motioned to my tobacco pouch indicating that she wanted to fill her pipe from it, and I happily agreed. She managed to cram a remarkable amount of tobacco into her pipe. but I didn't mind. In exchange she let me take this photograph. As I said, oh happy days.

Tuesday, 12 October 2010

TEN : 2000 - Porto, Portugal


According to my calculations there are now ten days left before I go on holiday. On my computer I have stored my digital holiday pictures from the last ten years. So, as a count-down to my forthcoming holiday, I intend to give you a holiday photograph from each of those years. Today's picture was taken in 2000 during a visit to Porto in Portugal.

Monday, 11 October 2010

Amy's Over-Inflated Sense Of Her Own Inherent Beauty


Amy has been complaining that she has not featured in any of my photographs for ages. So to placate her, here she is (the photograph was taken the other day as we took our walk through the woods). If you think she looks cute don't bother telling her, she already has an over-inflated sense of her own inherent beauty.

Friday, 8 October 2010

If It Wasn't For The Mist In Between


There is an old British music hall song which tells of the wonders of the singers' house from which you could see 'Ackney Marshes "if it wasn't for the 'ouses in between". Well you could see our house in this photograph taken a couple of mornings ago, if it wasn't for the mist in between.

Tuesday, 5 October 2010

Restart The Clock Please


The twelve photographs have been selected and I am now in the process of creating a Lulu calendar from them. Who knows, one of these might be dropping through your letterbox for Christmas.

Friday, 1 October 2010

Stop The Clock


There was this East-West Nuclear Disarmament Conference back in the 1970s in which the participating parties set a deadline for reaching an agreement. As the deadline - 12.00 midnight on a particular day, I forget which - approached the parties were near agreement but more discussions were needed. The problem faced by the negotiators was that their mandate to negotiate lasted only until midnight. The solution to the problem was gloriously simple : all the clocks in the conference venue were stopped at 23.55 hrs. The deadline was extended and agreement was eventually reached.

What I am trying to say is that I know I promised to stop parading these old black and white photographs at the end of September, but there are just a few more to check out yet before I decide what will go into my 2011 Calendar. So, I have stopped the clock. The clocks in this old railway shed in Halifax were stopped long before I took this photograph in the mid 1960s.

Wednesday, 29 September 2010

Bottle of Guinness in Godley Cuttings, Halifax in 1966


This is one of my favourite photos of this period and one which can be dated with some accuracy. If you enlarge the poster at the bottom left of the shot it is one of those Guinness commemorative posters which reads : "Battle of Hastings 1066, Bottle of Guinness 1966". So there you have it : Godley Cuttings, Halifax, 1966 by Alan Burnett.

Tuesday, 28 September 2010

Easily Missed, But Not By The Milkman


This must have been one of those little terraces clinging to the sides of Beacon Hill. Two or three houses, clustered together for comfort or security. Easily missed, but not by the milkman.

Monday, 27 September 2010

Carpet Days And Happy Nights


It is getting towards the end of the month and therefore the end of this series of my old black and white photographs of Halifax. This one must have been taken at the beginning of the 1970s : if you look carefully you will see that the overpass is now complete. I was away at University most of the time but came back to Halifax in the holidays. Often I would work at the Homfray Carpet mill which can be seen in the centre of this picture. Built against the side of a steep hill, it had loading bays that gave direct access to a road on the first five floors of the mill. You could walk in off the road at the front of the mill, climb five flights of steep stone stairs and walk directly out onto the road at the back of the mill. The money earned by lumping rolls of carpet during the day helped to pay for many a happy night.