Tuesday, 31 March 2015

1281 : Backdrop To A Painted Dance


SHOP IN FRANCE : The shop is a static backdrop to an intricately choreographed dance - some moving, some pointing, some staring. If it was a painted canvas you would be tempted to say that it was unrealistic.

Monday, 30 March 2015

1280 : No Bins, No Cars, North Staffs


BACK STREET, HANLEY, NORTH STAFFORDSHIRE : This was taken more than 40 years ago. If such back streets still exist in the Five Towns they will now be crammed full of plastic wheelie bins and half-parked cars.

Friday, 27 March 2015

1279 : Cool Halifax


COOLING TOWERS, HALIFAX (c. 1969) : Two enormous cooling towers set in a valley where the wind blows all the way from the Russian steppes. Who or what could possibly need cooling in these parts?

Thursday, 26 March 2015

1278 : The Finality Of A Count Of Ten

POSTERS, HALIFAX, LATE 1960s : Sometimes photographs don't capture beauty but stop time with the efficiency of a sledge hammer on a wristwatch. I couldn't help but check on where the wrestlers are now - all gone with the finality of a count of ten.

Tuesday, 24 March 2015

1277 : Another Country, Another Time


TOWN IN IRELAND (Circa 1965) : It is ten past twelve. It is Ireland. And there the certainty ends. It will have been fifty or so years ago and we were making our way from Larne in Northern Ireland down to Kerry. This little town could have been anywhere en-route. Another country, another time.

Monday, 23 March 2015

1276 : Reduced Salterhebble


SALTERHEBBLE, HALIFAX (1960s) : Park Drive cigs, working mills and Thwaites beer: historical markers planted in a changed landscape. Less dark now. More sanitised. Reduced Salterhebble.

Sunday, 22 March 2015

1275 : High Rise Flats And Fizzy Kegs


LOOKING TOWARDS HALIFAX FROM OLD LANE : The 1970s were a time of transition, when mill chimneys were being replaced by high-rise apartments and old beer bottles by fizzy kegs.

Saturday, 21 March 2015

1274 : Rusted Into History


IMPERIAL WORKS, SHEFFIELD : All empires eventually fade and fall. Even empires built on saw blades, hoes and spade lugs. Rusted into history.

Thursday, 19 March 2015

1273 : Flashy Reds And Bumptious Greens

BRADLEY ROAD, FIXBY  

The description "black and white" always seems to be underselling the medium. There is grey, of course, but there is also line and shape. And you seem to notice these two far more when your eye is not distracted by all those flashy reads and bumptious greens.

Wednesday, 18 March 2015

1272 : A Shakespearean Tragedy in Halifax

The Theatre Royal, Halifax. Boarded-up, deserted. Tucked away down Shakespeare Street is the old actor's entrance. Once the gateway to music hall, melodrama, classical theatre and opera it is now the repository for stale urine and empty bottles. A Shakespearean tragedy in Halifax.

Tuesday, 17 March 2015

1271 : Nature Against Man Against Nature


Black against white. Or at least black against cloudy grey. Nature against man against Nature.

1270 : A Lump Of Breeze Block In The Taj Mahal.


It's all angular; you could cut yourself quite badly on that leading edge. It sprouts from a patch near the centre of Halifax that used to be the home of a brewery: all odds and ends, curves and pipes; as blunt as a barrel. It fits its environment like a lump of breeze block in the wall of the Taj Mahal.

Saturday, 14 March 2015

1269 : Hunger Hill Is Fighting Back


There was a time - in the 1950s and 60s - when towns like Halifax seemed to be in love with the future. And the future was motor cars: great big metallic, two-toned, chromium-plated beasts that drank petrol with the abandon of an alcoholic. And the garages that sold them were, in the main, bastions of modernity - plate-glass showcases of the future. Trinity Garage was such a building: standing proudly at the top of Hunger Hill as if mocking it's very name. The building remains - a little shabby without the chic - but the cars are long gone. Hunger Hill is fighting back.

Thursday, 12 March 2015

1268 : How A Bad Feeling Turned Into A Good Feeling in Halifax


I had a bit of a bad feeling about this one. As I entered the very long, very dark and very deserted old walkway under the railway line there was a young bloke in a hoody walking a very cross looking dog approaching behind me. The shot looking out of the old stone viaduct was a good one but I knew if I waited a little and repressed my desire to run away, it would be even better. The young chap was charming. He wished me good morning and the dog wagged its tail. And then he walked on. And I took the picture. And I had a bit of a good feeling about this one.

Tuesday, 10 March 2015

1267 : And So They Did - It Was Providence


One definition of "providence" is "timely preparation for future eventualities". So when they built Providence Place Chapel in Cleckheaton in 1857 they probably thought that if the congregation eventually dwindled they could convert the building into an Indian Restaurant. And so they did.

Monday, 9 March 2015

1266 : My Fair Ladies Clothes Shop


Now it is a double glazing shop, before that it was a travel agents, but what was it when it was given it's name - The Pygmalion? In classical mythology, Pygmalion was a sculptor who fell in love with a statue he had carved. A clothes shop, perhaps.

Sunday, 8 March 2015

1265 : Words From 125 Years Ago


"Before performing the ceremony assigned him, Mr Anderson assured those present that he appreciated very highly the honour conferred upon him by the committee and his fellow townsmen in the request to lay the memorial stone of the Town Hall. He would much rather have left the duty to some distinguished person from some other part of the country ("No")"
THE LEEDS MERCURY 23 JUNE 1890

Saturday, 7 March 2015

1264 : Reflections On A Lion's Backside


Not many people sculpt lion's bottoms. Great stone and marble statues featuring lion's heads are ten a penny, common as muck. But for the fine proportions of a lion's backside you have to wander off the beaten track and look at things from a different perspective.

Friday, 6 March 2015

1263 : Apartment du Lux


I took this picture ten years ago and it has lay dormant in my digital files until, by chance, I looked at it yesterday and thought "what a busy scene to have going on beneath your bedroom window" A little research on line revealed that it was the work of an Hungarian sculptor called Alice Lux (you can just see her name at the right hand end of the relief). She was the wife of the architect of the building, Hugo Gregersen, and together they were responsible for a number of such artistic elements which serve to brighten up what otherwise might be a drab mid-twentieth century scene.

Wednesday, 4 March 2015

1262 : Sat In God's Waiting Room


There is something slightly hazy about this old scanned negative. Something slightly hazy about the four pensioners. They were sat in Eastbourne, a town which is often referred to as "God's Waiting Room" because of the preponderance of pensioners. I wonder if they are still sat there now, a third of a century later.

Tuesday, 3 March 2015

261 : Etched In Acidic Metadata


One of the great delights of digital photography is not simply that you can capture a moment in time but the details of the capture are recorded forever, carved in digital stone, etched in acidic metadata. This photograph was taken by me at 15.58 on the 13th April 2005 in Budapest. Ten years on, is this girl still sending postcards home?

Monday, 2 March 2015

1260 : With Georges Seurat At The Bull Ring

BULL RING CENTRE, BIRMINGHAM      Alan Burnett (c. 1969)
The problem with scanning old slides is that they usually have acquired a layer of dust thick enough to protect them from a moderate arctic breeze. You can carefully airbrush the dust specks out, but on the whole, life is too short. Better to leave them in place - it's what Georges Seurat did after all.

Sunday, 1 March 2015

1259 : No Sadder Sight Than A Derelict Pub


Can there be a sadder sight in all the world than that of a derelict pub? Fallen statues of fallen leaders I can take. Crumbling abbeys amidst pastoral settings can have a special beauty all of their own. Demolished hovels giving way to new houses can give you hope for the future. But a derelict pub - it is enough to make you turn to drink.