Monday, 21 December 2015

1412 : Parliament In Terminal Decline


Obviously Parliament Street in Halifax is no more. Indeed I am having difficulty of finding evidence of it ever having existed. But I took a photograph of it when it was in terminal decline, forty or so years ago, so it must have been more than a figment of my imagination. I suspect it must have been somewhere up Pellon Lane. No doubt someone will remember it.

Sunday, 13 December 2015

1411 : A Carpet Of Mills


The last of my six images from a single strip of 50 year old negatives takes me a little further along what I suspect is Bradford Old Road and looking down at the western end of Halifax. There is still almost a carpet of mills along the valley sides, although most of them would vanish over the coming ten or twenty years. The remaining few provide penthouse apartments for commuting bankers.

Saturday, 12 December 2015

1410 : Northern Soul


At some stage during my walk 50 years ago I must have turned back on myself, re-crossed Godley Bridge and headed along Claremont Road towards Bradford Old Road. Although it is the same town and the same buildings I am looking down on, the relationships between the various spires and chimney has changed. The prominent spire in the centre of this picture is the glorious All Souls Church of Sir George Gilbert Scott.

Friday, 11 December 2015

1409 : The Leach Of Smoke


This is the fourth image from my strip of 1966 negatives and by now I have obviously walked along Godley Bank in the direction of Southowran Bank. Even though it is the 1960s, the memory of industrial pollution still lingers on: the smoke seeming to leach out of the very hills into the atmosphere.

Thursday, 10 December 2015

1408 : Albion In Excelsis


For the third shot in my sequence of six negatives dating back to 1966, the sun seems to have made a surprise appearance from behind some grey-scale cloud.  The tall tower of the Victorian Town Hall is being outgrown by the blocks of flats in Albion Street.

Wednesday, 9 December 2015

1407 : Bridge Of Change


The second of the images from my strip of six negatives and the camera has swung around in an anti-clockwise direction. The Burdock Way fly-over was still five years in the future and therefore the mills at the north end of North Bridge are still in place, although the Grand Theatre at the south end of the bridge has already been demolished.

Tuesday, 8 December 2015

1406 : A Chimney Cull

I have to go into hospital this week and therefore I am pre-posting a series of images in order to preserve the continuity of this blog. All six photographs come from the same strip of negatives I shot fifty years ago during a short walk along Godley and Southowram Banks above Halifax. Without realising what I was doing, I was capturing the town on the brink of transition at a time when soot-encrusted mill chimneys were being replaced by concrete high-rise flats.


The first of my sequence was taken from the top of Godley Bridge and looks down on the A58 running down into Halifax. Within a couple of years of the photograph being taken the houses on the right of the shot had been demolished and a radical cull of mills and their chimneys had taken place.

Sunday, 6 December 2015

1405 : An Old Trouper Begging For Coins


I must have taken this photograph of Wimbledon Palais in the 1970s. By then it was in terminal decline, and moving through the end stages of life of all great venues : from bingo hall to furniture store to builders' rubble. Forty years earlier it had attracted dancers from all over London with the largest sprung dance floor in Europe. Even ten years before this photograph, the likes of the Beatles, the Stones and the Who had graced its stage. In this photograph it is like an old trouper begging for coins on a street corner.

Friday, 4 December 2015

1404 : The Impossible Fire Escape


Shaw Lane Mills, Halifax : 1980s. The fire escape is like one of those M C Escher Impossible Stairways - you can run but you can never escape. A bit like the local mill for generation after generation of my family.