Saturday, 17 June 2017

1591 : The Shoe Seller Of Pinosa

Pinosa Market : The shoe seller. The market can be in Pinosa, Pondicherry or Pickering - but the shoes will probably be the same and the patter of the shoe seller will definitely be the same. "They'll last you a lifetime, these - like walking on air"

Wednesday, 14 June 2017

1590 : Blowing In The Wind

Market Day, Pinosa : "The wind in Spain blows mainly off the plains". And once it comes off the plains, it sweeps around the mountains and gets funnelled through the concrete streets of little market town, playing games with hanging garments, throwing coloured caution to the wind.

Sunday, 11 June 2017

1589 : Land Of Mobility Scooters And Cheap Beer

Benidorm : land of mobility scooters and cheap beer. But there is nothing wrong with that - if you have worked in a hard industrial environment all your life you probably need a mobility scooter to get around, and if you have worked hard for just enough to get by on, you deserve all the cheap beers you can get.

Friday, 2 June 2017

1588 : Benidorm - Brash And Proud Of It

If you move a few miles down the coast from Denia with its picturesque little streets and wall-hugging cars you come to the brash and proud resort of Benidorm.

Thursday, 1 June 2017

1587 : Why Oh Why?

Why would anyone want to get hold of an old Schweppes van, cut it in half and then mount it on the side of a north-facing wall in a back street in a small Spanish town? Is the other half similarly mounted on a south-facing wall in another town? Who knows? But it made me stop in my tracks and take my camera out.

Monday, 29 May 2017

1586 : Blowing In The Denia Wind

Another example of Denia graffiti. The rough concrete wall adds to the quality of this piece of art which was hidden away in a loading bay down a back street. I was seriously tempted to chisel it off the building and take it home.

Tuesday, 23 May 2017

1585 : Sculpture In A Bottle

The simplicity of the lines and of the colours of this scene in Denia make you want to stop and stare. You could bottle the scene up and present it as a piece of sculpture.

Monday, 22 May 2017

Sunday, 21 May 2017

1583 : Lazing On A Sunday Afternoon

The problem with sitting in the sun all day on the Costa Blanca is that it is all a bit tiring. You read a page or two, have a glass of fizzy lager, lay back in the sun and .... yawn ... before you know where you are, you are fast asleep.

Wednesday, 17 May 2017

1582 : The Concrete Canvases Of Denia

Spain seems to lend itself to street graffiti such as this example on the side of a building in Denia. The buildings tend to have concrete canvas sides and there is a tradition of graffiti which is decorative rather than self-promotional. And for photographers, they present endless opportunities to frame and selectively enlarge.

Tuesday, 16 May 2017

1581 : Blue, Blue, Yellow And White

This is such a typical Mediterranean scene - blue sky, bluer sea, yellow sands and whitewashed buildings. It was taken on the beach in the Valencian city of Calpe.

Friday, 12 May 2017

1580 : Tunnel Music


There is a tunnel under the castle in Denia. It looks and it feels as if it has been there for ever - just like the castle that sits on the hill high above. It was, in fact, only built in 1937 and it was constructed, not as a convenient short cut across town, but as an air raid shelter during the Spanish Civil War. The musician looks as though he might have been there since those horrific days.

Thursday, 11 May 2017

1579 : Sandhill Passive Sunbathers


A couple of weeks ago, Yorkshire was full of cyclists: Lycra-coated, hill-attacking, sweat dripping athletic titans. Whilst they were here, I was in Spain. There they were uncoated, sandhill passive, sweat dripping sunbathers.

Wednesday, 10 May 2017

1578 : Some Like It Hot


The problem about hot countries is that they are hot. I have no problem with "hot", not for the occasional week here and there. It makes a nice change to cold and grey. Knowing, however, each day when you wake up, that yet again it is going to be hot, that must be a challenge. What can you do but take your chair out into the street and think about it.

Tuesday, 9 May 2017

1577 : Spouting Fountains And Tall Palm Trees


Elda isn't a particularly big town and its buildings are not particularly grand. There is, however, a gem of a public park complete with spouting fountains and tall palm trees.

Monday, 8 May 2017

1576 : Dreams Come True


Perhaps dreams do come true, but if the dream is of a new apartment rising like a concrete phoenix from the ashes, this Spanish dream is certainly taking its time. Graffiti comes in two forms - the formulaic broadcasting of a meaningless tag, and graffiti that makes you stop in the street and think. This certainly falls into the second category.

Thursday, 20 April 2017

1575 : A Neat Place, Ripley

Hollybank Lane, Ripley, Yorkshire

Ripley is a neat little village; neat houses, neat roads, and no doubt below the streets the sewers are as neat as a matron's apron. Each evening, when dusk has descended, a group of cleaners take to the street, wash down all the stonework and polish the pavements. A neat place, Ripley.

Wednesday, 19 April 2017

1574 : Let's Not Forget The Cast Iron Bridge


It's all about the look. It's no good building an ancient castle complete with towers and turrets, you need a lake to set it off. And some finely manicured lawns, not to mention a cast iron bridge. Let's not forget the cast iron bridge

Monday, 17 April 2017

1572 : In Loving Memory Of Whats-his-name

Gravestone, St Andrew's Church, Aldborough  (March 2017)

You can just imagine it - the monumental mason's sales pitch. "It will be a memorial for posterity sir, a lasting reminder of John's life which will last until eternity". And outside, down the bleak Yorkshire Dales comes the whisper of the wind, "Not if I have anything to do with it"

Thursday, 13 April 2017

1571 : A Blast From The Grave

Gravestone : Aldborough Churchyard, Yorkshire (March 2017)

"So how can I guarantee that I will be remembered?". "Well, you could get a big gravestone". "But would people notice it, the churchyard is full of gravestones?" "We could always hire an angelic trumpeter to blow a blast loud enough to wake the dead every time someone walks by". "Now that sounds like a good idea"

Wednesday, 12 April 2017

1570 : A Reset Jewel In The Crown

The architectural jewel in the crown of Halifax is, of course, the eighteenth century Piece Hall which contains a fine open square surrounded by over 300 trading rooms which were originally used for trading in pieces of cloth. Over the years it has been used for a variety of purposes from orchestral performances to a wholesale fruit and vegetable market. It is currently undergoing a major upgrade and redevelopment and should open later in the year. For the moment, the imposing stone gates are as far as you can get.

Tuesday, 11 April 2017

1569 : A Collaborative Effort

Causey Hall, Halifax Minster - April 2017 (Alan Burnett and iPhone FCDQJ91YG5QW)

I took this photograph on my mobile phone the other day as I was walking passed Causey Hall which is next to Halifax Minster. The building dates back to the mid-nineteenth century - it was built originally as a Parish School - but it is distinctly modern compared to the old Parish Church which was built more than four hundred years earlier. For some reason my mobile phone didn't like the original photograph and decided to do some work on the image itself (a stylised edit, it calls it). Pleasant as it's edit was, it had left in a decidedly modern burglar alarm box on the wall, so I did a stylised edit on its stylised edit. I am waiting to hear back from my phone as to whether it is satisfied with the final product of our collaboration

Monday, 10 April 2017

1568 : Nigh To This Place

Gravestone : St Andrew's Church, Aldborough, Yorkshire (March 2017)

There is something gloriously imprecise about the wording of this gravestone. No "buried here below" or "beneath this stone"; but a poetic "nigh to this place". It could be in the shade of the tall grass, it might be amongst the springtime stems. We don't need to know - just remember.

Tuesday, 4 April 2017

1567 : History On A Brick Wall

The Old Court House, Aldborough, Yorkshire  (March 2017)

There are two quite fascinating elements to this photograph. First of all look at the memorial to the wartime Canadian aircrew, and, in particular, look at their ages. The eldest was the pilot, aged just 24,  and the rest of the crew were little more than teenagers. And then there is the second memorial - to the old courthouse where the members (note the plural) of Parliament for the village were elected until the parliamentary (rotten) borough was abolished in 1832. History on a brick wall.

Friday, 31 March 2017

1566 : Holding Up The Market

Market Trader, Otley (March 2017)

Sometimes it is unclear whether you are holding things up or desperately trying to prevent them from flying away. But sometimes, you are just stretching your limbs after a morning selling shirts on the market.

Thursday, 30 March 2017

1565 : Tinctures Unlimited

Brimelow's Herbalist, Dewsbury (2017)

Could there be any better description of a tin-roofed, vitamin-laden, herbalist shop than "Tinctures Unlimited"? I had a sudden desire to invite tinctures into my life.

Wednesday, 29 March 2017

1564 : Seeking Arcadian Aggrandisement

The Arcade, Dewsbury (2017)

There were a good few arcades in Dewsbury (the collective noun for arcades ought to be "a contentment of arcades", but it isn't). There was a King's Arcade and a Queen's Arcade; but there was one that needed no aggrandisement - it was "The Arcade". Now it needs all the aggrandisement it can get.

Tuesday, 28 March 2017

1563 : So Many Lines

Kings Arcade, Dewsbury (March 2017)

So many lines. Straight lines, curved lines, solid lines, false lines.

Monday, 27 March 2017

1562 : Brass And Stone

Four Stone Faces, Cloth Hall Mills, Dewsbury (2017)

Most nineteenth century Yorkshire mill owners had two over-riding ambitions. The first was to make money ("brass" as it is known in these parts). The second was to have their heads carved in rich local sandstone and appended to their mill. Brass and stone - it should be the county's motto.

Monday, 20 March 2017

1561 : Bird On A Roof, Dewsbury (2017)

Bird On A Roof, Dewsbury  (2017)

If I were a bird I would get annoyed by people sticking spikes on everything in order deter me from finding a place to rest my weary wings. The kind of society that does that is the kind of society which sets sharp stones in concrete outside the offices of financial institutions to deter homeless people from finding shelter. 

Saturday, 18 March 2017

1560 : The High Tides Of Dewsbury

The Good Samaritan, Dewsbury (2017)

A statue of the Good Samaritan, the work of local artist Ian Judd, stands outside Dewsbury Town Hall. It seems to have been carved from local sandstone and, strangely enough, there appears to be a tide mark half way up. They must have high tides in these parts.

Wednesday, 15 March 2017

1559 : Rainclouds Over Cleethorpes (1985)

Rainclouds Over Cleethorpes (1985)

Some will say that it is a poor excuse for a pier, more like a shed on stilts, but it is cold and wet out there so why bother going any further?

Tuesday, 14 March 2017

1558 : Refreshing Tenby (1991)

Tenby, Pembrokeshire (1991)

I have always thought that Tenby looks like a seaside resort should look like. Yellow sands pierced by jagged rocks, climbing cliffs, cottages painted in the colours of Barratt's Refreshers.

Friday, 10 March 2017

1557 : Garden Street, Sheffield (1983)

Garden Street, Sheffield (1983)

It takes a particularly strange sense of humour to name a street which is walled by stone and coated in tarmacadam, "Garden Street". The good folk of Sheffield have always prided themselves with a good sense of humour.

Thursday, 9 March 2017

1556 : Sheffield Skyline (1983)

Sheffield Skyline (1983)

Taken from one of the many hills of Sheffield looking down onto a skyline that is a mixture of sacred and profane.

Wednesday, 8 March 2017

1555 : A Shed Load Of Adverts (1972)

A Shed Load Of Adverts : Charles Street, Elland (1972)

Try doing this with a commercial break. Try building a shed from Twitter feeds. We may live in an age where advertising headers are personalised and sidebars are intuitive - but you can't use them to build a half-decent shed to keep your pigeons in. And they talk about progress!

Tuesday, 7 March 2017

1554 : Wainhouse Terrace, Halifax (1972)

Wainhouse Terrace, King Cross, Halifax  - 1972

I took this photograph in 1972 when sections of the old back-to-back houses had been demolished but other sections were still occupied. Part of the terrace - which was originally built by the dye works owner John Edward Wainhouse in 1876 - still exists today; empty, overgrown and cocooned in its Grade II listed status.

Monday, 6 March 2017

1553 : In Temporal Flight

At two, the clock chimes and the pigeons take to the air in temporal flight. At two minutes past two all is silent and the birds can resume their roost.

Wednesday, 1 March 2017

1552 : Follow The Contours

When you build on steep hills you have to follow the contours. This photograph was taken from the Huddersfield Canal which follows the contours. Lost behind a wall is Manchester Road which is busy following the contours. Behind that, the houses on Bankfield Road follow similar contours. Then you have the trees: and then the houses on the suitably named Prospect Street, which surf the winding contours like a Bondi youth.

Tuesday, 28 February 2017

1551 : Cold But Sunny Day

Colne Road, Huddersfield : February 2017

Can there ever be anything quite as beautiful as a mill in Huddersfield on a cold but sunny day?

Tuesday, 21 February 2017

1550 : Twixt Sheep And Suit

At one time this will have been a canal-side warehouse, strategically squeezed up adjacent to the Huddersfield Narrow Canal. Bales of Yorkshire wool will have swung from those loading bays in progress between sheep and suit. Now they are offices within which words are woven into voluminous reports.

Monday, 20 February 2017

1549 : Cruise Ship Runs Aground In Huddersfield

The new extension to Huddersfield University for all the world looks like the rear end of a mighty cruise ship: one of those maritime monsters with half a million passengers and countless crew. Somehow the ship found its way up the Huddersfield Broad Canal and then got stuck as it attempted the first set of locks on the Huddersfield Narrow Canal.

Friday, 17 February 2017

1548 : Up And Down In Rochdale

Church Steps in Rochdale date back to the seventeenth century (some would say to the 12th century). For hundreds of years people have been walking between the banks of the River Roch and the hill upon which the church is built. Walking up and down, jogging up and down.

Thursday, 16 February 2017

1547 : Two Posers In the Rochdale Sun

There are not many places in the north where you can look at two adjacent Grade 1 listed buildings, but you can in Rochdale. In the foreground of this photograph is the Cenotaph, built in 1922 to a design of Sir Edwin Lutyens. And posing next to it is the 1871 Town Hall designed by the architect Alfred Waterhouse. Two delightful buildings share the winter sun of Rochdale.

Tuesday, 14 February 2017

1546 : .... And Then The Other

(continued) ..... and then turn around and see the most delightful prospect imaginable - Rochdale Memorial Gardens leading up to one of the finest Victorian town halls in the land.

Monday, 13 February 2017

1545 : Looking One Way ....

There is a certain spot in Rochdale - somewhere around the point at which Newgate would cross St Mary's Gate (if it wasn't for the dual carriageway in between), that you can look one way and see concretopolis ...... (to be continued)

Saturday, 11 February 2017

1544 : A Balmy Church

St Mary In The Balm, Rochdale (January 2017)
This church is just over one hundred years old and was designed by the architect Sir Ninian Comper. The name comes from the fact that the previous chapel was built in a field where the wild herb, melissa officinalis (lemon balm), was growing. "Baum" is a local dialect form of the word "balm".

Thursday, 9 February 2017

Wednesday, 8 February 2017

1542 : Love And Loathing In Downtown Rochdale

Rochdale Council Offices, Smith Street (January 2017)
Rochdale's municipal buildings range from Victorian grandeur to modern angularity. One should really love the former and loath the latter - but I must confess I was attracted to both.