Saturday, 30 September 2017

1622 : Lost And Found - The Leaning Post


VICTORIAN LEANING MAN - A D Lewis, Newcastle
There must have been a name for those strange upholstered posts provided by Victorian photographic studios for their patrons to lean against during the lengthy periods of time it was necessary to maintain a pose. Perhaps they were called "leaning posts" - if not, they should have been.

1621 : Archives - Winding Down


Abandoned Mill - Halifax (1974)
The original of this photograph was so under-exposed that I don't think I ever bothered printing it. But modern scanning techniques and programmes like Photoshop allow you to rescue images that otherwise would have been binned. This was taken at a time when the industrial pulse of West Yorkshire was winding down - just like an old iron staircase.

Friday, 29 September 2017

1620 : Something New - Binless Climb


CYCLIST IN MINCHINHAMPTON (September 2017)
A lone cyclist climbs an otherwise deserted Tetbury Street in the village of Minchinhampton. I don't know which is more surprising - the fact that there are no cars, no people or no dreadful plastic rubbish bins.

1619 : Lost And Found - Mr Polyish


UNKNOWN STUDIO PORTRAIT (1900s)
In have no idea who this chap is - there was no studio information on the photograph and it was acquired at one of those jumble sales or antique centres that I frequent in my dotage. When I look at it, however, I am immediately put in mind of the books and characters of H G Wells. There is something rather Mr Polly-ish about him.

Thursday, 28 September 2017

1618 : Archives - Albert


ALBERT BURNETT (c. 1970)
There is something about black and white portraits - they clear away gaudy distractions like a dose of panchromatic DDT. This is my father, the very essence of him, the lines and blemishes of him.

Wednesday, 27 September 2017

1617 : Lost And Found - The Electrifying Woman


UNKNOWN WOMAN : J KERBY & SON, IPSWICH & HARWICH
This Victorian studio portrait comes from the Ipswich studios of J Kerby & Son. The firm was active in the Ipswich area in the 1880s and 1890s, and at one stage advertised that they were able to take portraits with the help of electric lights - albeit for a premium price above their normal rate. This could well be one of those premium photographs - the lady has an electrifying look about her.

1616 : Archives - Beware Of The Trains


BEWARE OF THE TRAINS
I have no idea where I took this photograph. When I came to scan the negative, it was an off-cut, a single frame from the end of a film. It was a black and white negative, but age - and a little help from a Photoshop filter - had given it a pleasing patina. There will be people out there who can tell us what the train is, where the crossing point is, and no doubt, the name of the driver. If so, feel free to write in.

1615 : Limited Exposure 10 : Sooty Monochrome Mill-Land


MAUD STREET, WEST VALE
The last frame of my virtual film provides us with the very solidity which is West Yorkshire mill-land. The squat chimney, the generous windows which provided lights for the weaving shed, the hoist and the loading bay that lifted the bales of wool from the wagons - all in a sooty monochrome. My land, my home.

Tuesday, 26 September 2017

1614 : Lost And Found - The Helyer Sisters


THE HELYER SISTERS
The only information on the reverse of this old photograph is the names Edith and Flo (Helyer) and the date Christmas 1923. They look quite prim and proper - I wonder what happened to them?

1613 : Archives - Home Collections


HOME COLLECTIONS
This is one of my earliest pictures, taken well over fifty years ago, and it features one of the wagons being used at the Halifax Charity Gala (in 1965, I suspect). They were collecting for the Halifax Children's Holiday Home which had been established in Norland (just outside Halifax) in 1937 in order to "provide holidays for needy local children". Those were the days, when an exciting holiday could be had two miles up the road in Norland.

1612 : Limited Exposure 9 - The Fag End Of A Mill


WEST VALE MILL 2
Moving along the viaduct a little gives rise to a second shot of the mill (it must have a name, all mills had names, it is just that I can't find it). This is the fag-end of the mill (that is a term I have just invented). Originally there was more, now there is less - soon there might be none.

Wednesday, 13 September 2017

1611 : Limited Exposure 8 - The Two Rules Of Photography


West Vale Mill
Another photograph from the top of the West Vale railway viaduct. When taking photographs, I have a couple of rules. Rule 1 is "If you pass a pub, take a photograph of it before it closes down". Rule 2 is "If you pass a mill, take a photograph of it before they pull it down".

Tuesday, 12 September 2017

1610 : Limited Exposure 7 - Completed By Pots


THE BEAUTY OF CHIMNEY POTS
A second photograph taken from the West Vale railway viaduct and this one concentrates on the Victorian chimney pots that still grace the rooftops of the terraced houses. Most are now redundant, but when they are removed - as is the case in a couple of them - the houses seem strangely incomplete.

Monday, 11 September 2017

1609 : Limited Exposure 6 - Climbing Terraces


TERRACED STREETS, WEST VALE
The sixth frame of my virtual film was taken from the railway viaduct and shows the little streets of terraced houses that climb up the hill from Stainland Road. The original shot was in colour, but somehow it looks better in monochrome.

Friday, 8 September 2017

1608 : Limited Exposure 5 - Flying Over West Vale


STAINLAND ROAD AND WEST VALE

The Stainland branch line - which ran from Greenland Junction, through West Vale and Holywell Green to Stainland - existed as a working railway line for just over fifty years. Even though it closed almost ninety years ago, some of the infrastructure still exists, in particular the magnificent viaduct that flies over West Vale. This photograph was taken from the top of it.

Thursday, 7 September 2017

1607 : Limited Exposure 4 - Semi-Detached


GLENHOLME, GREEN LANE, WEST VALE
Glenholme is a delightful early twentieth century house which was built as a home for the two Waller Brothers who owned a mill in West Vale. It provided accommodation for the two families and had two separate entrances. Above one door were carved the initials HHW for Henry Hirst Waller and above the other CHW for Charles Herbert Waller. These days the house is a respite care home.

Tuesday, 5 September 2017

1606 : Limited Exposure 3 - Mammoth



WEST VALE RAILWAY VIADUCT
Walking down Hullenedge Lane towards West Vale you suddenly catch sight of an old railway viaduct that seems to dominate the valley from this angle. When you are in West Vale itself you hardly notice it, but it is there, like the skeleton of a long dead transport mammoth.

Monday, 4 September 2017

1605 : Limited Exposure 2 - Score 19

Roadsign - Hammerstones Road, Elland
There was a time when roadsigns were made up of individual lettered tiles, like some hand from a Corporation Scrabble game. The second of my virtual film frames came back from the virtual film processor today and shows the hand played by one such player . Assuming no doubles or trebles and forgetting the road - score 19.

Sunday, 3 September 2017

1604 : Limited Exposure 1 : Bethesda Church


BETHESDA METHODIST CHURCH, ELLAND (2 September 2017)

Isobel and I were out walking in the sun yesterday, and I was about to use up a boxful of SD cards, clicking away at this, that and the other, when suddenly I remembered what it used to be like. You would set off out knowing that you had invested a sizeable sum in a 20 exposure film, and taking great care before you exposed each frame. Just for the hell of it, I decided to limit myself to an imaginary 20 exposure film during my walk and I came home with five exposures to spare. This was the first "frame". I will "print" the rest over the coming few days.