Friday, 15 June 2018

1735 : Sea, Sky And Seagulls

Southwold, Suffolk : May 2018

The British seaside: sea, sands, sky, fish and chips, ice cream, and seagulls.

Saturday, 2 June 2018

1734 : Archives - Orgreave Before The Battle

Orgreave Coking Plant, Sheffield 1982  (Alan Burnett)
Orgreave Coking Plant was like a working industrial sculpture that greeted visitors to the city as they drove along the Parkway from the M1. A couple of years after I took this photograph it became famous as the site of the famous Battle of Orgreave during the Miner’s strike. Within ten years it had been demolished and the site cleared and redeveloped.

Wednesday, 16 May 2018

1733 : Ten From Spain 5 : A Lingering Smile

Years and years of sun, gusts and gusts of wind, and the occasional rain that has strayed down off the plain have had their effects on this church carving - but that glimmer of a smile still lingers on.

Monday, 14 May 2018

1732 : Ten From Spain 4 : The Spanish Flag

If ever Spain decides it needs a new flag, they could do worse than an angled white building set against a stunning blue sky.

Friday, 11 May 2018

1731 Ten From Spain 3: Transparent Signs

Whilst the rain in Spain might stay mainly on the plain, the sun gets all over the place. Through the orange trees, through the terracotta urbanisations, even through the roadside signs themselves.

Wednesday, 9 May 2018

1730 Ten From Spain 2 : Crystallised Yachts

Turn your back on the concrete blockhouses and you see something very different. The blue sea merges into the blue sky and black-masted boats crystallise where they meet.

Tuesday, 8 May 2018

1729 : Ten From Spain 1. Sunny Geometry

There is something about the new bits of Spain: it's all surfaces and straight lines. It is like they have been designed using just a handful of instruments from a child's geometry set - on the day the pair of compasses went missing.

Friday, 27 April 2018

1728 : Ten From The Seaside 10 - To The Next Wave

Like the sea itself,  closeness to the seaside comes in waves: childhood, parenthood and so on. That intimate knowledge of sand, plastic buckets and salty sea-spray can only be experienced through the eyes of the young. Here's to the next wave.

Thursday, 26 April 2018

1727 : Ten From The Seaside 9 : As Constant As Sea And Sand

Donkey On The Sand At St Annes (Photo By Frank Fieldhouse, 1941)
The seaside has been a constant since the first day excursion train set out from the first industrial town on a bank holiday Monday. As constant as work and play, sea and sand. This photo features my auntie, Miriam Fieldhouse, during a wartime holiday in St. Annes-on-Sea.

Wednesday, 25 April 2018

1726 Ten From The Seaside 8 : Cleethorpes Palette

I didn't take all that many colour photographs back in the pre-digital days, but this is a rare one taken at Cleethorpes in the mid 1980s. Even with a colour film loaded, you didn't need an extensive palette in Cleethorpes.

Monday, 23 April 2018

1725 : Ten From The Seaside 7 : Donkeys On The Sands

Donkeys On The Sands, Skegness, c.1982 : It's as British as marmalade on toast and malt vinegar on chips: donkeys on the sands. How many times have foreign invaders been driven back from  the coast by a cornet-carrying child mounted on a dapple donkey?

Friday, 20 April 2018

1724 Ten From The Seaside 6 : Paint Cleethorpes

Cleethorpes Pier : c.1982
Basic ingredients for a British seaside holiday : a pier, some sand, a bucket, and a palette full of grey paint. Any resort: paint the Humber estuary, paint Cleethorpes.

Tuesday, 17 April 2018

1723 Ten From The Seaside 5 : Bingo, Fruit And Ice Cream

The seaside is more than sea and sand and lobster pots. The seaside is rock and ice cream and games of bingo in neon-lit halls - all to the accompaniment of coin-dropping fruit machines. This was Bridlington back in the 1970s. It still is, fifty years later.

Sunday, 15 April 2018

1722 Ten From The Seaside 4 : Bridlington Breakwater

The sands of the Yorkshire beaches are punctuated with stout wooden breakwaters. Designed to break the backs of the raw North Sea waves, they also provide somewhere to sit down, and - occasionally - provide shade from the sun.

Thursday, 12 April 2018

1721 Ten From The Seaside 3 : Watching The Tide Go Out

A typical British seaside view - sun, sea and overcoats. We are still in Bridlington, still in the 1970s and this particular group have managed to get a Royal Box to watch the tide go out.

Wednesday, 11 April 2018

1720 : 10 From The Seaside 2 - Somewhere Under The Rainbow

This is one of my pictures from the 1960s of the old fishing harbour at Bridlington. The Sailor's Bethel was a non-conformist church catering for the welfare and spiritual needs of fishermen and sailors. The building is still there but is now known by the less picturesque name of The Harbourside Evangelical Church.

Tuesday, 10 April 2018

1719 Ten From The Seaside 1 : Bracing Bits

Spring came yesterday. It has gone away again today, but that one oblique glance at the sun was enough to make me want to go to the seaside. So a new mini-series of scans from my old negatives starts with the seaside at its bracing best - Skegness. This photograph was taken a couple of years after the great storm of January 1978 cut the pier into three bits.

Saturday, 7 April 2018

1718 : Ten From The Pub 10 - A Pint Of My Mam

Beer Pump Display - Bobbin Ligger, Milltown Brewing Co.

A few years ago I suggested a name for a new beer which was being brewed by Huddersfield's Milltown Brewing Company. The theme for their beers was the old Yorkshire textile industry and the name was based on my father's first job in the mill - a bobbin ligger (someone who would fetch and carry empty yarn bobbins). I designed the beer pump display and incorporated a picture of my mother when she worked in the mill. This provided the unmissable experience of being able to walk into my local pub and ask for "a pint of my mam, please".

Wednesday, 4 April 2018

1717 : Ten From The Pub 9 - Saloon Bar Friars

Saloon Bar Sign, Black Friar, London

The Black Friar in Queen Victoria Street, London is one of my favourite pubs. Back in days long gone by, I used to take groups of overseas visitors there as part of a tour of old London pubs. It is not only a fine pub, it is a work of art - tiled throughout in the style of the arts and crafts movement. Outside, there are delightful signs pointing you to the various bars. If you ever find yourself in London, visit it - you will not be disappointed.

Tuesday, 3 April 2018

1716 : Ten From The Pub 8 : Say Cheese

The Cheshire Cheese, Fleet Street, London (1987)

I have just realised that I have got to number eight in this ten part series on pubs and all I have shown is buildings. Buildings in themselves - whatever their architectural merit, however much their timbers have absorbed centuries of malt and hops - are not pubs. Pubs need people - drinking, talking, laughing, enjoying life. I took this photograph in the 1980s whilst on a trip to London with a group of trade union students from Doncaster. I can still feel the glow of their friendship thirty years later.

Friday, 30 March 2018

1715 : Ten From The Pub 7 - Anchors Away

Anchor Inn, Brighouse (c1970)

There has been a pub next to the Anchor Bridge over the Calder and Hebble Navigation in Brighouse ever since the canal was constructed in the 1750s. For most of that time, the pub was quite reasonably called the Anchor Inn, but for some reason it was decided that it needed a new name for the twenty-first century and it was rechristened The Bridge. The current building dates back just over one hundred years and is the third on the site : the original 1750s pub was rebuilt first of all in 1859. The Anchor has a long association with music : in the early years of the twentieth century the police tried to close it down because it was guilty of "habitually employing professional female musicians". I remember the pub best in the 1970s when Rod Marshall was the Landlord. He was a gifted jazz musician himself and succeeded in attracting a host of local - and in some cases - international jazz musicians to play at the pub. And, if the police would care to take note, I recall that a number of them were women!

Tuesday, 27 March 2018

1714 : Ten From The Pub 6 : Warts From A Saddle

Saddle Hotel, Market Street / Russel Street, Halifax (1965)

Hidden behind the undoubted delights of the Mixenden Gala Queen on the back of a lorry, is the undoubted splendour of the Saddle Hotel. When I took this photo in 1965 it was an integral part of Halifax Borough Market, but a year later it closed down, and shortly after that it was pulled down. It was replaced by the concrete monstrosity that still sits there, like a wart on the fair face of the Borough Market.

Monday, 26 March 2018

1713 : Ten From The Pub 5 : Fallen Apples

North Bridge, Halifax (1966)

You might need to search a little to find the pub in my photo of North Bridge in the mid 1960s, but there, at the end of the bridge on the left of the picture, is the eighteenth century Pine Apple Hotel. When Burdock Way ploughed its way down the hill and over the valley a couple of years later, the Pine Apple was sadly demolished.

Saturday, 24 March 2018

1712 : Ten From The Pub 4 : Wither The Withens


It is not the best of photographs, but it has a certain historical interest as this old inn was gutted by fire in 2001 and converted into a private residence soon after. That, I think, was my late sister-in-law consulting the map, and that might even be me next to her. Which means that this photograph might well have been taken by my brother and not me. All that can be said is that he is a far better sculptor than he was a photographer!

Friday, 23 March 2018

1711 : Ten From The Pub 3 : Old


An old advert for bottled beer painted on the side of an old pub in Old Lane in old Halifax. The pub had already closed when I took this photograph but rose again briefly in the 1980s, only to close again and eventually be demolished. It's an old, sad story.

Thursday, 22 March 2018

1710 : Ten From The Pub 2 : Ring Them Bells


Other than a coat or two of whitewash and the addition of some in-your-face signage, little seems to have changed as far as the external appearance of the Ring O'Bells between when I took this photograph forty or fifty years ago and today. Dating back to God-knows-when (an appropriate expression as the pub used to be called "The Sign Of The Church"), the pub still nestles in the shadow of the Parish Church (Minster) for protection or for custom - or more likely for both.

Wednesday, 21 March 2018

1709 : Ten From The Pub 1 : A Beer-Stained Citadel

A new mini-series of photographs old and new with that most glorious institution, the public house, as its theme.


What better way to start this visual pub crawl than with the first pub I ever bought a pint of beer in. I was moderately under-age and immoderately nervous. I put on my most adult voice and asked for a pint of beer and gave the barman one shilling and sixpence. "When did th' last buy a pint, lad?", he asked. "It's one and seven now"

The current building dates from 1933 and took the place of two pubs - the Beehive and the Cross Keys - that were demolished in order to widen the road. It's a building of style and solidity - a beer-stained citadel of good cheer.

Monday, 19 March 2018

1708 : Ten From Halifax 10 : Counting Chimneys


Old geography school textbooks would often feature a picture of Halifax from the early twentieth century and the challenge was to count the mill chimneys. By the middle of the century - I took this photograph in 1966 - there were less chimneys to count but you had a better chance of seeing them. Now the challenge would be to find a mill chimney.

Saturday, 17 March 2018

1707 : Ten From Halifax 9 : Fire In Halifax


I am not entirely sure where I took this photograph, but it must have been in the Lister Lane area as the other frames on the negative strip were taken in People's Park. There was a mill fire which seemed to attract a larger audience than the brass band in the park.

Friday, 16 March 2018

1706 : Ten From Halifax 8 : Before Eureka


At one stage it was a busy goods yard and railway sidings, and then it became a cold, quiet, empty space. Then, Eureka, it became the National Children's Museum, full of colour, light and noise.

Thursday, 15 March 2018

1705 : Ten From Halifax 7 : A Halifax Recipe


Cast iron, reinforced concrete and warm sandstone - the three ingredients that go to make up Halifax. Slow cook in a drizzle-driven oven for two and a half centuries and serve with chips.

Wednesday, 14 March 2018

1704 : Ten From Halifax 6 : Woolshops, New Shops


This photograph dates from the late 1960s, before the Woolshops area was redeveloped. That's the New Talbot Inn behind the cart and the abattoir on the left. Now it's all M&S and TopShop.

Tuesday, 13 March 2018

1703 : Ten From Halifax 5 : The North Bridge Patina


The colours in old slides and photographs fade over the years, like the memories they contain. The process is - like the patina on a bronze sculpture - unpredictable. In this case it appears to have enhanced the beauty of this scene from North Bridge.

Monday, 12 March 2018

1702 : Ten From Halifax 4 : Transition


I must have taken this photograph thirty or more years ago. It shows Dean Clough and All Souls' Church. It was a time of transition, a time when mill buildings were changing from carpets to car insurance, from weaver to web.

Sunday, 11 March 2018

1701 : Ten From Halifax 3 : Piece Hall Now


Luckily the 1970s plan to demolish the Piece Hall and build a new shopping centre was abandoned. After a recent refurbishment the Piece Hall is now one of the undoubted jewels in the architectural crown that is Halifax.

Saturday, 10 March 2018

1700 : Ten From Halifax 2 : Piece Hall Then


I must have taken this photograph in the mid sixties when Halifax Piece Hall was still a thriving wholesale fruit and vegetable market. Within a few years, the greengrocers had moved out and the derelict building was facing demolition.

Friday, 9 March 2018

1699 : Ten From Halifax 1 : Wainhouse's Iconic Tower


What better way to get this mini-series of images from Halifax, than one which incorporates one of the most iconic shapes of Halifax. Dyeworks chimney, spy-platform, radio transmitter, architectural folly: Wainhouse Tower has been all of these at one time or another.

Thursday, 8 March 2018

1698 : Ten From The Archives 10 : Headscarves And Boiled Sweets


One of my early photographs - this one was taken in Halifax Market more than fifty years ago. It was an age of headscarves and handbags, biscuit boxes and boiled sweets.

Wednesday, 7 March 2018

1697 : Ten From The Archives 9 : The Stone Gods Of Southowram


Like monoliths placed in tribute to the stone gods that gave these parts their economic meaning for centuries, these fine flagstones have paved the finest cities in the world.  On the bleak hills of Southowram they are little more than cow-stoppers.

Tuesday, 6 March 2018

1696 : Ten From The Archives 8 : Up On The Roof


I can't quite remember how I achieved this elevated viewpoint, but I seem to think this is from a series of pictures I took close to Sheffield city centre in the early 1980s. At a guess I would say it was in the Campo Lane and Hawley Street area.

Monday, 5 March 2018

1695 : Ten From The Archives 7 : Britannia And The Wellness Centre


Forty years on, Britannia still looks down on the Malt Shovel. The mill chimney, however, has been capped, and the Royal Hotel has been replaced by a "wellness centre". What on earth was a good, old-fashioned Yorkshire pub if it wasn't a wellness centre?

Sunday, 4 March 2018

1694 : Ten From The Archives 6 : The Permanency Of West Yorkshire


No doubt you could take the same shot today and little will have changed. Dry stone and grainy grey skies - the permanency of West Yorkshire.

Friday, 2 March 2018

1693 : Ten From The Archives 5 : Further Up The Holloway Road


You could keep a group of students quiet for an entire day by getting them to list the things you can see on this negative of mine from almost fifty years ago which you wouldn't see now.

Thursday, 1 March 2018

1692 : Ten From The Archives 4 : Up The Holloway Road


It was 1970 - I was at university in the north, Isobel was at university in the south. I would get the early train down on Saturday morning and walk up the Holloway Road to where she was living in Tufnell Park

Tuesday, 27 February 2018

1691 : Ten From The Archives 3 : Dropping Inn

Scanned 35mm Black & White Negative (c1984)

In the distance, adjacent to the parked car, you can just make out a the hanging pub sign of what is now "The Drop Inn", but, when I took this photo, would have still officially have been "The Oddfellows", although, even then, it was known to most folks as "The Drop"

Monday, 26 February 2018

1690 : Ten From The Archives 2 : Walking To Work

Scanned 35mm Black and White Negative (c.1983)

Walking down the embankment that is Crookes Valley Road, a walk I did so many times - in sun and snow and eternal drizzle.

Friday, 23 February 2018

1689 : Ten From The Archives 1 : Gladys

Scanned 35mm Black and White Negative (c.1982)

A picture of my mothers' smile - a smile that, when it appeared, was worth a thousand words.

Wednesday, 21 February 2018