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

Friday, 2 February 2018

1678 : Climbing Terraces

A photograph taken in the mid 1980s, a time when the Walkley district of Sheffield was undergoing change. The terraces still climb the hills, but there is a vibrancy about the area these days that was not obvious thirty years ago.

Thursday, 1 February 2018

1677 : I Like Cleethorpes

UNDER THE PIER, CLEETHORPES (c.1984) : I like the contrast between the dark and the light, the straight and the wavy, the nearly new and the almost old. I like Cleethorpes.

Monday, 29 January 2018

1676 : Whitewash Doggerel

INCH BEACH, KERRY, IRELAND (1967) : I must have taken this photograph 50 years ago when we were holidaying in Ireland. The author of this whitewash doggerel is unknown, and it is probably best that it remains so. Some of the words are stolen from Robert Frost, but whoever stole them left all the style behind.

Thursday, 25 January 2018

1675 : Cleaned, Washed And Bleached

PRINCESS STREET & HALIFAX TOWN HALL (c1966) : I must have taken this photograph 50 years ago and looking back on it now, the thing that immediately stands out is the blackness of the stone. Now it has been cleaned and washed and the industrial history of the town has been bleached out.

Tuesday, 23 January 2018

1674 : Freda, Daughter Of Emily

POSSIBLE FAMILY PHOTOGRAPH (1930s) : Someone has written on the back of this studio photograph from the 1930s : "Freda, daughter of Emily". I have no idea who Freda or Emily are, and I don't recognise the face. What is a slight cause for concern is that the handwriting is mine!

1673 : Cut And Pasted, Grand And Gruesome

BROAD STREET, HALIFAX (2018) : I am not entirely sure how this happened but, as a general rule of thumb, I find that if you continue to press buttons long enough on programmes like Photoshop, you end up with an image that is interesting. This collection of buildings - old and new, grand and gruesome - seem almost as though the have been cut and pasted onto a night view of Halifax.

Monday, 22 January 2018

1672 : When Cogs Ruled The World

BESSEMER CONVERTER, KELHAM ISLAND INDUSTRIAL MUSEUM, SHEFFIELD (1984) : There is something satisfying about cogs, something dependable; you know what fits where and what drives what. Cogs never cause trouble, rarely do they try to rule the world.

1671 : The Only Decent Place in Fixby

1912 POSTCARD, GOLF CLUB, FIXBY, HUDDERSFIELD : On the reverse of this card "G" writing to her friend Dora says, "I have had tea twice at the Hall on this Card as Miss W is a member, it used to be a private mansion. It is the only decent place in the district, I think."

Wednesday, 17 January 2018

1670 : Post-Industrial Tsunami

When you walked around Sheffield with a camera in the early 1980s, you couldn't help but capture a story of industrial decline. The factories and workshops looked as though they had been suddenly abandoned as a wave of post-industrial change swept everything before it.

Tuesday, 16 January 2018

1669 : 'Twixt Demolition And Decoration

Bradford Road, Brighouse (c.1994)
I studied this scan of one of my old negatives for a long time before I finally recognised it. It is the site of what was to become the new Sainsbury's Supermarket in Brighouse. The state of the building plot - 'twixt demolition and decoration - dates the original photograph to the early to mid 1990s.

Monday, 15 January 2018

1668 : Flats And Slopes In Sheffield

Where else but Sheffield would you have found a ski slope bumping down the hillside into the midst of a high-rise Council estate? In the years since this photograph was taken, the ski village burnt down and most of the flats were demolished. There are now plans to rebuild the ski village - not the flats.

Sunday, 14 January 2018

1667 : The Case Of The Concrete Picture Frame

We've got this lovely old Victorian town hall in Halifax, designed by Charles Barry and his son Edward. So what's the best way to show it off? I know, let's construct a concrete picture frame to view it through!

Friday, 12 January 2018

1666 : Bathless In Halifax

As children, we would be bussed from our village school to Akroyd Place Swimming Baths in Halifax each week. It was a bleak place, flanked by mills and terraced houses, reeking of soot and chlorine. The mill remains, but the baths are gone.

Thursday, 11 January 2018

1665 : Statutory Trippers

These days, there is a trend amongst seaside resorts to place sculptures on the seafront to mimic day-trip times gone by. Thirty years ago, in Bridlington, such municipal memorials were unnecessary: volunteers from countless northern towns would fulfil the role.

Tuesday, 9 January 2018

1664 : Hands Across The Ages

I look back at this image from the perspective of 55 years - most of a lifetime - and what I notice in particular is my hands. My stomach may have expanded and my hairline declined, but those hands have aged most of all.