Tuesday, 28 May 2019

1789 : Beauty And A Pint

Sunset Over The Calder Valley. Looking West From Upper Edge, Elland
The perfect combination: my senses drink in the beauty of the Calder Valley at sunset as I enter the majestic Rock Tavern, Elland, to drink in a fine pint of Weaver's Bitter.

Monday, 27 May 2019

1788 : Waiting Its Turn

This old paddle mechanism is on the route of the Halifax Arm of the Calder and Hebble Canal. The canal arm has been closed for over eighty years, but the paddle mechanism still rusts in the Yorkshire sun, waiting its turn.

Sunday, 19 May 2019

1786 : How Green Is My Valley

The Hebble Brook trickles through Halifax like a shy schoolboy. 100 years ago it would have been edged with soot and grime, these days it's all green.

1787 : Fly On The Wall

A fly on the window and not on the wall. A tiny, moth-like fly, which turns out to be a miniature work of art: picked out against a Yorkshire sky.

Friday, 26 April 2019

1781 : Monkey Puzzle

The puzzling thing about the Monkey Puzzle Tree (Araucaria araucana) is that it is native of Chile where there are no native monkeys at all.

Sunday, 31 March 2019

1779 : Losing The Thread

Machine, Salt's Mill, Saltaire : March 2019

I'm not sure of the name of this machine, but generations of mill workers in my family will have known it well. To them it signified toil inside a dark mill; to me it is a shape against the light.  I have lost the thread.

Saturday, 30 March 2019

1778 : Stained Glass Window

Bottles, jars and jugs piled high against a window in Salt's Mill, Saltaire. A stained glass window of infinite variability.

Sunday, 24 March 2019

1777 : Empty Pews And Shopping Trolleys

The back of the old Wesleyan Methodist Chapel in Elland, taken from Morrison's car park: all empty pews and shopping trolleys. The chapel is a wonderful building, with bits grafted onto the main building like afterthoughts.

Tuesday, 5 March 2019

1776 : Pavement Puddle

Pavement Puddle, Huddersfield 5th March 2019
The weather forecast for today is sunny intervals, with heavy rain showers and great thick Yorkshire stone kerbs

Wednesday, 27 February 2019

1775 : History Sticks To The Inconsequential

Whenever I get a new camera - in this case a new Smartphone - I can't resist taking a few photographs just to see what it is like in various circumstances. The subject matter of such shots is entirely inconsequential - it is whatever happens to be there in front of me at the time. Last night, Bradford Road in Fixby just happened to be there at the time. When I look back at such "test photographs", they are always some of the most interesting from a historical perspective because of the randomness of the subject. History sticks to the inconsequential like iron filings on a magnet.

Tuesday, 26 February 2019

1774 : A Prospect Of Halifax

Halifax From Prospect Street (c.1970) Alan Burnett

You could base a whole town planning conference around this photograph, or keep a classroom of kids occupied for a month. What colour is the Town Hall? How many mill chimneys are there? Why the large-scale demolitions? I must have taken the photograph in about 1970, just as work on Burdock Way was being started. When I enlarge the photograph and look at the individual streets - many of which are now long gone - it is like a trip down some winding memory lane. We used to queue up to get our Co-op Divvy up that street, and I used to walk down that street to meet my father at the factory gate. There is the story of the first part of my life in this photograph.

Monday, 25 February 2019

1773 : Unnatural Events In Downtown Huddersfield

I am no animal expert, but that doesn't look like a deer to me. If it is, it is the most unnatural deer to trot around the deer parks of Huddersfield. And whilst we are talking about unnatural, this photograph was taken in February when the weather is supposed to be cold, dark and dismal. Something is very wrong with the world.

Sunday, 24 February 2019

1772 : Some Final Thoughts On Cruise Ships

10 From The Caribbean : 10. Some Final Thought On Cruise Ships

They are big, they are not particularly beautiful, and they dominate the landscape. They deliver hoards of tourists, who flock up and down the main streets like mill-mucky pigeons on an outing to Harrogate. They turn travellers into tourists and then tourists into trippers. 

All this may be true, but so what? At least they sail away rather than leaving a permanent blot on the landscape like some concrete-posh boutique hotel. At least they allow people, who in the past had to be satisfied with a week in Skegness, a chance to see some of the wonders of the world. They may be phoney structures, but they are full of real people who are just as entitled to a couple of weeks in the sun as any landed lord. And this particular cruise ship - the MV Britannia seen here at St Vincents - facilitated a lovely holiday in the Caribbean, so my last photograph is dedicated to her.

Friday, 22 February 2019

1771 : Looking Good In Barbados

10 From The Caribbean : 9. Sunbury House, Barbados

Sunbury House is an old plantation house on the island of Barbados. The grounds are tropical, the interior is full of period furniture, the story of the house, its owners and its workers is fascinating ... but it was the curious collection of old spectacles, optical equipment and cameras that attracted me most of all. Anyone can collect postage stamps or china pots, but it takes a certain type of character to collect such things as spectacles.

Wednesday, 20 February 2019

1770 : The Pitons, St Lucia

10 From The Caribbean  8. The Pitons, St Lucia

I have visited St Lucia on a number of occasions, but last month I went to the south-west of the island for the first time and saw the magnificent Pitons. My photograph shows the peaks of the two volcanic plugs - Gros Piton and Petit Piton - and the town of Soufriere. Soufriere used to be the capital of the island, and the Empress Josephine of France was once a resident.

Tuesday, 19 February 2019

1769 : Around The Nets

10 from The Caribbean : 7. Around The Nets

This photograph was taken on the island of St Lucia, at a little fishing village called Anse La Raye. Like one of the earlier photographs in this sequence, I was drawn to the sculpturesque feel about the scene. It was a few days before I met up with my brother - who is an artist and sculptor - so it was probably his influence. Shapes, angles, movement - all the things I like best in an image.

Monday, 18 February 2019

1768 : Reflections On Martinique

10 From The Caribbean :  6. Reflections On Martinique

A reflection of the Cathedral of Saint Louis in Fort-de-France, Martinique. The cathedral is the seventh church on the site - the previous six were victims of natural disasters, including fire, earthquakes and hurricanes. The current church was designed by the great French engineer, Gustave Eiffel, and has so far survived over 120 years. It is unlikely that the glass fronted building at the other side of the town square will last that well.

Monday, 11 February 2019

1765 : Picture Posts

10 From The Caribbean  3. Picture Posts

A series of posts off the Caribbean island of Bonaire mimic an art installation. Impressive as they are, they cannot compete with the way the coral reef photoshops the tropical blue of the sea.

Wednesday, 6 February 2019

1764 : Bonaire Colours

10 From The Caribbean  2. Bonaire Colours

We moved from Curacao to the neighbouring island of Bonaire and there we found houses painted with the kind of palette used by tropical fish, and tropical fish relaxing in the shadows of seaside houses.

Tuesday, 5 February 2019

1763 : Shopping In Curacao

10 From The Caribbean : 1. Shopping In Curacao

The first of a short series of photographs from my recent trip around the Caribbean. This first one was jumble of straight lines and natural curves in a shopping centre in Willemstad on the island of Curacao. Somewhere amongst all those lines and curves are a couple of relaxed shopkeepers.

Tuesday, 1 January 2019

1762 : A Chance At Wentworth

This is one of those chance photographs which had all the ingredients of a photographic disaster which somehow came good. It was out of focus, the colours were all wrong and it resulted from an accidental shutter-press whilst using the camera as a crude telescope. I still think it could hold its own with some of the shots I have laboured over for hours. It was taken from the grounds of Wentworth Castle near Barnsley looking towards Wortley.