Monday, 21 December 2009

091221 Blue, Green, Brown and White

A carnival of colour this morning. The clouds parted to expose a wonderful azure blue. The green of the evergreens shone out against the brown of their deciduous cousins. And everything was coated with layer after layer of white snow.

Friday, 18 December 2009

091218 Snow

The long-threatened snow came at last. So far it is just a dusting of icing on the plastic flowers, but more is to come.

Thursday, 17 December 2009

091217 Halifax From Claremont

It was bitterly cold this morning as Amy and I walked along the hilltop overlooking Halifax. Amy gave in first, turning tail and dragging me back to the warmth of the car.

Wednesday, 16 December 2009

091216Haworth Church Graveyard

On days like today the best thing to do is stay inside where it is warm and dry and scan old negatives. This dates back to the early eighties and shows part of the graveyard at Haworth. I seem to recall that there is a photograph of Charlotte Bronte taken in the same graveyard.

Tuesday, 15 December 2009

091215 Wire And Rain ... And Fog

I took this photograph this morning. It seems to sum up the mood at the moment. It is cold, it is wet and it is foggy. If you click to enlarge the photo you can see the raindrops dripping from the branches.

Monday, 14 December 2009

091214 Shibden Valley

It is still raining today and I am therefore taking refuge of a photograph I took last week in Shibden Valley. To those who know the parts, the magnificent Shibden Mill Inn is just to the left of the area covered by the photograph.

Thursday, 10 December 2009

091210 Marsh Hall

I took this photo of Marsh Hall in Northowram last week during a break from all the rain. When I was young, Marsh Hall was a farmhouse and I was at school with one of the children of the family. I remember going to visit and looking out through those mullioned windows. Now it is smart, up-marked and encased in a strong wrought-iron fence. Times change.

Tuesday, 8 December 2009

091208 If I Had A Golden Umbrella

As Amy and I walk around the streets we see several signs of what has been the wettest November on record. Amy navigated her way around this collapsed umbrella this morning. I started singing a song from my youth : "If I had a golden umbrella" which was recorded by Diana Decker over 50 years ago. Amy looked at me as though I was daft.

Saturday, 5 December 2009

091205 : The Great Wall Of Northowram

China makes a big thing about its Great Wall and it has become a magnet for millions of tourists from around the world. We who come from the small Yorkshire village of Northowram have learnt to be a little more self-effacing about our own Great Wall which is to be found at the top end of the village. Its purpose is not to keep marauding Mongol armies at bay, but to stop a farmers' field slipping down into Shibden Valley. If you click and enlarge the photo you can get a sense of scale from the normal size wall that runs alongside the Great Wall.

Friday, 4 December 2009

091204 Shibden Valley

Today Amy and I walked along the hilltop overlooking Shibden Valley. This is only about a mile away from Shibden Park which featured in some of my photographs earlier this week. About 50 years ago, my brother and I decided to put together a slideshow presentation about Halifax. I remember that a photograph taken from this point was the opening shot and it carried the title of the presentation : "Halifax : Devils Cauldron Or Cradle Of The Arts"

091203 The Train And The River

During my visit to Shibden Park earlier this week I went to see the miniature railway which has been there since I was a young man. The line still crosses over the little river which later feeds the boating lake. It is out of season and therefore there was no trains to see. I must return in the Spring.

Wednesday, 2 December 2009

091202 Union Cross Hotel

The Union Cross Hotel is the oldest pub in Halifax. Dating back to the sixteenth century, it was originally known as "The Cross" and it was named after the market cross which was to be found on the other side of the road. The "Union" label was added in the 18th century, at a time when the union between England and Scotland was under pressure from the Jacobite Rebellion.

Tuesday, 1 December 2009

091201 Shibden Hall

The rain stopped today, although if the weather forecast is to be believed, in is a brief interlude rather than a cessation. Amy and I took the opportunity of visiting Shibden Park which is a few miles from where we live. Today's picture shows Shibden Hall, the Tudar house which in the nineteenth century was famously the home of Ann Lister. No doubt the rain will keep us near to home for the next few days, so you can expect more pictures of our outing to Shibden.

Monday, 30 November 2009

091129 Sodden Soup

Everything around here is soaking wet. Rather than being crisp and faded, the fallen leaves form a kind of sodden soup. This tree was felled by the local Council a couple of weeks ago having been damaged in the strong winds we had earlier in the month.

Friday, 27 November 2009

091127 The Riverhead

I took this picture yesterday out of the upstairs window of the Riverhead Brewery Tap in Marsden. At the time I was enjoying an excellent rib-eye steak and a pint of real ale which was brewed downstairs in the micro-brewery. The picture was taken to record the high water levels where the two rivers meet just outside the pub. But in reality it records a very pleasant lunch with my mate Albert.

Wednesday, 25 November 2009

091125 Hotel Oriente and the Image Diary

Looking out of the window to see yet another morning of grey skies and dripping rain I decided to step back a few years and see what I was doing then. One of the most useful features of a digital photo collection is that it acts as a kind of visual diary. If you file your photographs by date taken, which I do, you can turn back to any particular day and instantly see where you were, and this often reminds you of what you were doing. So, five years ago this month I was - according to the image diary - staying in the Hotel Oriente in Barcelona. And the sun was shining. And it was warm. If I look back five years from now what will I see? Nothing, unless I venture out quickly and take my camera with me.

Monday, 23 November 2009

091123 Poole Harbour

Isn't it strange how some photographs stay in your mind, even if they are neither artistically good nor historically significant. I took the above photograph almost fifty years ago. It shows my mother and father and the location - according to the penciled information on the back - is Poole Harbour in Dorset. But there is something about the image that has stayed in my mind over all the decades. Something about the poses, the shapes, the haphazard rowing boat. The photograph is old and faded - but it remains one of my favourites.

Sunday, 22 November 2009

091122 Bangor University

Another of the photographs I took in North Wales last week. This is the main building of what is now called Bangor University. You may be interested to know that it was originally called the "University College of North Wales" (Coleg Prifysgol Gogledd Cymru in Welsh). It later became "University College, Bangor" (Coleg y Brifysgol, Bangor) and then "University of Wales, Bangor" (Prifysgol Cymru, Bangor) before settling on "Bangor University" (Prifysgol Bangor). But there again you might not be interested in knowing this and simply want to look at the photograph.

Friday, 20 November 2009

091120 Garth Pier Bangor

Another of the photographs from North Wales. The pier at Bangor - known as Garth Pier - was built in the 1890s and finally closed to the public in 1971. In 1974 the Borough Council took the decision to demolish it, but a campaign led by the City Council opposed the plans and, over the next twenty years, managed to raise enough money to fully restore it. At 1,500 feet long it is the second longest pier in Wales and a lasting monument to Victorian engineering.

Thursday, 19 November 2009

091119 Colwyn Bay

A few miles on the coast from Bangor is Colwyn Bay. I took this picture as we headed west on Monday afternoon. On the horizon you can make out the new wind farm and in the foreground you can make out the old breakwater.

Wednesday, 18 November 2009

091118 Bangor Harbour

The first of what will be a short series of photos I took earlier this week in Bangor, North Wales. It shows the sunlit hills of Anglesey set against the boats in Bangor harbour.

Sunday, 15 November 2009

091115 Sheffield Tenements

The cameras are packed for a short trip to Wales. So tonight I have dredged up an image from out of the archives. I took this picture in Sheffield in the late 1970s. At the time the building was tenements. Later, no doubt, it would be called flats and now it will contain apartments. Plus ca change ....

Saturday, 14 November 2009

091114 Lamp Cleaning

Some years ago I became rather obsessed with the subject of lamp posts (I was somewhat eccentric back in those days). People still send me the occasional e-mail about the latest developments in lamp-post technology and I still take a proprietorial interest in the local lamp posts. Thus I was pleased yesterday to see one of my good friends getting a much-needed wash and brush up.

Thursday, 12 November 2009

091112 Shepherds Thorn Lane

For a brief time this morning the weather was fair. Amy and I went walking down Shepherds Thorn Lane. But by the time we got home the clouds were closing in and the rain has come down ever since.

Monday, 9 November 2009

091109 Bonfire Night

The Annual Atkin Bonfire Night on Saturday. The photograph is out of focus and poorly composed. But somehow it captures the spirit of bonfire night. It reminds me of a most enjoyable evening - what more could you want from a photograph.

Friday, 6 November 2009

091106 A Red Enterprise

A rather strange thing happened when I loaded this picture of Leeds Civil Hall into Photoshop. I had previously been doing something with a photograph using the "paint bucket" tool and it was set on a nice deep red colour. When I loaded the photograph I took in Leeds on Tuesday I didn't notice that the "paint bucket" tool was still selected and clicked the mouse (we've all done it haven't we!). Instantly I had Leeds Civic Hall standing out against a brilliant red sky. I quite like it and so I have decided to keep it. Leeds Civil Hall was built during the Great Depression as a way of finding work for local people. Such "socialist" schemes led to the construction of many fine and lasting buildings and projects. A red background seems quite appropriate.

Wednesday, 4 November 2009

091104 Fade Away With The Autumn Leaves

Oxford is, of course, famous for its bicycles. But what happens to bicycles when they are old, bent, rusty and missing a wheel? Are they recycled? No, it would appear that they are attached to a convenient lamp post and left to slowly fade away with the Autumn leaves.

Monday, 2 November 2009

091102 Oxford Canal

We were away over the weekend and therefore my walks with Amy were conducted in different surroundings. Early on Saturday morning we took a walk along the banks of the Oxford Canal and saw these two brightly coloured boats amidst a framework of green.

Thursday, 29 October 2009

091029 Like A Fat Buddha Taking A Rest

I took Isobel to work this morning and as we drove up to Ainley Top there was a bank of cloud slumped into the valley bottom like a fat Buddha taking a rest. By the time Amy and I got back to the same place on our way home the moment had gone. The cloud had spread and the magic of the moment had vanished.

Wednesday, 28 October 2009

091028 The Meaning Of War

If you read either of my other Blogs you will know that I went to Keighley today. Whilst taking photographs of churches and pubs I spotted a rather interesting shot of one of the statues on the War Memorial. It is the various shades of grey that are so compelling : somehow they seem to represent the meaning of war.

Tuesday, 27 October 2009

091027 Looking Back At 081027

The weather forecast predicted good weather today but it has been wet and misty. To check out the weather on the same day last year I looked back in my image files and found this photograph of Fixby Hall. The eighteenth century hall is now the club house for Huddersfield Golf Course and the grounds have been transformed into fairways and greens. There is still a public footpath which cuts right through the grounds (much to the annoyance of the golfer I suspect) and Amy and I walk that way often.

Monday, 26 October 2009

091026 Cleethorpes Worms

I have been doing things rather that photographing things this weekend, so I have had to have another dip back into the archives for today's image. I took this a couple of years ago at Cleethorpes on the east coast of England. The wet sands provide a home to thousands of worms who drill down into the sand leaving sand sculptures which conveniently tell fishermen looking for bait where to dig.

Friday, 23 October 2009

091023 Where was I?

It's raining today so I am looking back at the holiday I took in June. Five countries in fourteen days : I tend to get confused over where I took many of the photographs. Now where was I when I took this one?

Thursday, 22 October 2009

091022 Nice Leaves Not Scanned

I know I promised that we had seen the last of the scanned leaves ... Well, these are not scanned (and if they are I have probably ruined the scanner). The grass and leaves I spotted on our walk this morning and they just seemed .... nice. I know "nice" is a bit of am overused word but they were ... nice.

Wednesday, 21 October 2009

091021 Leaf It Alone

I promise this is the very last in my scanned leaves series. I need to turn over a new artistic leaf before I get boring. Or before I go barking mad. 

Tuesday, 20 October 2009

091020 Cutting Out The Middle Man

Taking a picture of Autumn leaves today I decided to cut out the middle man (the camera). So I put the leaf in the scanner and ...

Monday, 19 October 2009

091019 Halifax Borough Market

Continuing with my Friday shopping trip in Halifax. After the eighteenth century wool market I crossed over the road and entered the nineteenth century general market. This is a glorious building : all glass and wrought iron. 

Friday, 16 October 2009

091016 The Piece Hall, Halifax

Beautiful day today and Isobel was off work so we went into Halifax shopping. I managed to escape for half an hour and walked through the Piece Hall. Halifax Piece Hall is Britain's oldest remaining cloth hall where individual hand-loom weavers used to take their "pieces" of cloth to sell to buyers who would travel to Halifax from all parts of the country. Built in 1778 it takes the form of a large open courtyard surrounded by over 300 small trading rooms. The church spire in the background is the spire of Square Church which was built in the 1850s.

Thursday, 15 October 2009

091015 The Sisters, Priestley Green

About a mile away from Coley Church, in the hamlet of Priestley Green, there is a row of cottages known as "The Sisters" The cottages were built in 1630 by Samuel Sunderland of Coley Hall. You could examine the cottages for hour after hour and probably never find a straight line or a right angle. That's what age does for you.

Wednesday, 14 October 2009

091014 Coley Church

When I was young I looked out of my bedroom window across the fields and saw the proud stone tower of Coley Church cutting through the grey clouds that seemed to live forever on the horizon. The present building dates back to 1817, but there has been a chapel on the site since the sixteenth century. As Amy and I walked down Coley Hall Lane this morning I just hoped that nobody would have the silly idea of cleaning it up. The soot-black stone is just the way it should be.

Tuesday, 13 October 2009

091013 Marsden Jazz Festival

As you may already know the reason why I have been out of contact for the last few days is due to my involvement with the Marsden Jazz Festival. The Festival is behind us now and therefore I can return to my normal routine of walking the dog and taking photographs.

Thursday, 8 October 2009

091008 Nag's Head

Our walk this morning took us past the Nag's Head at Ainley Top. The sun was shining and the outside tables were ready to welcome just such passing dog-walkers as myself. The pub I know well : they serve a decent pint and have a ready supply of guest ales. But this is the weekend of the Marsden Jazz Festival and there were a pile of jobs awaiting me. Next time, next time.

Tuesday, 6 October 2009

091006 Lock Keepers' Cottage

This Lock Keepers' Cottage is just around the corner from yesterday's photograph. It stands at the junction of the Calder and Hebble Navigation and the Huddersfield Broad Canal which takes boats from the Calder and Hebble to the centre of Huddersfield, a journey of just under four miles.

Monday, 5 October 2009

091005 Cooper Bridge

Our morning walk took Amy and I along the towpath of the Calder and Hebble Navigation at Cooper Bridge. It is a "navigation" rather than a "canal" in that it is made up of long stretches of natural river and short stretches of canal around weirs. Build in the 1760s, it is still in regular use - by pleasure crafts rather than commercial traffic - 250 years later.

Sunday, 4 October 2009

091004 Castle Hill

I did promise a picture of the "Castle" on Castle Hill which is why I am showing this one although I am not 100% happy with it. The site is one of the most ancient in Yorkshire which has been settled for at least 4,000 years and was the location of the areas most important early Iron Age Hill Fort. There was a castle on the hill briefly in the 12th century and during the nineteenth century the hill was the site of several mass meetings of the Chartist movement. The current tower you see in the photograph was built in 1897 to mark the Diamond Jubilee of Queen Victoria.

Friday, 2 October 2009

091002 Huddersfield From Castle Hill

It would be easy to get the impression from the photographs I normally feature that I live in a rural part of the country. But Huddersfield is in the midst of the West Riding conurbation and has a strong industrial heritage. This photograph was taken this morning and looks down on the town from the top of Castle Hill. I will return to the subject of Castle Hill tomorrow.

Wednesday, 30 September 2009

090930 Festival Map

Perhaps you don't think that this qualifies as one of my pictures - but it is. The pictures that are there are mine, the map is mine, the lettering is mine : and putting it together each year for the Marsden Jazz Festival Information Leaflet is ten times the work and half the pleasure of any photograph I have ever taken. However,  people normally find it a useful document and on the weekend of the 9th to the 11th of October, when the whole village of Marsden will be swinging to the sound of live jazz, the effort will be worthwhile.

Tuesday, 29 September 2009

090929 That's Where It Is

Turning the camera around by 90 degrees from yesterday's picture, this is what you would see. The road is the M62 and this is the Trans-Pennine stretch just north of Huddersfield. The reservoir is Scammonden Reservoir and the motorway actually runs along the top of the dam wall. It is one of the busiest stretches of motorway in the UK and most people who have traveled in the North will have passed along it and glanced down at the reservoir as they passed by.

Monday, 28 September 2009

090928 Where Is It?

I took this photograph this morning during my daily walk with Amy the Dog. It is a site that should be familiar to many people who have traveled in the north of England. Tomorrow I will give the photographic answer to this photographic question but feel free to guess if you would like to.

Sunday, 27 September 2009

090927 Wassenden Head Moor

A request for pictures of the moors sent me searching through my folders. Here is one I took a couple of years ago which shows the track that runs alongside Diggle Reservoir, just south of Huddersfield. Readers from the UK will know this as "Summer Wine" country as it is the location for a long-running television series. In the medium distance is Wassenden Head Moor.

FOUND 1 : Walking With Confidence

  FOUND 1 : The joy of found photographs is that, whilst they provide a visual superstructure, you are free to construct your own backstory ...