Monday, 30 May 2011

1008 : Todmorden Turrets

High on a hill overlooking Todmorden is the third in my trio of buildings designed by John Gibson, Dobroyd Castle. Built as a home for the mill-owning Fielden family. The story is that John Fielden Jnr fell in love with a local worker, Ruth Stansfield, who said she would marry him if he built her a castle. The couple got married in 1857 and Dobroyd Castle was the built a few year later. It would be nice to say that they lived happily ever after, but they didn't. But that, as they say, is another story.

Friday, 27 May 2011

1007 : Todmorden Gothic

Todmorden Unitarian Church is the second of my three featured Todmorden buildings designed by John Gibson. This astonishing church stands on the hillside overlooking the town and is a Grade 1 listed building. Built in 1865, the Church continued to provide services until 1987 when it closed. Happily, it was brought back into use following its acquisition, and restoration, by the Historic Chapels Trust, in 2008.

Thursday, 26 May 2011

1006 : Todmorden Pediment

Last Sunday we took a trip up the valley to Todmorden. This amazing building is Todmorden Town Hall which was built in 1874/5 to a design by the London architect, John Gibson. Gibson was also responsible for designing the Todmorden Unitarian Church and Dobroyd Castle - photographs of both of these I will be featuring over the next couple of days. The Town Hall is currently undergoing restoration work, hence the scaffolding around the lower parts of the building.

Monday, 23 May 2011

1005 : Heads, You Win.

A picture taken last Friday whilst visiting the breath-taking exhibition of work by the Spanish artist Jaume Plensa which is being held at the Yorkshire Sculpture Park

Monday, 16 May 2011

1004 : Paddock Curves And Gritty Lanolin

Paddock Viaduct, Near Huddersfield
Paddock Viaduct takes the Huddersfield to Sheffield railway line out of the town centre and enables it to fly over the steep valley of the River Colne. Trapped beneath its huge and gracefully curved arches are rows of stone-built terraced houses. There is something so Yorkshire about the scene : not Dales-decked Herriot Country, but gritty, lanolin-soaked West Yorkshire. The magnificent viaduct is the work of Sir John Hawkshaw who was also responsible for the Lockwood viaduct about a mile further south.

INTERREGNUM : The normal order of things is going to be a little disturbed over the next six weeks or so. Tomorrow, the Good Lady Wife (GLW) retires from work and there then follows a round of parties, visits and celebrations.. In June we are away on holiday for three weeks. Until we go on holiday I will try and post something each day - sometimes to News From Nowhere and sometimes to Alan Burnett's Picture Post. I will try to include links between blogs so you will be able to keep up with where I am. The weekly calls for Sepia Saturday posts will not be interrupted.

Thursday, 12 May 2011

1003 : No Fire Without Smoke

Another picture of Oakwell Hall, this time the side view. What struck me was the scale of the chimneys : one tends to forget just what an important and dominant part of a house of this age the chimneys were. There is no fire without smoke, and without fire, life would be very cold indeed. Coal, however, was cheap and plentiful : indeed the Hall is built on top of what was a rich coal seam.

Wednesday, 11 May 2011

1002 : Antique, Rambling And Incommodious

Amy and I took a walk in the grounds of Oakwell Hall the other day. Located a few miles away from where we live, Oakwell is a late sixteenth century "yeoman and gentry house" which is now a museum and the heart of a country park. In the early nineteenth century, Charlotte Bronte was a regular visitor to Oakwell and she used it as the model for "Fieldhead", the home of the heroine Shirley Keeldar in her novel Shirley. In the book, she describes it as follows : "It was neither a grand nor a comfortable house, within as without it was antique, rambling and incommodious". Far be it from me to argue with Charly, but I suspect I could be quite comfortable there.

Tuesday, 10 May 2011

1001 : Gorse, Moors And Nont Sarahs

This photograph of Scammonden Moor and Reservoir was taken this morning. The building you can see in the distance on the extreme left is the famous Nont Sarahs Hotel. The tale goes that an earlier proprietor bought the pub with money he borrowed from his Aunt Sarah and it was named - albeit it in Yorkshire dialect - after her.

Monday, 9 May 2011

1,000th Post : Back To The Beginning

I have just realised that this is the 1,000th post on Alan Burnett's Picture Post so in celebration I return to the very first post which was dated Monday 1st January 2007 and titled "Storm Clouds Over Dorchester Road". If I look out of my window today, that same tree is still there, but in full leaf and bathed by the Springtime sun.

Friday, 6 May 2011

Around The World In 20 Memories - 20 : Home

You can go where you want, but few locations surpass the place you call home. I was neither born in Halifax (I was born in Bradford, seven miles to the north), nor do I now live in Halifax (I live in Huddersfield, seven miles to the south), but Halifax is where I grew up and will therefore always be home to me. The photograph show the tower of Halifax Town Hall. If you click to enlarge you can just about make out the words above the clock face and they are words worthy of the end of this mini-series : "DELAY NOT TO DO WELL"

Thursday, 5 May 2011

Around The World In 20 Memories - 19 : The Wheel On The Acapulco Bus

When we went to Acapulco last year it was my first sight of the Pacific Ocean. But beautiful as the palm fringed beaches and the blue sparkling water were, my eye kept returning to the amazingly decorated and spectacularly named buses. Would you be in front of the queue to get on a bus named Apocalipsis?

Tuesday, 3 May 2011

Around The World In 20 Memories - 17 : A Poem And A Mistake In Constanta

It is 1974 and we are visiting friends in Romania. The picture is taken in the Black Sea resort of Constanta and shows the statue of the Roman poet Ovid, who was exiled here in 8AD. Ovid would claim that the reason for his exile was "a poem and a mistake" (carmen et error). At the time we were there, Nicolae CeauČ™escu was at the height of his power. Fifteen years later, Ceausescu would be executed by his own people : his crimes were too little poetry and too many mistakes.

Monday, 2 May 2011

Around The World In 20 Memories - 16 : Out Of Focus In Paris

Memories don't have to be in focus : indeed the best memories have been blurred by time and then burnished by significance. So here we are, in Paris in 1973. Our honeymoon. The Good Lady Wife takes a brave but watery path in the shadows of the Eiffel Tower.

Sunday, 1 May 2011

Around The World In 20 Memories - 15 : Sea And Skye

This photograph was taken in 2006 when I went on a brief trip to the North-West of Scotland. I was staying in Mallaig and caught a ferry over to the Isle of Skye. It was early in the year (April, I think) and still very quiet and peaceful. Gorgeous place.

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 ...