Obviously Parliament Street in Halifax is no more. Indeed I am having difficulty of finding evidence of it ever having existed. But I took a photograph of it when it was in terminal decline, forty or so years ago, so it must have been more than a figment of my imagination. I suspect it must have been somewhere up Pellon Lane. No doubt someone will remember it.
Sunday, 13 December 2015
The last of my six images from a single strip of 50 year old negatives takes me a little further along what I suspect is Bradford Old Road and looking down at the western end of Halifax. There is still almost a carpet of mills along the valley sides, although most of them would vanish over the coming ten or twenty years. The remaining few provide penthouse apartments for commuting bankers.
Saturday, 12 December 2015
At some stage during my walk 50 years ago I must have turned back on myself, re-crossed Godley Bridge and headed along Claremont Road towards Bradford Old Road. Although it is the same town and the same buildings I am looking down on, the relationships between the various spires and chimney has changed. The prominent spire in the centre of this picture is the glorious All Souls Church of Sir George Gilbert Scott.
Friday, 11 December 2015
This is the fourth image from my strip of 1966 negatives and by now I have obviously walked along Godley Bank in the direction of Southowran Bank. Even though it is the 1960s, the memory of industrial pollution still lingers on: the smoke seeming to leach out of the very hills into the atmosphere.
Thursday, 10 December 2015
For the third shot in my sequence of six negatives dating back to 1966, the sun seems to have made a surprise appearance from behind some grey-scale cloud. The tall tower of the Victorian Town Hall is being outgrown by the blocks of flats in Albion Street.
Wednesday, 9 December 2015
The second of the images from my strip of six negatives and the camera has swung around in an anti-clockwise direction. The Burdock Way fly-over was still five years in the future and therefore the mills at the north end of North Bridge are still in place, although the Grand Theatre at the south end of the bridge has already been demolished.
Tuesday, 8 December 2015
I have to go into hospital this week and therefore I am pre-posting a series of images in order to preserve the continuity of this blog. All six photographs come from the same strip of negatives I shot fifty years ago during a short walk along Godley and Southowram Banks above Halifax. Without realising what I was doing, I was capturing the town on the brink of transition at a time when soot-encrusted mill chimneys were being replaced by concrete high-rise flats.
The first of my sequence was taken from the top of Godley Bridge and looks down on the A58 running down into Halifax. Within a couple of years of the photograph being taken the houses on the right of the shot had been demolished and a radical cull of mills and their chimneys had taken place.
Sunday, 6 December 2015
I must have taken this photograph of Wimbledon Palais in the 1970s. By then it was in terminal decline, and moving through the end stages of life of all great venues : from bingo hall to furniture store to builders' rubble. Forty years earlier it had attracted dancers from all over London with the largest sprung dance floor in Europe. Even ten years before this photograph, the likes of the Beatles, the Stones and the Who had graced its stage. In this photograph it is like an old trouper begging for coins on a street corner.
Friday, 4 December 2015
Monday, 30 November 2015
Another memory of the Kelvin Flats in Sheffield - a memory because the high rise concrete towers are long gone. But for a time, albeit a very brief time, there must have been a thrill of excitement in walking across those concrete walkways in the sky, looking down at the world below.
Monday, 23 November 2015
Sunday, 22 November 2015
Another Scan from an old colour slide which dates back, I think, to 1973. The scan revealed an old, scratched, partly degraded view of little interest to anyone; so it was ideal for a little Photoshop experimentation. The results have a feel of Turner crossed with the Impressionists.
Friday, 20 November 2015
I took this picture thirty years ago. It shows the lower highway of the Tinsley Viaduct (the upper highway carries the M1 motorway) just outside Sheffield and adjacent to the Meadowhall Shopping Centre. There is something quite pleasing about the curve of the concrete.
Wednesday, 18 November 2015
Tuesday, 17 November 2015
Thursday, 12 November 2015
Wednesday, 11 November 2015
Spain doesn't do town planning particularly well. Buildings of every type, every style and every state of repair cuddle up with each other like wartime Londoners is an air raid shelter. Cables are strung from any convenient pole or parapet, and if there is any cable left it simply gets looped around and left to dangle.
Tuesday, 10 November 2015
As so often, you take a photograph in an instant. A passing impression. But when you get home and look at the image in more detail you wish you could be transported back to that same moment in time and space. To live life again. And this time, to move the camera just a little more to the right! (Puerto de Atocha Railway Station, Madrid, Spain. October 2015)
Friday, 6 November 2015
I spotted this chap in Madrid, happily texting his mate or updating his Facebook profile whilst the rest of the band were engaged in an extended chorus. The band was a military affair - all very proper, very ordered, very organised. The smartphone is in splendid contrast to all that military braid and brass buttons.
Wednesday, 4 November 2015
Tuesday, 3 November 2015
Monday, 2 November 2015
If you tried this kind of thing on the walls of your terraced house in Todmorden you would have the Council knocking at your door faster than you could say Diego Rodríguez de Silva y Velázquez. But this is Spain - the Plaza Mayor in Madrid - and folk come from miles around to view it. Try telling that to the chap from the Planning Department.
Friday, 30 October 2015
Wherever you went in Madrid there were always people in the background; people carrying things. Like extras on a film set, they would cross and recross each scene, providing much needed verisimilitude. I half suspected that they would sneak around the corner, pick up another prop, and then cross the scene again. Sometimes a packing case, sometime a drain pipe, sometimes a chair.
Tuesday, 27 October 2015
Friday, 23 October 2015
SCULPTURED ICING SUGAR
Many of the buildings in Madrid made me think of sculptured icing sugar. Whole streets were like show-stopper challenges in some giant version of The Great British Bakeoff. If you could find a sharp enough knife and cut into them, there would probably be a rich fruit cake inside.
Thursday, 22 October 2015
Madrid is full of delightful street signs that deserve to be recorded. They tend to be small and fairly high up on buildings but a decent lens and long legs get around such problems. The Calle de los Donados translates as the street of the donated and was the site of an old charity hospital and a home for the blind.
Wednesday, 21 October 2015
Tuesday, 20 October 2015
Monday, 19 October 2015
Sunday, 4 October 2015
When you dip into a box of old slides and start scanning you never know what you will find. This is obviously Paris and therefore it must have been 1973 when we were there on our honeymoon. Even without the Eiffel Tower there would have been a French feel to the photograph - it is something to do with the spaces and the way people walk.
Thursday, 1 October 2015
In Marbella you can take a short walk from the sea front up into the old town along the Avenue del Mar Avenda. If you are lucky you will be heading to one of the delightful bars that populate the old town, but despite your destination take your time as you walk up the tree lined avenue which is punctuated by cooling fountains and wonderfully bizarre Salvador Dali statues.
Wednesday, 30 September 2015
Tuesday, 29 September 2015
In a part of the world which seems to be occupied by neo-celebrities and neo-celbrity watchers, these guys who plied the beaches attempting to sell counterfeit Gucci bags seemed to be amongst the few people actually working.
Monday, 28 September 2015
Saturday, 12 September 2015
I am not sure if I remember myself in this picture which must have been taken fifty years ago. We were on holiday in Scotland and I think this photograph was taken on the open moorland somewhere near to Glencoe. These days my camera is a bit bigger - and so is my stomach!
Friday, 11 September 2015
Fire Hydrants : In America they stand proud on street corners, icons of urban sculpture. Here we bury them five foot under and attach discreet signs on granite walls.
Thursday, 10 September 2015
Wednesday, 9 September 2015
Tuesday, 8 September 2015
I went to the Cumbrian town of Sedbergh last week. The buildings have a bleakness about them which might be attractive on a sunny day. But against a grey sky the grey stone is stark. This is one of the old school buildings. The motto tattooed on its side reads "Dura Virum Nutrix" which, I believe, means " Stern nurse of man". That says it all.
Monday, 7 September 2015
We don't seem to have seen much of summer this year. That's OK, we are used to it here in the north. It is a price we pay for green fields and windswept moors. But what summer there is has this annoying habit - just before it migrates south or wherever it goes for eleven months of the year - of paying you a brief and surprise visit, just to let you know what you will be missing. Yesterday was such a day.
Saturday, 5 September 2015
Some cities would be a bit sniffy about having an installation of yellow penguins made from recycled plastic bottles next to an iconic medieval bridge. Some cities might not like the way they lit up at night. The way they drew the eyes of tourists away from ancient churches and marble statues. Some cities would not have it. But Prague loves upside-down horses, chicken-wire washing and yellow plastic penguins. That's why I like Prague.
Friday, 4 September 2015
There can't have been many advantages to working in the mill. The hours were long, the machines were noisy and dangerous and the pay was poor. And because almost all of the old photographs we have of mill workers a hundred years ago are monochrome, it appears to be a grey landscape my ancestors inhabited. But there must have been colour - pinks, blues and yellows. There was when we went around Bradford Industrial Museum a couple of weeks ago. Surely there was colour.
Thursday, 3 September 2015
I grew up with wool. My childhood was spent in the West Riding of Yorkshire when the wooden industry still survived. Wool clung to the barbed wire on the moors. Wool spilled out of sacks stacked outside stone mills. Wool fibres floated on the drizzled breeze. Now they are a museum exhibit.
Wednesday, 2 September 2015
Tuesday, 1 September 2015
Monday, 31 August 2015
This wonderful piece of street graffiti can be found on one of the stone arches by Bradford Cathedral. It is said to be the work of an artist simply known as Mooney and depicts Sampson in chains. According to the Bradford Telegraph and Argus, last year it was "vandalised" by someone painting graffiti on top of it, but that graffiti has now been cleaned off to reveal the original graffiti. It is a strange world we live in.
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