Friday, March 23, 2012

One Pin, Two Views 5 : Painting The Layers Of Life


There is a particular type of house you often find in West Yorkshire towns and villages : stone terraces houses with a bit of a swagger. They are often set a little above street level so you can sit in your bay-windowed parlour and look down on the rest of the world. There will be a little wooden porch so you can shelter from the ever-present rain whilst your shake your umbrella off. And there will be little adornments, little pieces of unnecessary decoration which sets the overlooker aside from the mill-worker, the Council clerk from the railway porter.


And these little wooden banisters and traceries provide endless decorative opportunities for house painters. How many generations of Thornton house-painters have clung to their ladders whilst painting every twirl and curve in olive green are oak tan? Layer upon layer of paint matching the layer upon layer of generations that have inhabited these well proportioned rooms.

The houses on Wensley Bank, Thornton, have a fine prospect across the valley. You could look out of those windows and feel at peace with the world. And in the light of those windows you could get out your paint chart and plan what colour to paint the woodwork, what shade to mark the layer of your life.

This is the fifth part of the exploration of Thornton, West Yorkshire by Jennyfreckles and myself. We visited Thornton independently and used our cameras to record our own interpretation of the village. You can see how Jennyfreckles has approached the task by taking a look at her SALT AND LIGHT Blog.

There will be a break from this series tomorrow to make way for my Sepia Saturday post, but the final part of One Pin, Two Views will be published on Sunday.

18 comments:

  1. Utterly charming.

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    1. Thanks Martin (on behalf of myself and Thornton)

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  2. Yet again you've nailed it in a photo and pithy commentary. Saltaire's housing, of course, was very upfront about its social status but the same values held true in other places. And you can't go far in Yorkshire without starting to ponder the lives of those who lived there in the past - especially in Thornton.

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  3. Meant to say that I have just two more posts too, so we will both finish on Sunday - that's serendipity.

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  4. They built houses (even mass housing) so much better then.

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  5. Cool! In a way, they remind me of the neighborhoods on the east side of Baltimore.

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  6. Lovely houses with the porches adding to the appeal and I agree with Chairman Bill.

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  7. How many generations of Thornton house-painters have clung to their ladders whilst painting every twirl and curve in olive green are oak tan

    That's beautiful - very poetic.

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  8. I rather like those style of houes - they are often in Wales too, especially in the old 'resorts;.

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  9. Love these houses Alan, really love, other nice post with nice pics (lol)

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  10. I keep wondering why all the houses are built together. In other words, why don't they have space or yards inbetween each house. I should know this, but I don't. My first guess is it's more economical?

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  11. A good example of the importance of a good view for the residence you buy.

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  12. Waxing lyrical here Alan. Now, what shade shall I paint this new layer of my life? I know white - with perhaps a touch of green :)

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  13. Individuality will out. Well done, Alan.

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  14. They are wonderful houses, solid and Yorkshire!

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  15. If I lived there I would paint my front door and trim red..inbetween rains:)

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  16. So interesting to see Thorton through the eyes of two gifted but very different photographers! I'm enjoying this challenge of yours.

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  17. So is this the posh end of town? Your description is great. The view of the close countryside must be very nice. If Thornton is so close to the countryside but still in Bradford city, I would have thought it would be a sort after place to live by rich commuters yet it doesn't look like it has taken off except for these houses.

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