Monday, November 24, 2014

The Indecent Proximity Of Homes And Mills

There is something about scanning and repairing old negatives : you get intimate with them. Up close and personal you get to airbrush history; discovering a detail here and a long forgotten commonplace there. When I reach into my negatives files looking for a strip of negatives to bring back to life, I always favour places rather than people. It is those throw-away shots of a nondescript road or a terminal mill that hold the most secrets and, like a sponge, seem to soak up the most social history.

I spent the first few years of my life in Great Horton, about a mile or so away from where this shot was taken. The photograph manages to capture so much of West Yorkshire : the steep cobbled streets, the drunken chimneys, the indecent proximity of homes and mills. 

It would appear that Cannon Mills still exists and now is the site of an outdoor Asian market. I feel a trip down memory lane coming on.

10 comments:

  1. Very atmospheric. It would be interesting to see the 'now' view. Are the cobbles still there?

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    1. I am away for most of this week, but on my return I will head for Great Horton and take a look.

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  2. Great shot, Alan! What film did you use? There's a wonderful graininess to this shot that adds to the atmosphere.

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    1. I looked at the negative but all it says is Kodak Safety Film - and after all these years I can't remember the speed of the film or anything. But this was taken on one of my medium format cameras.

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  3. Ah, the factory girls. I think the proximity of the houses and mills was part of the brilliance of the industrial revolution.

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  4. It's almost like Port Sunlight - factory at the end of the road - but perhaps Port Sunlight was a tad more easy on the eye.

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  5. It is a great photo. Are the streets the same today. We casually dump black top on our brick streets. One city decided to take up the streets and reinstall the bricks that a politician had desecrated. Everyone took bricks home to hand clean each brick. Adel, Iowa.

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  6. What a charming photo!

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  7. I look forward to todays photo...I am certain you will take one! Black and White...I find them more difficult to be content with....I always want more:)

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  8. What you say about negatives reminds me of my feelings about my LPs.

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