Tuesday, February 12, 2019

Stop 'n Snap 'n Ride

George Hotel, Huddersfield

Like many people who take photographs, I can be pretty annoying to walk around with, due to an inability to walk in a straight line from A to B without stopping to take photos at A1, A2, A3 etc. It is not too bad if I am by myself, as long as I leave myself plenty of time to stop 'n snap. So yesterday, when I needed to catch a train from Huddersfield to Penistone, I left myself time enough to try and capture some of the grandeur of Huddersfield in the winter sunshine.

Huddersfield Railway Station and Statue Of Harold Wilson
Huddersfield Railway Station
I had intended to keep snapping away as the train rattled its way from Huddersfield south towards Barnsley and Sheffield, but the sheer beauty of the scenery got in the way. No blink of my smartphone lens could hope to capture what was on view through the carriage window, as the train snaked it's way through villages that probably don't exist in real life. The journey took thirty minutes and cost my something around £6.  The railway companies are missing a trick; anyone with blood in their veins and a functioning imagination would happily pay twice as much to experience what must be one of the Great Railway Journeys of the World. Alas, I couldn't bring myself to take any photographs once I was on the train, so you will just have to imagine what it was like. Or make your way to Huddersfield and experience the journey yourself!

Monday, February 11, 2019

Walking Confidently Through The Twenties




We do know a little about the where and the when – and perhaps even a clue as to the who – from the message on the reverse of the card. It was posted from Margate in Kent during May 1926 and addressed to Mrs Dwerick of the Dial in Kemsing , Kent. The message is the kind of simple report of family events of the kind that these days would be consigned to Facebook for all the world to read.

Many thanks for the P.C. Am so glad you have had such a nice week. I took the boys out yesterday – they both look splendid and thoroughly enjoyed themselves paddling etc. I said thew should go for a row, but we could not find a “boat man”. They had an enormous tea. Much love, Helen.


One interesting little historic sidelight is that the postcard was sent either during or just after the General Strike of 1926 (the exact date on the postmark is unclear). Perhaps this is why the children were not able to find a “boat man”. The man striding confidently in the main photograph does not have the look of a striking worker. Perhaps for Helen and her friends and family, the poverty and misery of the Great Depression passed them by. Perhaps they walked confidently through the twenties.

Friday, February 08, 2019

Sepia Saturday 456 : At Camp With Monkey Matthews


Our Sepia Saturday theme image this week features a tent, a man and a cooking pot. My contribution features a tent, two men and a bucket.

The two men in question are - on the left - my father, Albert Burnett, and on the right a friend of his who went by the unforgettable name of "Monkey Matthews". The picture will have been taken somewhere in the Yorkshire Dales and the date will have been around 1931, when my father was twenty years old.

Why my father and Monkey Matthews were in a tent, I have no idea, but I have another photograph from what must have been the same camping trip that features my grandfather, Enoch Burnett, and my Auntie Miriam, in addition to the aforementioned pair.  Just why my father is wearing a distinctive bandage around his head is a mystery which will never be solved.


To see other Sepia Saturday contributions go to the Sepia Saturday Blog and follow the links

Wednesday, February 06, 2019

Random History : Giving Way To The Enjoyment Of The Conservative Ball



This week, our random-number-driven time machine takes us back to the year 1893 and to Huddersfield, where someone has been giving way to the enjoyment of the Conservative Ball. It resulted in ten bob fine plus expenses! Serves him right is all I can say.





OBSTRUCTING A POLICE OFFICER AT THE CONSERVATIVE BALL : Joseph Crow Taylor, innkeeper, Crosland Moor, was charged with having, on the 26th inst., obstructed a police-officer whilst he was in the execution of his duty. Defendant did not appear. The Chief Constable (Mr. Ward) said that on the morning, which would be stated by the officer, in accordance with orders, the officer went to the Town Hall, where the Conservative Ball was being held, to see that proper order was being kept and that the sale of drink had been stopped at the hour fixed by the license. The officer was met by the defendant, who said he should not go up. He said he should, and the defendant used bad language, and tried to prevent him going up. This was not the first time that sort of thing had occurred at balls. The defendant had been to see him and said he was very sorry, and that he had given way to the enjoyment of the evening more than he should have done, and that, perhaps. caused him to do what he did. But it was his (Mr. Ward's) duty to protect his men, and to see that the orders of the magistrates were carried out. Police-sergeant Jagger proved time facts as stated by Mr. Ward, and the Bench inflicted a fine of 10s. and the expenses.

Huddersfield Daily Examiner : Monday 6 February 1893 

Tuesday, February 05, 2019

Postcards From Home : Siddal's Comet


My relationship with Siddal is somewhat akin to the relationship between the earth and Halley's Comet. Very occasionally we are in close proximity: as a teenager I sought out a pub there that was reputed to have a liberal interpretation of the licensing laws, and many years later my brother lived there for a few months. Most of the time, however, I gaze at Siddal across the firmament and take sightings of it from more familiar regions such as Southowram and Salterhebble.

Therefore, when I recently came into possession of this old Real Photographic postcard of Siddal, I had to turn to Google maps to try and identify the exact location, and because many of the buildings no longer exist, a little bit of detective work was also called for. I am now reasonably confident in asserting that it is a view of Lower Siddal from the delightfully named "Bottoms", and that the fine school building (centre, right) is the old Siddal Junior School that has now been replaced by a new housing development. At the bottom of the picture you can just make out one of the locks on the old Halifax Branch Canal which connected the town to the Calder and Hebble Navigation at Salterhebble. The canal is long gone, and any attempt to capture a similar view today would be impossible due to the abundant growth of post-industrial vegetation.

Monday, February 04, 2019

Back Home



Here we are, back again. And it wasn't Mablethorpe, but somewhere a little more sunny. Exotic beaches and tropical cocktails are all very well, but they can't hold a candle to the fifty shades of grey that you can find on a soot-coated wall of a Yorkshire mill. The Caribbean Sea may be azure blue and full of technicolour fish, but in this scan of one of my photos from fifty years ago, the Hebble Brook shines like silver and is full of masonry bricks and life. I can happily holiday in paradise, but I need to live in Halifax.

Hebble Book and Dean Clough, Halifax. AB Negative (c.1970) (A41)