Wednesday, September 13, 2023

Halifax Town Hall


This is an old picture postcard of Halifax Town Hall from my collection. It is the detail that is fascinating: Salmon & Glucksters tobacconist and walking stick dealer, Skue's Oriental Cafe, and that smoking mill chimney almost hidden by the magnificent town hall tower

Chimneys, Stacks And Towers


Most of my old photos of Halifax tend to be looking down onto the town from the surrounding hilltops, providing the kind of view that we get from Google Earth and the like. When I abandoned the hilltops the results were layer after layer of chimneys, stacks and towers.

Desktop Calendar : Harry's Cricket Cows

Harry Moore - my Uncle Harry - was born in Bradford in 1903 and, for a time in the early 1930s he was a professional entertainer with a travelling Concert Party, appearing in seaside pavilions and small town theatres throughout the land. After he married in 1933, he gave up touring and took a job as an office clerk, but continued to play the piano at weekends in Working Mens Clubs in the Bradford area. This photograph dates from around 1930 when he would be billed as "Harry Moore, Pianist and Tenor Vocalist".

Watched a cricket match yesterday in what must be one of the most scenic cricket grounds in Britain - Chatsworth House in Derbyshire. The Lad was playing for a Western Park Hospital XI against another Sheffield team (that's The Lad keeping wicket in the photograph). It's only the second time I've ever seen him play cricket (to be fair, it's only about the 10th time he's ever played) - the previous occasion was at, I think, Siddal Working Men's Club ground in Halifax. That was 25 years ago - he's obviously on his way up!

Went for a walk up Norland this morning and once again I was provided with proof that we probably live in one of the most beautiful places in the country. I took this photograph looking over the Calder Valley and then checked the what3word location code. It turned out to be "votes.eating.wishes" the meaning of which I would be happy to discuss in a fine old Yorkshire pub over a pint or three of good beer, with anyone who cares to take up the offer.

Saturday, September 09, 2023

The Chorus Line


This group of young ladies, in what can only be described as eccentric dress, comes from a batch of photographs I bought several years ago which also contained some photographs of performances by the Brighouse Amateur Theatrical Society. We can therefore surmise that these fine ladies were the chorus from some Brighouse amateur theatrical production from the 1920s, but I would be loath to take a guess as to which one. The costumes are magnificent and look as though they were lovingly made from a set of Victorian dining-room curtains. As with so many old photographs, the individual faces are like chapters from a book yet to be written.

Desktop Calendar : Helsinki Burns Boats

According to my Lightroom Catalogue I have amassed some 93,606 photographs over my lifetime. Given my considerable age that works out at one photograph every seven hours, day and night, since the moment of my birth. I got a random number generator to pick just one of the 93,606 to illustrate today's calendar and it came up with this one from seven years ago.

This photograph of the MP John Burns is taken from an Edwardian picture postcard. During the great picture postcard boom of the first decade of the twentieth century every subject under the sun would be fair game to the postcard creators: religious quotations would sit next to music hall starlets in the postman’s sack, sober politicians would share space with saucy cartoons. Burns was a fascinating character, a working class trade union leader who was a Liberal MP and served in the cabinet as the President of the Local Government Board. He eventually resigned as an MP and from the Liberal Party over his opposition to Britain’s entry into World War 1 in 1914.

This group of rowing boats in a picture I took forty or more years ago now look like a group on an old people's outing. There's Jim and June and Ada and Ron. The only odd thing is how on earth the Duchess of Montrose got in there. Perhaps she is down on her luck and has had to join the pensioners' outing to the seaside.

Desktop Calendar : Summer View Rhapsody

Summer appeared yesterday out of the blue (or rather out of the murky grey that had been the norm for the last couple of months). Man, wife and dog went for a walk up Greetland and then stopped for refreshments at the recently re-opened Star Pub. What a grand day. There is even a suggestion that we might have summer again tomorrow.

Sometimes the views are just too wide. When you are there, you can move your head and take it all in, but you are going to have to use your imagination to sew these two parts of the photograph together. It was taken from that delightful spot on Upper Edge, Elland, known as the Wilderness. If you look carefully into the distance you can see Elland, West Vale, Halifax, Blackpool Tower, the Cliffs of Moher, and New York. You can even see Lucy the Dog.

One of the many "photos of unknown origin" that live in plastic boxes and threaten to crowd me out of my own office. When I look at these three women, I immediately expect them to start singing "Scaramouche, Scaramouche will you do the fandango", a la Queen's Bohemian Rhapsody. Is this just fantasy?

Halifax Town Hall

  This is an old picture postcard of Halifax Town Hall from my collection. It is the detail that is fascinating: Salmon & Glucksters tob...