Friday, March 05, 2021

Tablets Of Stone

 


We were walking up the tops of Northowram the other day, up past were all the old stone quarries used to be, and I suddenly spotted an abandoned pile of stone slates. Somebody had kindly chiselled numbers on each of them so they turned into a traditional stone equivalent of my daily calendar I was thrilled with this authentic historical discovery, and as someone had equally carved the name of the quarry on each stone, I headed home to see if I could pin down their origin to perhaps Northowram or the Shibden Valley. Oh, Burnett, Burnett, Burnett .... you gullible fool. A quick quarry of the internet revealed their origin. They are "reconstructed stone" made from glue and stone dust. They have been "authentically recreated" to even incorporate tool marks. You can even buy a version with fake green lichen clinging to them. They come from a factory somewhere down south. They are the stone equivalent of MDF. They are as genuine as a politicians promise to support NHS workers.

Thursday, March 04, 2021

It's Spring, After All

 


It's spring - well meteorological spring at least - and the sun is making the kind of half-hearted effort I would make in chemistry lessons at school. The various neighbours are out in their gardens, pruning or digging or doing the things gardeners do. To my mind, however, it is still cold enough to send an anticipatory shiver down the spine of a brass monkey, and therefore I am more than happy to confine my digging to my photographic archives. These are allotment size - getting on for small-holding - and need regular dead-heading, sorting, grafting and cultivating. To speed me on with my efforts I have a bird, sat up in a tree - I wish I could be more exact but I was never much good at nature studies at school either. It can sit on my desk all day and sing to me. It's spring, after all.

Wednesday, March 03, 2021

Good Wishes Yvette

 


To Edith, Good wishes : The Edith in question was my later mother-in-law, who, as a teenager in Liverpool, would stand outside the stage door at the Liverpool Empire and collect celebrity autographs. The sender of these sentiments and the subject of the postcard portrait was the actress Yvette Anning. Yvette was a successful singer and actress in the 1920s and 30s, who seems to have left few digital footprints for the modern Information Age. As far as I can see, this is the only photograph of her on the internet, and if this is the case, I am proud top be its sponsor. Good wishes, Yvette.



Tuesday, March 02, 2021

Six Queen Mary's Up The Elland Canal

 


My calendar today features a photograph I took forty or so year ago of Elland Power Station.  When I took the photograph, the power station was relatively new - the Official Opening took place seventy years ago this year - but it was already reaching the end of its life. Within ten years it had been decommissioned, within twenty it had been demolished. In checking the various facts about its life history, I came across the press report of the official opening ceremony, which was performed by a certain Mr A R Cooper (M.Eng, M.I.E.E., M.Inst.F), accompanied by the new station superintendent Mr W Poppleton (Assoc.I.E.E. A.M.Inst.F). How on earth they managed to fit all those letters within even the cavernous turbo house is a mystery, and it has to be said that the praise being heaped upon the new power station was less than fulsome. Mr Poppleton said "that the Elland station was not an unusual one, but reliable. It was built there not because the site was ideal, but because generation was needed in this part of Yorkshire". When he went on to describe the generating power of the new station, however, his language became far more energised. The new station, he declared, would generate enough power of a town of 200,000 people or enough to power a fleet of half a dozen Queen Mary's! The vision of half a dozen Queen Mary's sailing in formation along the River Calder is an analogy that would put even Prof Jonathan Van-Tam to shame.



Monday, March 01, 2021

Where Have All The Days Gone?

 

Where have all the days gone? It is a question people of a certain age - such as myself - ask with increasing frequency, as we realise that what we call yesterday, younger folk call history. It is a recurring question to those of us who watch things like The History Channel and say, "that's not history, it's current affairs".  It is a question on the lips of people who meet together for a cup of tea and talk about wartime rationing, 425 lines on television sets, and ask "do you remember the farthing?"

I have an answer to this fundamentally philosophical question, because in my case, they go on the back of the door. When they no longer fit in my Daily Calendar plastic holder, I take the daily images and stick them on the back of my office door. They will soon be spreading to what little wall space there is left in my room, but after that they can spread no further (says my wife). Time passes - and the longer this calendar project goes on, the greater the problem becomes: has anyone got a mill wall they are not using?

Sunday, February 28, 2021

Just A Touch

 


A touch of colour in the kitchen. A touch of abstraction in the imagery. A touch of nothing better to do after another month of lockdown.

Tablets Of Stone

  We were walking up the tops of Northowram the other day, up past were all the old stone quarries used to be, and I suddenly spotted an aba...