Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Vive La Walkley

I called in at Walkley over the weekend. We were passing through Sheffield and decided to  call in for a cup of tea with The Lad and Laddess. We walked down into Walkley and I enjoyed what must have been the finest croissant I've had in years, at a local bakery and coffee house. Later, looking around one of the Walkley shops I even managed to surreptitiously acquire a new book - "A Walkley Camera" by J R Wrigley. This is a collection of old photographs of the Walkley district of Sheffield, although it must be said that I appear to predate many of the "historical" images: a fact which didn't exactly make me skip with the joy of youth as I wheezed my way back up the hill the The Lad's house.

My return to Walkley (an area I lived in some thirty-five years ago), prompted me to take a return look at the "Walkley Hoard" (a vast collection of old negatives I bought for a few pounds a couple of years ago). One of the charms of old negatives is that you have little idea of what you have bought until you have done a fair amount of scanning and editing. It might be a photograph of Grandma looking very smart in her Walkley parlour, or it might be a photograph  of a local canal.

The canal photograph is a particular beauty. Granted, it is a little blurred and a trifle faded around the edges, but there is something quite magnificent about it. It has something to do with the position of the man with the flat cap (could that be Grandpa?) and the children watching the canal boat pass by. For whatever reason it reminded me of one of those paintings by Georges Seurat that have figures reclining on the banks of the Seine.

Given that the finest croissants now seem to be available in Walkley, perhaps the River Seine really does run through the steel city!

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