Browsing through the on-line Kirklees Image Archive, I came across a photograph of Bradford Road in Fixby, taken at some indeterminate date in the past. On closer inspection I realised that it was a photograph of the bottom of our road, and it must have been taken in the late 1930s when the houses were first constructed. I took a photograph from approximately the same position in order to better examine the kind of changes that have taken place over an eighty year period. As you can see, the road has doubled in width and the street lights have proportionately increased in ugliness. But, as is so often the case, the most visible difference is the increase in the amount of vegetation. We tend to forget that the smoke and pollution belching out of the mills and factories of Britain not only consigned many workers to an early grave, but also stunted the growth of trees and bushes. There are things to be said for living in a post-industrial age after all.
And staying with the theme of the street where I live, the street light directly opposite our house stopped working the other day. Within minutes I was able to go on-line to the Kirklees local government website, identify the street light in question on an interactive map, and click a couple of buttons to indicate that it was no longer working. This morning, a chap came with a van and a ladder and mended it. Now that is what I call service. Local government is having its funding severely restricted by a Government that seems to think that every possible service should be privatised for profit, and yet it continues to provide an excellent service and great value for money. There are things to be said for living in a society where community service means more than commercial exploitation after all.