Thursday, June 24, 2021
Tuesday, June 22, 2021
Friday, June 18, 2021
We've been away for a few days. How strange it is to be able to say that: how quickly the unusual has become normality, and how threatening the world outside can appear when you have been locked indoors for too long. So we left lockdown behind and visited Chester and Nantwich: enjoyed good times with friends, stayed in some lovely hotels and, of course, enjoyed some fine beers and exceptional malt whiskeys. My Daily Calendar images had to wait until I returned home, but now I have caught up. This silly little project was meant to last a month at the most, and is now coming up to half a year. My walls are full of old calendar images, but, if nothing else, I will have a pictorial record of a rather strange year.
Friday, June 11, 2021
One of my favourite Stacey Kent songs has always been Breakfast On The Morning Tram, which was written by Jim Tomlinson with lyrics by Kazuo Ishiguro. I've always imagined some exotic European city setting, but having come across a short piece from 1918 in the Illustrated London News, I am wondering whether he had early twentieth century Halifax in mind! The text accompanying the illustration reads as follows:-
"An electric tramcar belonging to Halifax Corporation has been converted into a fully equipped travelling kitchen capable of supplying 1,000 portions. It has electric stoves, with current supplied from the overhead wires, and a 1,200 gallon water-tank. Meals are served from both sides and there is a cash office at each end. It can run to any part of the 33 mile system."
Stacey Kent's far more exotic version of the Morning Tram can be found on YouTube.
Thursday, June 10, 2021
Friday, June 04, 2021
Thursday, May 27, 2021
I took some photographs here back in the 1960s and when I got home I looked some of them out.....
Wednesday, May 26, 2021
One of the least known of Henry Moore's monumental sculptures is his 1970 Reclining Figure which has been on permanent display in Halifax for the last fifty years. In order to overcome the civic antipathy to major arts projects, Moore cleverly disguised the sculpture as an overpass.
Monday, May 24, 2021
Friday, May 21, 2021
Social Media is full of memes proclaiming "You have an IQ of over 150 if you can spot the difference between these two pictures!" You don't need an IQ the size of Wainhouse Tower to spot the differences here, but you could probably host a seminar on the social, cultural and photographic differences on display. The first picture is a contemporary Google Streetview screen grab, the second was taken by me around 35 years ago,
Thursday, May 13, 2021
Monday, May 10, 2021
We took a walk yesterday down the Shibden Valley with some friends, and finished up at the Shoulder Of Mutton pub in Northowram, which was open for outdoor service. We had a pleasant drink and some excellent food and eventually the discussions got around to the pub itself and its history. Google eventually led me in the direction of a piece I must have written eleven years ago and completely forgot about. Even though I say it myself, it was worth a second read, and therefore I am giving it a second post.
Saturday, May 08, 2021
Being a Northowram Lad and having an interest in history, I have always believed that an effort should be made to understand Oliver Heywood, who must be one of the villages' most famous residents. His religious teachings are documented in five lengthy volumes, and, on more than one occasion, I have approached these with a creditable enthusiasm. Having now reached an age where I care less about what people might think about me, I have to, at last, declare that he was probably one of the most boring people ever to have walked up the Hough and along Towngate. Chapter after chapter he prattles on about sacrifice, sin and intercession - it's enough to make you want to call in the Shoulder Of Mutton and get legless.
The building, however, is nice. It's just a shame about the moral philosophy.
Friday, May 07, 2021
Thursday, May 06, 2021
Thursday, April 29, 2021
Tuesday, April 27, 2021
A Study In Greys is by the British artist Walter Hayward-Young (1868-1920) who was also known by the pseudonym, "Jotter". During his artistic career he turned his hand to many different ways of exploiting his talents: he designed posters for organisations such as London Transport and produced a highly popular series of articles on sketching for The Girls Own Paper and Woman's Magazine. He is particularly famous, however, for the postcards which were based on his paintings which proved best sellers during the Great Postcard Craze of the first decade of the twentieth century.
On the reverse of this postcard is printed the following description: "A Study In Greys, Sheffield. This picture was made on the way to Owlerton. The predominant colour of Sheffield is grey and the smoke overhangs the whole place like a huge pall. Still, within a few miles of the town, some of England's most lovely scenery is to be seen".
Sheffield no longer has a pall of smoke hanging over it, and the predominant colour of the city is anything but grey. The city has changed .... and still some of England's most lovely scenery can be seen within a fe miles of the city centre.
Saturday, April 24, 2021
I have an almost perfect match for this week's Sepia Saturday theme image. The problem is, that it is not very old, in fact I can distinctly remember taking the photograph. But then I got to thinking: it was taken in 1972 which was 49 years ago. That's a long time ago. It is getting on for as old as the original Sepia Saturday theme image which was taken in 1914. That makes my photograph almost sepia. That makes me almost sepia. If life is a race, the starting line was some distance back!
My photograph was taken at Sandown Park Racecourse in Esher, around about the summer of 1972. It was the first time I had ever been to a race meeting and I was anxious to capture some of the movement and excitement of a day at the races.
I remember the picnic we had and the friends who were with us - and the oversized tin of Tartan Bitter.
Tuesday, April 20, 2021
It's time for another helping of mindless rants from some self-obsessed old fool with too much time on his hands. Now, I know what you're thinking - it will be something like "You are being a little too hard on yourself .... but, there again, I can see where you are coming from"; but you misunderstand me, I am not talking about my own pointless ramblings, I am talking about another extract from that paragon of early 20th century journalism, the Halifax Comet. I have been working my way through copies of the Comet for a good few weeks now and I still can't decide whether it is a failed attempt at serious journalism or an early experiment in post-modern satire. As the publication reaches its tenth birthday in 1901, the editorial content gets shorter whilst the adverts get longer. It is a little like one of the present day advertising magazines you get delivered through your letter box .... but without the interesting adverts for teeth whitening and roof repairs.
The leading news item in the edition of the 20th April 1901 is a lengthy rant against the Amalgamated Association Of Tramway And Vehicle Workers who have had the audacity to demand such things as a week's paid holiday, time-and-a-half for overtime, and an end to the practice of workers having to pay for broken tools. "How can tramway workers expect a full week's paid holiday a year when they only work six days a week", thunders the editorial? As far as premium payments for overtime and Sunday working is concerned, "perhaps the public would like to pay a fare-and-a-half to meet this"!
Monday, April 19, 2021
Saturday, April 17, 2021
Is it just age that makes you far more susceptible to time travel? Sometimes it can be a word like advocaat, sometimes a pattern like the geometric madness of 1960s wallpapers; most times it is an image.
These two photographs were taken at a Christmas Party at my parent's house, sometime around 1965. They are full of memories, and by themselves could provide a rich itinerary for a week's worth of time travel. The table with the Christmas drinks - it was always a bottle of advocaat, a small bottle of Babycham, and a bottle of sweet sherry. There may have been some port left over from a previous Christmas, but I can't recall there ever having been beer, and wine was unheard of. There is that wallpaper which is guilty of assault and battery on the senses, and the posed expressions on the faces of my aunts and uncles. There was a dish of biscuits - maybe even a chocolate one - an artificial tree and a warm sausage roll or two. It was a moment or two in time, captured within the cardboard confines of a colour slide. Now it is a rich vein of memories.
Friday, April 16, 2021
Thursday, April 15, 2021
Sheffield is built on hills and therefore back yards are often more like back cliff faces. This was the back yard of the house we lived in forty years ago: big enough for a dustbin and a pushbike. Washing hung like kites, getting ready to launch once a decent breeze got up, destined for the skies over distant Rotherham.
Tuesday, April 13, 2021
Thursday, April 08, 2021
The second picture in my "Home" collection is this photograph of Bank Bottom, Halifax, which I took somewhere around 1970. Square ...
Y ou can spend too long sat inside reading old newspapers and cataloguing old postcards. There comes a time in the affairs of man when he s...
It started with a vintage picture postcard of Elland I bought on eBay for 99 pence. Elland is just down the road and I always try to keep a...