Tuesday, June 29, 2021

Away 1 : Fish And Chips On The Front


AWAY 1 : There used to be home and away. Home was where you lived fifty-one weeks of the year. Away was your week at the seaside.  This, however, was quite a late shot: the give away is that the fish and chips are in polystyrene boxes. By the 1980s, away was more likely to be a Mediterranean hotspot, and places like Brid were for day-trips and Sunday drives.

Monday, June 28, 2021

Home 3 : Halifax Bus Stop


It's a grainy old photograph of a bus stop in Halifax. When I took it fifty-odd years ago, I'm not sure what I thought I was taking. In retrospect (one of the most powerful lenses available to any photographer) I captured a slice of social history. There is something about the confident walk of the cigarette-smoking pedestrian. Something about home.

Friday, June 25, 2021

Sepia Saturday 576 : A Tale Of Two Cities


Our Sepia Saturday image this week features a photograph of a Paris Street taken in the 1950s. My contribution to this long-running weekly meme is a photograph of a London street taken in the 1930s. Although there is a twenty year difference between the two shots, not to mention two hundred and thirteen miles, there is something about the mood of the photographs that is strikingly similar. My photograph, taken by my infamous Uncle Frank, has always one I return to again and again, and each time I return to it I discover more images hidden away within it.

This is a Sepia Saturday post, to see more Sepia Saturday posts go to the Sepia Saturday Blog and follow the links.

It's a far from perfect photograph: the composition is unconventional, the focus is unsteady and my Uncle Frank's finger seems to have obliterated the bottom corner of the shot; but still it is one of my favourite family photographs. Frank Fieldhouse took the photograph whilst on a trip to London with his wife-to-be Miriam Burnett in August 1938. He captures Miriam and even gets in some of the famous horses trotting up Rotten Row alongside Hyde Park. He gets so much more, however: he captures history, mood, emotions. It is a great photograph for Lockdown - what on earth would the people captured in this image make of the concept of Lockdown eighty years into their future? - because you can spend days discovering mew pictures hidden amongst the old. Here are just a few:-

With a theme image from Paris and my photograph from London, it is a tale of two cities, but also a tale of two times. And that, is what Sepia Saturday is all about.

Thursday, June 24, 2021

Home 2 : Bank Bottom, Halifax

The second picture in my "Home" collection is this photograph of Bank Bottom, Halifax, which I took somewhere around 1970. Square Church spire is framed by the old Riding Hall Carpet Mill and the Halifax Gas Works. If you would like to see this picture in person, it is currently on view as part of the excellent Showcase Exhibition at Dean Clough, Halifax.

Tuesday, June 22, 2021

Home 1 : Halifax Piece Hall


I decided to gather together some of my favourite photographs under a variety of headings: home, away, family, strangers etc. It is a pointless project, and therefore one I am particularly drawn to. This is the first photo in the "Home" category. I took it over half a century ago, It was home then. It is still home now.

Friday, June 18, 2021

Catching Up


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

Breakfast On The Morning Tram


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

Dripping With Colour

Halifax Borough Market - dark and light, hard and soft, functional lines and extravagant curves ... and dripping with colour.  Come to think of it, that could be a suitable description of the town itself.

Friday, June 04, 2021

Town Halls, Sewers And Chapels

The Victorians were good at Town Halls: built with equal parts of civic pride, cheap labour and local taxes. Town Halls, sewers, churches and chapels - the Victorians were big on them all. Elland Town Hall never functioned as a seat of local government; but parts of it have been used as all manner of things over the years: from assembly halls to cinemas, from restaurants to tanning studios. Whatever the use - or lack of it - it remains a stunning building.

Black Friar

For a time, during the late 1970s, I had a job leading parties of foreign visitors on tours of historic London pubs. One of my favourite sto...