Tuesday, June 13, 2023

Beautiful Building

Surrounded as we are by beautiful buildings, we sometimes take them for granted. So, the next time you walk through Halifax, pause for a moment and look up at the former Calder and Hebble Navigation Office at the corner of Southate and Alexandra Street. Look up and say, “You’re really quite beautiful, you know”.

A Very Safe Building

Horton House in Halifax now has a sign proclaiming “Unsafe Building - Do Not Enter”. What a reverse for this fine building that once was the school clinic where generations of Halifax children were inoculated against deadly diseases. It was then, a very safe building indeed.

A Quiet Corner Of Sheffield

Like some monumental sculpture, this collection has been assembled. Perhaps the steps leading up to the Church where the light can be seen. Or maybe the lamp lighting the way to the steps of reason. Or maybe a quiet corner of Sheffield 40 years ago.

Watching The World Change

It has the look of a cast outing from Last Of The Summers Wine. It was a group of Sheffield ladies, out for a walk 40 years ago. “Didn’t Doris Greaves live there?” asks one. “Yes, but they knocked the house down and moved her into the flats”, replies one of the others. “She’s gone now”, adds a third. Not too long after the photograph was taken, the flats went the way Doris did.

That's Entertainment

They knew how to enjoy themselves in those days - days of pierrot shows and tenor vocalists. And there is Great Cousin Ivy (cello and pianoforte) with a semi-detached smile.

Not A Deafening Noise

Another of my photos of the Halifax Charity Gala 56 years ago, to mark the day of the 2023 Gala. I'm not sure why the brass band back in 1967 chose to play outside the tent of the Halifax Deaf Association! Brass bands were one of the things I missed most during my deaf years.

Strip Of Six Negatives

The memories of photographers of a certain age tend to be organised in strips of six. We'd develop our films and cut them into strips for storage. So we jump from 1966 to 1967, and drop into the Halifax Charity Gala on Manor Heath to watch a little weightlifting.

Hanging In The Balance

The 2023 Halifax Charity Gala will take place today. To celebrate the occasion, this is a photograph I took at the very same event 56 years ago. That's a long time ago and a long time to have been left hanging in the balance.

Sheffield Rooftops

I spent a fair amount of yesterday in Sheffield and Barnsley, so this seems to be a suitable calendar image for today. It's 40 years since I took it, but still the skyline will be familiar to those who know Sheffield.

Pengo, Pengo, Pengo ....

Detail from a 10,000 Pengo banknote issued by the Hungarian government in July 1945. At the time, Hungary was suffering from hyper-inflation and the note became worthless within a few days of being issued.

Tuesday, June 06, 2023

Terrible Tragedy In Halifax


Don't you just get fed up with the state of the modern media, with all the sensational headlines, lurid stories and titillating images designed to get you to follow links to stories that never live up to what they promised? Take me back to the good old days when serious writers upheld the very highest journalistic standards.

Let Me Know How Aunt Sally Goes On


A classic image from a classic vintage postcard, which was posted to a Miss B York of Doncaster on the 21st June 1904. The message was intriguingly simple: "Let me know how Aunt Sally goes on". I'm not sure about Aunt Sally, but Miss Louie Pounds, the actress depicted on the front of the card, went on until 1970 when she died just short of her 100th birthday!

Monday, June 05, 2023

26 Chimneys And 1 Tower


This is the last of the strip of six negatives from 1966. I took it from almost the same place as yesterdays, but I have moved my camera around a little. Even though this was Halifax in transition, I can still count 26 mill chimneys in the photograph - and that is not including Wainhouse Tower.

Blurred Transition


Memories are rarely in sharp focus, especially memories from half a century ago. Time, places and people all get blurred in the transition between a captured moment and a captured memory. I can't remember taking this photograph, but I know the three subjects, and, I suspect at least two of them will be reading this.

Last Exit To Peel Street

I suspect that I took this photograph in Queensgate Market, Huddersfield (it's the only market with an adjacent Peel Street I can think of). The date will have been somewhere in the range 1980-82.

Willie Had A Purple Monkey

My Great Uncle Albert contributed this charming and somewhat bizarre warning against the dangers of lead paint in his teenage daughter's autograph book 100 years ago. The poem was actually written by American novelist and humorist, Charles Heber Clark, and has even more disturbing verses to it. There is even a musical version of it, sung by an American choir, available on YouTube.

A Moveable Pylon

You left me at the end of last week back in Halifax in 1966 walking up, what I think was, Bradford Old Road. I've tried to pinpoint the exact spot I took this from, but I think they have cheated and moved the electricity pylon! it's a grand view, however.

A Special Kind Of Joy

There is a special kind of joy in discovering old photographs. I took this photograph back in 1983, developed the film, but, as far as I know, never bothered printing it. It finally emerged from my scanner yesterday, brought to life following a 40 year gestation.

Two Impressions Of Halifax

Two impressions of Halifax. The first, as it appeared through my camera lens back in 1966. The second, as it appeared on my computer screen last night following some whisky-induced filtering. Both fit in with my memories of all those years ago.

Dramatic Licence In Elland

Elland from Hullenedge, 1983 with adjustments in 2023 : Of course it wasn't as green as this, but a certain amount of dramatic licence is surely allowed.

It Is 10.42 AM

It's a lifetime and a half ago; a different time and a different place. I'm a tutor taking a group of Doncaster mature students on a visit to Westminster. We pause and I take the obligatory photograph. It is 10.42am. It's a lifetime and a half ago.

Tom Thumb's Fire Brigade


152/365 : Take a ride along the seashore on Tom Thumb’s Fire Engine. Whilst others look out to sea, cloth-capped and apprehensive, the children smile with anticipated pleasure. This, however, is the 1930s.

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...