Tuesday, May 21, 2024

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 stopping off points was the magnificent Art Nouveau Black Friar pub on Queen Victoria Street, which, back then, had only recently been saved from the threat of demolition. As jobs go, leading educational pub crawls was about as good as it gets.

Monday, May 20, 2024

Stone

 


Halifax does stone well. The railway viaduct could be part of a Roman amphitheatre, and the mill could be the business end of a Gothic cathedral. The wall could be an early stone version of Tetris, and the chimney part of a Gormley sculpture. And there, in the background, is the source of it all - one of the great stone hills of Yorkshire.

Stirling Scan



What better way to spend Sunday than to walk down King Street in Stirling. On the left are the offices of the Stirling Journal and on the right is the Golden Lion Hotel, and in the distance, the imposing Athenaeum building. The walk started ninety-odd years ago when someone took a photo of the scene, and finished yesterday when I got to scan the faded old print.

Happy Birthday

 


Making the love of my life the subject of my daily calendar on her birthday fulfils two important objectives. It reminds me not to forget her birthday, which, after more than half a century together, I'm still capable of doing. It also provides me with a birthday card I can print off and hand to her - I'm from Yorkshire, after all. Happy birthday my love.

Friday, May 17, 2024

Bus Stops



Bus stops are the punctuation marks of life, the points at which you pause, draw breath, and see what comes around the corner. It might be the bus you want, it might be a new direction in life. The bus stop in this case was at the top of Oxford Street in Crookesmoor, Sheffield. The time was 1979.

Thursday, May 16, 2024

Markets



I worked in Bradford for a time just after leaving school, and at lunchtime I would explore the wonderful old Kirkgate Market. It always seemed slightly more imposing than Halifax's Borough Market, as perhaps befits a city rather than a humble town. Bradford's market was torn down in the early 1970s and replaced with a concrete affair that seems likely to share the same fate before too long. Maybe I'm getting old and over-nostalgic, but I mourn the passing of the old, but not the new.

Wednesday, May 15, 2024

Memory



How many memories can you squeeze into a photograph? I crossed the road here each day on my way to junior school, and I caught the bus here each day on my way to secondary school. I bought bags of chips at the corner and comics across the road. I pumped petrol at the filling station for a Saturday job. A decade and a half of my life squeezed into a photograph, a decade and a half of my life squeezed into Northowram.

Thursday, May 09, 2024

Multiverse

 


Some would suggest that we live in a multiverse in which parallel universes exist side by side. I have some sympathy with this theory because fifty years ago I moved from West Yorkshire to North Staffordshire. Here is a photograph I took at the time.

Wednesday, May 08, 2024

Albert And Rose




All praise those sainted mortals who


When given a photo know what to do


With pencilled words small and clear


Discreetly say on the photos rear


Whether it's Jack or Joe or God only knows


Or in this case, Great Uncle Albert and his wife, Rose.

Commercial Street



From the mid nineteenth century onwards, every northern town worth its weight in brass had a Commercial Street. To these streets the new generation of drapers, bakers and umbrella makers were drawn. I took this photograph of Brighouse's Commercial Street over half a century ago. It was busy then and, I'm glad to say, it's still busy now.

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...