It is the beard that is a give-away. There was a small window of hairiness, somewhere between late-onset maturity and marriage when hair warmed my chin. Then I was told it was ridiculous and I had to shave it off. So I did. So this photograph must have been taken in about 1972 when I was still at University in […]
Black against white. Or at least black against cloudy grey. Nature against man against Nature.
I am taking a walk along the path where history interacts with geography and words rub shoulders with images – the vintage postcard path. The destination doesn’t matter and the route is determined by the random selection of old postcards I have bought at an antique fair. Number 10 in the series sees us in the Isle of Man. This picture postcard was sent in 1927, but I suspect that the photograph dates from the end of the nineteenth century. It shows a somewhat precarious pathway over a stream and is entitled “Lhen Coan, Groudle, I of M” The “I o M” part is easy for anyone from the UK to interpret, it is the Isle of Man: that curious outcrop in the middle of the Irish Sea which seems for ever unsure as to whether it is part of Britain or indeed part of the twenty-first century. Mr Wiki Pedia tells me that Lhen Coan is not an elderly Canadian singer of sad but beautiful songs, but the Isle of Man’s only natural canyon which is situated in Groudle Glen which is on the east coast of the island. Groudle Glen has a fascinating history and at the time of the postcard it boasted a zoo, a railway, an open-air dance floor and a variety of entertainments. Lhen Coan (which in Manx Gaelic means “Lonely Valley”) was a place you could take a quiet walk when you were tired […]
It’s all angular; you could cut yourself quite badly on that leading edge. It sprouts from a patch near the centre of Halifax that used to be the home of a brewery: all odds and ends, curves and pipes; as blunt as a barrel. It fits its environment like a lump of breeze block in the wall of the Taj […]
Our Sepia Saturday theme image this week features an air stewardess hugging a cute puppy. Auntie Miriam may have been many things, but she was never an air stewardess, but there again it’s a donkey she is hugging and not a puppy. The donkey is undeniably cute however and that look of affection could be a mirror image of the one shared between the stewardess and the puppy. The date of the theme image is a little uncertain: sometimes in the 1950s is the best that the Preus Museum (Norway’s National Museum of Photography) can come up with. I can be much more precise about my photograph because it comes from the Frank Fieldhouse Digital Collection and as we all know Frank might not have been an airline pilot, but he was an enthusiastic cataloguer. In his unmistakable hand the page in the album is headed “St Annes” and dated 1941. Uncle Frank could never resist the additional comment, that little extra description that makes the difference between a museum catalogue and a personal scrapbook. Those little notes of affection percolate his albums like dandruff on a Rastafarian; announcing his affection for his wife as clear a any 60 point bold typeface. And below this picture is the unforgettable line – “On the sands …. and one is a donkey”
In this strange and wonderful world of blogging nothing is impossible. It started with an old postcard, the one featured in my last post entitled “No Stamp, No Box, No Pint” It was an old picture postcard posted 101 years ago and featuring the Bell Hotel in Tewkesbury. At one side of the old pub you can just make out a sign advertising the brewery that was supplying the hotel back in 1914 and it was the Wickwar brewery of Armold Perrett & Co. The firm is long gone but the internet suggested that the brewery building still existed and a new brewery – the Wickwar Brewery – had moved into the premises. I looked Wickwar up on a map and discovered to my delight that it was just up the road from where one of my oldest blogging friends – the inimitable Chairman Bill – lives. So I asked him to see if he could find it and if so let me have a photograph of it. And for good measure I asked him to send me a pint of Wickwar Gold as well. Within 24 hours a set of photographs had arrived in my in-box showing the old brewery buildings and evidence of its occupation by the new Wickwar Brewery. Even better, a message arrived to say that a pint of Wickwar Gold was on the way. I cannot deny that I have always had more than my […]
There was a time – in the 1950s and 60s – when towns like Halifax seemed to be in love with the future. And the future was motor cars: great big metallic, two-toned, chromium-plated beasts that drank petrol with the abandon of an alcoholic. And the garages that sold them were, in the main, bastions of modernity – plate-glass showcases of the future. Trinity Garage was such a building: standing proudly at the top of Hunger Hill as if mocking it’s very name. The building remains – a little shabby without the chic – but the cars are long gone. Hunger Hill is fighting back.
I had a bit of a bad feeling about this one. As I entered the very long, very dark and very deserted old walkway under the railway line there was a young bloke in a hoody walking a very cross looking dog approaching behind me. The shot looking out of the old stone viaduct was a good one but I knew if I waited a little and repressed my desire to run away, it would be even better. The young chap was charming. He wished me good morning and the dog wagged its tail. And then he walked on. And I took the picture. And I had a bit of a good feeling about this one.
One definition of “providence” is “timely preparation for future eventualities”. So when they built Providence Place Chapel in Cleckheaton in 1857 they probably thought that if the congregation eventually dwindled they could convert the building into an Indian Restaurant. And so they did.