My relationship with Siddal is somewhat akin to the relationship between the earth and Halley’s Comet. Very occasionally we are in close proximity: as a teenager I sought out a pub there that was reputed to have a liberal interpretation of the licensing laws, and many years later my brother lived there for a few months. Most of the time, however, I gaze at Siddal across the firmament and take sightings of it from more familiar regions such as Southowram and Salterhebble.
Therefore, when I recently came into possession of this old Real Photographic postcard of Siddal, I had to turn to Google maps to try and identify the exact location, and because many of the buildings no longer exist, a little bit of detective work was also called for. I am now reasonably confident in asserting that it is a view of Lower Siddal from the delightfully named “Bottoms”, and that the fine school building (centre, right) is the old Siddal Junior School that has now been replaced by a new housing development. At the bottom of the picture you can just make out one of the locks on the old Halifax Branch Canal which connected the town to the Calder and Hebble Navigation at Salterhebble. The canal is long gone, and any attempt to capture a similar view today would be impossible due to the abundant growth of post-industrial vegetation.