Monthly Archives: February 2019

History Sticks To The Inconsequential

Whenever I get a new camera – in this case a new Smartphone – I can’t resist taking a few photographs just to see what it is like in various circumstances. The subject matter of such shots is entirely inconsequential – it is whatever happens to be there in front of me at the time. Last night, Bradford Road in Fixby just happened to be there at the time. When I look back at such “test photographs”, they are always some of the most interesting from a historical perspective because of the randomness of the subject. History sticks to the inconsequential like iron filings on a magnet.

The First Tram In Space

1909 Postcard : Free School Lane, Halifax (AB Collection)

This is another old view of a road I knew so well. I used to walk down from school and then take a short cut from Clover Hill Road to Well Head and then the Bus Station for the bus home. There won’t have been tram lines there in my school days, but somehow the memories all get jumbled up. My school days seem so long ago, and yet I can remember seeing a newspaper billboard outside the newsagents shop here (where the Swiss Cafe was, I think), announcing the first man in space. Ot maybe, the first tram in space.

The reverse of the card is, as always, interesting in its own right. Written in December 1909, it is a thank you note for presents which will have been sent for Christmas. Addressed to “Captain Pacey”, it starts, “Dear Sister”; so I strongly suspect we are dealing with a member of the Salvation Army. There was a Salvation Army Maternity Hospital in Hackney around the time of this postcard, so perhaps that is a clue. But there again, Captain Pacey may have been the pilot of the intergalactic spaceship that regularly left from the Swiss Cottage Cafe in Halifax for the dark side of the moon.