Kids these days! They’re surgically attached to their mobile phones. Never off them. You can’t have a good old fashioned conversation with them any more, because they are glued to their phones. Now, when I was a lad ……
I received through the post today, a copy of Lilliput Magazine from October 1947 (has anyone else noted that postal deliveries are slower than normal these days!). Within it, is this wonderful cartoon that sums the telephone situation up perfectly.
This rather beautiful studio photograph that somehow found its way into my collection must date from the early years of the twentieth century. There is something about the look and dress of the woman that hints more towards Great War munition worker than Victorian housewife. There is an indented studio name near the bottom of the print that seems to be J. Lister, Crossgates, but I can find no record of such a studio.
It is a sight you don’t see much any more – demolition on a large scale. These days it’s more discreet: hidden behind scaffolding and plastic sheets. This was Elland back in the early 1970s, when the demolition teams left open wounds: cobbled streets without a purpose; bare chimneys pointing the where heaven used to be.
They loved churches and chapels in these parts. In the nineteenth century, every street corner or half-empty plot became potentially sacred ground – if it hadn’t been occupied by a beerhouse already. The churches and chapels they built were often grand affairs, signalling piety without recourse to subtlety. And when the praying stopped, other uses for the stone-built citadels had to be found. This fine nineteenth century Congregational church at Bridge End in Brighouse, first of all became a sports club. And when the sporting stopped, it became apartments.
Being limited in the distance you can travel allows you to discover beauty close to home. All too often we are fooled into the belief that grand sights have to be paid for with mindless travel over great distances. Only if you have sat crumpled up on a noisy plane for eight hours can you expect to see sublime nature at its best. As we are discovering, this isn’t the case. Beauty is alive and living a short walk away down the road.