Old Haligonians in their hundreds came forward yesterday to pin down the location of the photo of, what I though was, Gaol Lane: it appears that it was, in fact, most likely the adjacent Ann Street. During the day I was sent several old maps of this particular part of Halifax, and the fascinating exercise was trying to fit the jumble of streets, buildings, and even mill ponds, into the area we know today. It’s almost as though an entire bygone world can be compressed into what, effectively, is a Marks and Spencer Car Park.
The maps will be useful in trying to pin down where I went to next after leaving Ann Street. The next photograph on the strip of negatives, again features Halifax Town Hall, but this time as seen through the frame of a half demolished window. I have tried to make some sense of the lettering in the window above the doorway, and the best I can come up with is –SS / IN-SHERS (oh why didn’t I move the camera slightly to the left?). The letters could help to form “Brass Finishers” and I have studied the second map in detail trying to find such an establishment. There are mineral water manufacturers, rag warehouses, bolt stores, marine stores (!), and even a brass foundry, but there are no brass finishers I can find.
No doubt, before the day is through, someone will have pinned down the exact spot, but even if they can’t, it doesn’t matter. The hunt itself is just as enjoyable as the outcome.