I have a feeling that this photograph was taken from a little further along Syke Lane, just outside Priestley Green. It was, however, 56 years ago, and it was in the middle of winter, and there was a freshly fallen silent shrewd of snow, so maybe I am imagining things. Now, it is a different century, it is summer and the forecast is for sun and blue skies. Lucy-dog wants a walk, but where shall we go? Why not! Let’s see if I can find those fields and that fence, let’s see if I can remember that song.
Monthly Archives: July 2020
My walk of 1964 has taken me into the centre of the lovely hamlet of Priestley Green, and, as always, my eye is drawn to the cottages that are known as “The Sisters”. Nobody quite seems to know why they are thus called, although we do know that they were built in 1630 by Samuel Sunderland of nearby Coley Hall. I am alone on my walk of 56 years ago, and I probably imagined myself living in this delightful spot, gazing out of those windows onto the streets below. There is a well outside the gate of these cottages, whose waters were supposed to posses magical powers for all who drank them. The power to travel back through time by more than fifty years perhaps.
So my walk – in a deep and dark December (or possibly, January, or maybe February) – back in the winter of 1964/65, took me passed Coley Church and then down Northedge Lane towards Priestley Green. I still occasionally go down this lane, although I am not sure I would chance it in the snow these days. Just as lovely now, and a fair bit greener.
Having identified a direction of travel with this sequence of negatives featuring Sheffield in the early 1980s, it should be relatively simple to work out where I was when I took this photo. I’ve even managed to incorporate a road sign, just in case my memory might need some navigational help forty years down the line. I am still not sure where I am, however, and I need help in identifying those rather nice bay windows.
This is a joyous photo. I have no idea who the people are, but they are striding away from the Marine Bathing Pavilion in Margate. At a guess, we are in the late 1920s, although, again, I can’t be sure about that. What we can be certain about, however, is that they are having a great time.
It is the winter of 1964/65. A Labour Government led by a youthful Harold Wilson has just been elected into power. Sir Stanley Matthews is about to play his last First Division game at the age of 50. The Kray twins have been arrested in the East End, Agatha Christie is still writing Miss Marple books and the long life of Winston Churchill draws to an end. It is snowing in West Yorkshire, and I set out on a walk from my home in Northowram. I head down the back lanes and catch a view of Coley Church over the snow-covered stone walls.
There are enough prominent buildings in the background of this photograph of Sheffield in the 1980s to enable a form of visual triangulation to be used to pin down its location. The problem would be stopping for long enough to set up your theodolite – even in a black and white photo, those look like double yellow lines.
Another week, another strip of old negatives to scan and rediscover. And these six take me to another city and another decade, as we find ourselves in Sheffield in the 1980s. I was no longer a young man when I took these photographs, and to me, it seems like only yesterday; but a quick calculation on the back of an envelope tells me it is the best part of forty years ago. I have a feeling that I took this grainy grey shot in that part of the city between West Street and Broad Lane, but my attempts to locate the modern-day equivalent on Google Street View came to nothing as that part of the city has changed so much in the last few decades. Wherever it was, it was a grainy memory.
When I go through my old negatives looking for dating evidence, I normally focus on things such as car types, tv aerials, or even dustbin designs. Sometimes, however, a scene just “looks” old, and that is the case with this photograph of the view looking towards Shibden Valley from Beacon Hill. In fact, it looks so old, it makes me feel my age, with a couple of decades added on for good measure.