Watching Over Elland

There are some scenes I return to again and again: photographs I have been taking for fifty years. One such is the statue of Britannia which overlooks Elland Bridge from her elevated position on the roof of the former premises of the Halifax and Huddersfield Banking Company. Sometimes I try and capture her in an elegant pose, flanked by the pilasters, columns and pediments of the frontage of what is now a beautifully restored building. At other times I sneak up on her and catch her off guard, amid the roof tiles and chimney pots.

These two photographs fall into the latter category and date from the early 1980s. By this time Britannia had spent a good few years patiently watching the construction of the new Elland Bypass Over the next few decades she would watch the scars created by the new road gradually fade, she would see buildings come and buildings go, see the river rise and fall, and, no doubt, every so often, catch sight of me walking past, camera in hand, photographing my muse.

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