I must have acquired this postcard of Bull Green in Halifax at some stage over the last fifty years. It’s almost recent enough, and I’m almost old enough, to make me think I might have bought it new. Whatever its provenance, it hasn’t been used, which somehow strips it of half its potential interest. There are no intriguing messages on the back, and no postmarks to date it: all we have is the picture. Luckily, the picture is a history lesson in itself, and well worth half a pint of anybody’s time.
Peel away the somewhat unnatural colours and the frighteningly empty streets, and what you are left with is a study of three pubs – the Crown and Anchor, the Bull’s Head, and the Griffin Hotel. These three provided constant reference points during my youth: I would walk passed them and catch the bus outside them on my journeys to and from school, and (a little later) I would explore them as a barely legal customer. They were like compass points around Bull Green (with perhaps the Plummet Line being the fourth point on the compass): as constant as any northern star.
The buildings still exist, and all three still serve the odd drink or two, although such drinks might not be recognisable to the seasoned drinkers of my youth. The Crown and Anchor has gone through several name changes since this photograph was taken and its most recent manifestation is a bar called Koko’s. The Bull’s Head equally has been known as most things over the last thirty years, most recently as a “Party Bar” called Origin. The Griffin eventually became a bar called “Bow Legged With Brass”.
So, there we have it. The traffic got busier, the buildings slightly shabbier, and the Crown, The Bull and the Griffin became Koko’s, Origin and Bow-Legged!