The second picture in my “Home” collection is this photograph of Bank Bottom, Halifax, which I took somewhere around 1970. Square Church spire is framed by the old Riding Hall Carpet Mill and the Halifax Gas Works. If you would like to see this picture in person, it is currently on view as part of the excellent Showcase Exhibition at Dean Clough, Halifax.
I decided to gather together some of my favourite photographs under a variety of headings: home, away, family, strangers etc. It is a pointless project, and therefore one I am particularly drawn to. This is the first photo in the “Home” category. I took it over half a century ago. It was home then. It’s still home now.
We’ve been away for a few days. How strange it is to be able to say that: how quickly the unusual has become normality, and how threatening the world outside can appear when you have been locked indoors for too long. So we left lockdown behind and visited Chester and Nantwich: enjoyed good times with friends, stayed in some lovely hotels and, of course, enjoyed some fine beers and exceptional malt whiskeys. My Daily Calendar images had to wait until I returned home, but now I have caught up. This silly little project was meant to last a month at the most, and is now coming up to half a year. My walls are full of old calendar images, but, if nothing else, I will have a pictorial record of a rather strange year.
One of my favourite Stacey Kent songs has always been Breakfast On The Morning Tram, which was written by Jim Tomlinson with lyrics by Kazuo Ishiguro. I’ve always imagined some exotic European city setting, but having come across a short piece from 1918 in the Illustrated London News, I am wondering whether he had early twentieth century Halifax in mind! The text accompanying the illustration reads as follows:-
“An electric tramcar belonging to Halifax Corporation has been converted into a fully equipped travelling kitchen capable of supplying 1,000 portions. It has electric stoves, with current supplied from the overhead wires, and a 1,200 gallon water-tank. Meals are served from both sides and there is a cash office at each end. It can run to any part of the 33 mile system.”
Stacey Kent’s far more exotic version of the Morning Tram can be found on YouTube.
Halifax Borough Market – dark and light, hard and soft, functional lines and extravagant curves … and dripping with colour. Come to think of it, that could be a suitable description of the town itself.
The Victorians were good at Town Halls: built with equal parts of civic pride, cheap labour and local taxes. Town Halls, sewers, churches and chapels – the Victorians were big on them all. Elland Town Hall never functioned as a seat of local government; but parts of it have been used as all manner of things over the years: from assembly halls to cinemas, from restaurants to tanning studios. Whatever the use – or lack of it – it remains a stunning building.
When you get to the end of the road, there is an ingrained need in us all, to get in a rowing boat and go that little bit further.
The ethereal spire of All Soul’s Church seems to almost float above the mills, shops and apartments, as though it’s determined to grab the spiritual high ground. This is high church, Halifax style.
This was one of the first posts I ever put up on my blog, I posted it fifteen years ago in 2006. It came to mind because …. this morning started with a visit to the dentist! Actually, in the intervening fifteen years the dentist has moved, even closer to the town centre. Whist waiting for pain and suffering in downtown Halifax Part II to commence, I took a walk, and, of course, took some photographs.
I took some photographs here back in the 1960s and when I got home I looked some of them out…..
As it turned out, there was no pain and suffering on this occasion: the dentist took one look and booked me in for another appointment to do a filling in a few weeks time. Keep a look out for Pain And Suffering In Downtown Halifax Part III