This has always been one of my favourite photographs from the late 1960s. I strongly suspect that the back yard I took this from no longer exists: indeed, nor does the house, nor does the street. And the view no longer exists. Gone are the cooling towers, the gasometers, and the chimneys, and all you would see if you stood there today, would be a lot of trees. This is a different Halifax of fifty or so years ago: a little lost, a lot dirtier; but full of grand scenes.
When the sun is shining, the birds are singing, the stone is glowing, and the power cables humming, can there be a finer place in the world than West Yorkshire? In this case, the fields and farms above Greetland, near Halifax.
Following on from yesterday’s virtual day at the seaside, today we are back in Halifax, and where better than down behind Halifax Gas Works. I have always thought there was something vaguely Venetian about Halifax. Canaletto would have felt at home here.
These old parish division markers have been gathered together in a local park. They tell of days when localities were divided by poverty, and local Board of Guardians would endlessly seek to limit the boundaries of social responsibility.
It is easy to get the impression that, during the 1960s and 70s, I did little other than take photographs of rainy days in Halifax. Occasionally, however, I escaped to the sun, and, as I scan my way through my negatives, I will find shots from some exotic location or other. These example are from Bridlington and, I think, date from the mid 1970s. It was a time when boat rides on the Bridlington Queen followed by a game of Bingo (where the prize was a 50 pence food voucher) constituted an exciting day out. It was a time when social distancing referred to the space you would leave between your deck chair and the next one.
As with so many of my old photographs, I have no idea who this person is, nor where the photograph was taken. The “when” question, however, is far more inviting, and the lady in question whispers “1920s’ to me.
Stepping back slightly from yesterday’s photograph, this gives a better idea of where the snicket was – and still is. Again, this was taken in the 1980s, a time of transition for this part of Halifax. Old Lane seems to justify its name, the various mills seem to be in search of a new future.