There was a time – in the 1950s and 60s – when towns like Halifax seemed to be in love with the future. And the future was motor cars: great big metallic, two-toned, chromium-plated beasts that drank petrol with the abandon of an alcoholic. And the garages that sold them were, in the main, bastions of modernity – plate-glass showcases of the future. Trinity Garage was such a building: standing proudly at the top of Hunger Hill as if mocking it’s very name. The building remains – a little shabby without the chic – but the cars are long gone. Hunger Hill is fighting back.
I had a bit of a bad feeling about this one. As I entered the very long, very dark and very deserted old walkway under the railway line there was a young bloke in a hoody walking a very cross looking dog approaching behind me. The shot looking out of the old stone viaduct was a good one but I knew if I waited a little and repressed my desire to run away, it would be even better. The young chap was charming. He wished me good morning and the dog wagged its tail. And then he walked on. And I took the picture. And I had a bit of a good feeling about this one.
One definition of “providence” is “timely preparation for future eventualities”. So when they built Providence Place Chapel in Cleckheaton in 1857 they probably thought that if the congregation eventually dwindled they could convert the building into an Indian Restaurant. And so they did.
Now it is a double glazing shop, before that it was a travel agents, but what was it when it was given it’s name – The Pygmalion? In classical mythology, Pygmalion was a sculptor who fell in love with a statue he had carved. A clothes shop, perhaps.
My ninth found dollop of history (£1.50 pence from the second-hand shop) features a 1914 vintage postcard from Tewkesbury. I can never resist a postcard of a pub and I will dip deeper into my wallet than normal to buy one. This is a lovely old card featuring the Bell Hotel in Tewkesbury which is notable for two reasons: first […]
“Before performing the ceremony assigned him, Mr Anderson assured those present that he appreciated very highly the honour conferred upon him by the committee and his fellow townsmen in the request to lay the memorial stone of the Town Hall. He would much rather have left the duty to some distinguished person from some other part of the country (“No”)” […]
Not many people sculpt lion’s bottoms. Great stone and marble statues featuring lion’s heads are ten a penny, common as muck. But for the fine proportions of a lion’s backside you have to wander off the beaten track and look at things from a different perspective.
I took this picture ten years ago and it has lay dormant in my digital files until, by chance, I looked at it yesterday and thought “what a busy scene to have going on beneath your bedroom window” A little research on line revealed that it was the work of an Hungarian sculptor called Alice Lux (you can just see her name at the right hand end of the relief). She was the wife of the architect of the building, Hugo Gregersen, and together they were responsible for a number of such artistic elements which serve to brighten up what otherwise might be a drab mid-twentieth century scene.
It’s music week this week on Sepia Saturday and the theme image is some old sheet music for some little piece of whimsy called The Violet Polka. I do have a small collection of sheet music I inherited from my Uncle Harry (or “poor Uncle Harry” as he was always referred to in the family but that is another story best left until after the watershed) and I dipped into that to find something suitably uplifting. In amongst his music is a small volume entitled “The Music Lovers’ Portfolio Of The World’s Best Music” which was published as a part series in England in the 1920s by Georg Newnes Ltd. I only seem to have Part 1, so perhaps Uncle Harry ran out of money after the first week or maybe the selection wasn’t to his liking. The selection in Part 1 is certainly, as they say these days, “aspirational”. There is some Rachmaninoff, some Mendelssohn and even the 1st Movement of Beethoven’s Fifth. But I needed something even more culturally weighty to stand up against the Violet Polka, so I give you, from towards the end of the portfolio, “Love’s Cigarette” by H Fraser-Simson , Harry Graham and Adrian Ross. I am probably in breach of some copyright law by reproducing this piece of music here, but I will defend myself at the bar of public opinion by stating that this is a work that should be more widely […]