The final shot in this particular strip of six negatives, and all the climbing and scaling of hillside and stone steps is worthwhile. The view from the top of Godley Bank, when you suddenly catch sight of that carpet of industry and activity that is Halifax, must be one of the grandest views of the north of England. Even better when seen from the top of a bus. Again, this must date from around 1967: a year or two before those houses to the right of the road were demolished.
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Anyone who has been following the progress of my scans for the last few days will know where I had arrived at by the end of this strip of negatives from the late 1960s. It is Halifax’s answer to a triumphal arch: built by the Borough Engineer in 1900 out of stone and cast iron; a monument to the power of hard work and industry. It is the stone steps leading up to Godley Bridge.
When you’ve rearranged all the books on your bookshelves, watched all your box sets, re-indexed your memories, and there seems nothing left to do …. you can always scan a Welsh Poppy.
An old family photograph which must date back to the mid 1930s. The man in the photograph is Charlie Pitts, I am not sure about the woman next to him. It was taken in Blue Anchor, a village in Somerset, when my parents were on a motorbike holiday with Charlie and his lady friend.
A hundred yards or so after taking yesterday’s photograph, I must have turned again towards Halifax and taken this next one in the series. It captures the old railway sidings at North Bridge particularly well, along with Smith’s Wire Works. Monuments to both God and industry vie for control of the skyline.
Castle Hill in Huddersfield: There have been settlements here for more than 4,000 years and numerous hill forts and castle have stood on top of the hill. The current tower dates only from 1899, when it was erected to mark the Diamond Jubilee of Queen Victoria.
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.