There is no featured content to be displayed in the slider. To set up the slider, go to Appearance → Customize, and add a tag under Tag Name in the Featured Content section. The slideshow will then display all posts which are tagged with that keyword.
This is a scan of a tiny print from an equally tiny album of photographs taken in Wales in the early 1930s. This particular print is captioned “The Ventriloquist, Porthcawl : Whit Monday 1932“. “Tommy Porthcawl” – whose real name was Sydney Valentine – was famous for his sketches and ventriloquist act on Porthcawl beach in the early 1930s. According to an interview with his daughter in 2006, his fame extended further than the rocky sands of Porthcawl, and he had appeared on BBC Radio on a number of occasions. Ventriloquism on the radio always seems to be an easy option as far as I can see!
Orgreave Coking Plant, Sheffield 1982 (Alan Burnett)
Orgreave Coking Plant was like a working industrial sculpture that greeted visitors to the city as they drove along the Parkway from the M1. A couple of years after I took this photograph it became famous as the site of the famous Battle of Orgreave during the Miner’s strike. Within ten years it had been demolished and the site cleared and redeveloped.
I have always thought that the British magazine, Picture Post (1938-57), represented photojournalism at its very best and for some time now I have been trying to build up a collection of original copies. A new bundle arrived the other day which were all from the period 1942/3: the very height of World War II. The stories in each issue not only represent the key problems of the day, but they also often look forward to the kind of world that will exist when the long war is finally over.
The issue of the 7th February 1942 led with the danger facing Australia from invasion by the Axis Powers. The other contents ranged over a variety of issues from canteens for wartime farm workers to American students dancing to raise funds for the Free French. There was even a wonderful polemic aimed at the poor quality of film still photography.
One of the outstanding features of Picture Post magazine was the quality of its own photographs and some of the finest British photographers of the twentieth century worked for the magazine including Bert Hardy and Bill Brandt. One article in the 7th February 1942 edition tells the story of how one of the great opera companies – Sadler’s Wells – took to the road during the war to bring entertainment, and culture, to wartime workers. When they visited Burnley in Lancashire photographers from Picture Post were there to record the event. And they did so with considerable style.
Burnley housewives queue for seats : You still see shawls and clogs in Burnley. Their wearers line up at the box office of the Victoria Theatre to book seats for “Madame Butterfly” (Picture Post)
River Don and St George’s Church, Doncaster.
An old faded postcard comes up as fresh as a sepia daisy following a good scanning. These days the church is surrounded by plate-glass and concrete buildings, but the Rover Don still flows quietly by.
Two people sat on a boat (I don’t know who they are) in a harbour (I don’t know where it is), a long time ago (I don’t know exactly when). Despite all the unknowns, the picture is a treat.