One of my photographs from half a century ago taken, I think, from the appropriately named Gas Works Lane, in Elland. Many of the buildings, along with the gasometer, have now gone and the aroma of the maltings is just a distant memory.
Category Archives: Old Halifax
Elland Power Station used to sit on the floor of the Calder Valley like a mucky residue, creating black shapes against a grey sky. It’s been replaced now by a bright business park; all very clean and the slightest bit boring.
I am fairly certain that I was stood on the corner of Lister Lane and Rhodes Street in Halifax when I took this photograph some 55 years ago. If you squint in the right direction you can just about match up the curved corner stones with the current view on Google StreetView. My question, however, relates to the two religious establishments that can clearly be seen on my photo, but which have been replaced by houses and car parks on the current view. I have delved into the usual local history annals for clarification, and ended up with such a collection of saints and chapels, I have descended into a state of spiritual confusion. Someone out there, I am sure, will be able to provide me with some form of religious insight.
Here’s a little challenge for you nostalgia lovers. I must have taken this photograph of Bull Green, Halifax in the 1960s, so you can have fun trying to spot all the shops you can remember. To make it that little more challenging, however, I took the photograph of a reflection of the scene in a car showroom window; so you are seeing everything in reverse. You may recognise DOOWNEERG, the well-known bookshop, or you may be drawn to SNIWEL (but only if you were a man, as women were still banned from there in the 1960s!). Try to work out what was where in this back-to-front world: think of it as a way of exercising your mind, a kind of nostalgic sudoku. If you can’t remember any of the shops, you can always occupy yourself by trying to work out why the cars are going the wrong way around the roundabout!
It is not often that you find yourself with a picture of a crime in progress, but this particular scan from my old negatives must be one such case. It shows Commercial Street in Halifax in the midst of redevelopment. I certainly do not take the view that all modern buildings in the town are concrete monstrosities, nor that all the old buildings are stone works of art, but this particular transformation can surely have few supporters. My photograph dates from the mid 1960s, the modern image is a Google StreetView grab.
This view of St Thomas, Claremount, framed by the old Halifax Gas Works is another of the repeat offenders from my negative archives: it seems that I couldn’t walk down Bank Bottom without taking such a shot. This was taken before the church spire was removed, which, I think, makes it mid 1960s. I have darker versions of the same scene – one for every mood.
As I trawl through my negative archives, I keep finding scenes that I have photographed on multiple occasions. I have this particular view of Bank Bottom in Halifax either with steam or without it. The without steam option has a more stately feel to it – a bit like Tuscany with industry grafted on.
I think I must have taken this photograph in the 1980s, which makes it rather late in my black and white days. By then the Burdock Way overpass had become part of the very body of Halifax; a vital artery rather than a varicose vein. Key buildings had shifted their positions to benefit from its’ fine concrete picture frames.
John Edward Wainhouse did not do plain. Ask him to build a dyeworks chimney and you would finish up with a monumental tower; ask him to build a row of cottages and you would get spiral staircases and terraced balconies. His tower still stands proud, his terrace has seen better days. This was taken in 1972 when parts of it were still occupied and before the stone-cleaners came along.