We took a trip to Port Sunlight yesterday. Despite the cloudy skies and intermittent rain (the blue sky on one of my photographs is there because of wishful thinking), it was a thoroughly enjoyable day. It was interesting to compare Port Sunlight with the previous generation of model industrial villages such as Akroydon and Saltaire; the influence of the arts and crafts and garden suburb movements was very clear. The Lady Leverhulme Gallery contains a rich collection of art: so rich that it could be a little overwhelming at times. However, the art, the architecture, the space and the life-enhancing feel of the place makes me want to visit it again, soon.
It’s late summer: the sun is playing peekaboo behind the clouds and your grandchildren are playing all around you. Cricketers play cricket, and the moors flirt with the fields. What else is there to do but to mess with Photoshop!
AWAY 1 : There used to be home and away. Home was where you lived fifty-one weeks of the year. Away was your week at the seaside. This, however, was quite a late shot: the give away is that the fish and chips are in polystyrene boxes. By the 1980s, away was more likely to be a Mediterranean hotspot, and places like Brid were for day-trips and Sunday drives.
The ethereal spire of All Soul’s Church seems to almost float above the mills, shops and apartments, as though it’s determined to grab the spiritual high ground. This is high church, Halifax style.
My continuing research into the creative impact of fine single malt whisky on Photoshop filters resulted in this bluebell wood last night. Whilst I quite like the effect, I am still not satisfied, and believe further research is required.
A walk in the woods around Artmitage Bridge yesterday suddenly brought us to a clearing and a massive stone mill chimney, fighting for light and life in the midst of the tall trees. Its mill was lost in the valley below, and at one time an underground flue connected the two. The mill machines have long been silent, but the chimney remains – protected by its Grade II listing – standing trunk to trunk in solidarity with the trees.
It seems so strange to see a Latin gravestone. Perhaps in Westminster Abbey or some don-filled university necropolis; but in the churchyard at Coley, within soot-falling distance of an old mill. And so beautifully carved; as though the beauty of the carving could somehow disguise the horror of a death too early. Moss now grows in the crevices, taking the edge off tragedy.
When you add colour to an old photograph – or rather when some artificial intelligence source sat high in cyberspace adds colour to an old photograph – you tend to notice things more. This is an old photo of my mother and my grandfather which must date from either the 1930s or the 1940s – but which? The addition of colour makes her dress quite distinctive, and potentially more useful in dating the photograph. My wife – who knows about such things – tells me it is 1950s, but that can’t be the case, unless the same artificial intelligence has brought my grandfather back from the dead. Before seeing the colourised version of the photo, I had assumed that it was the early 1930s, but now I am beginning to think that was too early. The logical conclusion is the period around World War 2, but I tend to think of the clothing of that period as somewhat drab and uncolourful. Could the photographer – possibly my father – have captured a moment towards the end of the decade when the colours were about to go out all over Europe?