Category Archives: Picture Post

Trunk To Trunk

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.

Taking The Edge Of Tragedy

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.

Addressing Colour

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?

Quot estis in convivio

The boar’s head in hand bear I

Bedeck’d with bays and rosemary

And I pray you, my masters, be merry

Quot estis in convivio

For 130 years it has looked down on Southgate, Halifax from above where the Boars Head Hotel used to be. I remember it smiling down from above the then Berni Inn: stone features set like well roasted crackling. These days it greets folk coming to mobile phone shops and greeting card emporiums – or it did until the lockdown came. Who knows what it has made of the quiet streets and the masked pedestrians, but next week it can begin to welcome people back to shops, cafes, pubs and restaurants. Slowly at first, just a few, outside and fully masked: but before too long, as many as are in the feast.

Jurassic Park Road, Elland

Valley Mill, Park Road, Elland

We took a walk down by Elland Bridge yesterday and saw the strangest thing. The old Halifax Zoo used to be just up the hill from here, and stories abound of escaped animals wandering through Elland Woods. We all know of the famous meandering bear …. but a dinosaur!!

Get A Life

Well, there you go – doesn’t three months go quickly when you have nothing better to do than produce your own daily calendar. When I started the project, I thought it might last a week or two – a month at the most, but now I am surrounded by calendar pages, and I have posted one to my blog every day since the beginning of the year. But now the sky is blue, the lockdown is easing and life pops its head around the corner to remind you its there. I will keep on producing the daily calendars, for the next week or two at least, but I will abandon the daily posts and get a life.

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