FALCON’S COMMENTS ON INDIVIDUAL PHOTOGRAPHS
(please click on each image to enlarge)
The first four photographs on the left are of Halifax, taken in 1959, when streets were paved with granite setts and lit by gas lamps - and for economy boys wore short trousers. All that has now gone and the hope is that the local Yorkshire stone, of which the buildings were made, was not wasted on landfill - and if it was that it can be recovered as the valuable and beautiful building material that it is. Likewise with the granite setts, which represent many thousands of tedious hours squaring up, often as part of the harsh regime of the workhouse. And of course the chimneys very noticeable in the lower two photographs have all long gone.
These next seven photographs were also taken in 1959 and are of Leeds, where terraces of back-to-back house were commonplace, meaning that a dividing wall ran along the entire length of the terrace in line with the roof ridge, with dwellings opening direct onto a street on each side. So there were no backs, which explains why washing had to be hung across the street. Toilets and dustbins were in yards at intervals along the terrace (as seen in the lower photograph). The house that I stayed in, as the guest of a fellow student, wasn’t a back-to-back, so did have a backyard (and back street), and as a special bonus the front room, in this instance, was a fish and chip shop, so I was all right there!
The next two photographs are of Grimsby, the fishing town of my birth. The top photograph is of the Riverhead where part of the docks come right into the town centre. Although still there, it now languishes unused and unloved, but in the time of my childhood it was the wharf of Blows Steamers so was a good place to watch a bit of marine activity, whilst waiting for a trolleybus. It was also a favourite spot for fishermen and adventurous boys, one of whom appears to have caught a crab.
The bottom photograph was also taken in the 1950s, no later than 1954 and shows a cluster of pre-industrial fishing smacks, including “Rock of Ages” and “Adventure”, moored in a quiet corner of the docks away from all the activity. Clearly they appear to be in fairly good condition and still virtually complete, even to the extent of having a beam trawl (barely visible) and a boatman working on something.
A pity this is in black and white as it formed a colourful group of shops still doing good business, in a range of decidedly decrepit old buildings, overlaid with signs and peeling posters, on the Radford Road in Coventry in 1954.
Scrapyard in Cleveland 1977
Consett steelworks, Co Durham,
viewed over allotment 1974
Gatehouse to Wallsend shipyard (Tyneside) 1974. Message across gable reads “Watching these hours soon past, remember that which comes at last”.
Rather inappropriate I thought, as from what I saw of shipyard work, there was little opportunity for idly watching time pass, and what came at the end of the working day must have been a blessed relief from all the deafening noise and intense labour.
A jovial example of the signwriters art painted directly onto the brickwork. This example photographed in 1972, was in Crewe, but I came across similar examples in other towns.
Chapel neatly fitted under railway arch,
Lift bridge framed by a JCB,
The old Redheugh Bridge,
Newcastle upon Tyne 1973
The Windsor Lion
at the end of a street
in Wallsend on Tyne 1974