Monday, 31 December 2012

2012 - wettest year on record

2012 has been the wettest year ever recorded. So I thought it was appropriate to finish the year with a photograph of the swollen river Aire at the weir in Saltaire. This is also appropriate as the weir has been in the news throughout 2012 becausue of the controversial proposed hydro scheme.

Lets hope we have a drier year in 2013 and that the proposed hydro scheme can be defeated.

Sunday, 30 December 2012

Mystery Graffiti

We came across this mysterious piece of graffiti on the towpath of the Leeds Liverpool canal in between the NHS building and the Salts Mill building just below Victoria Road in Saltaire. We spotted it on Boxing day, we do not know how long it has been there for.

Any ideas?


Friday, 28 December 2012

Ice Cream Boat at Shipley

The "something" missing from yesterdays photograph is the Ice Cream boat that is normally moored below the bridge that carries Victoria Road over the canal in Saltaire. There are those in Saltaire who think that the boat is an eyesore and should be permantley removed. I am not of that opinion, I think it as an asset and I hope it returns soon.

The boat is currently berthed in Shipley as you can see from this phorograph.


Thursday, 27 December 2012

Boxing Day by the Canal


This was the scene at midday on Boxing Day as people took advantage of the rare dry weather along the Leeds Liverpool Canal at Saltaire. There is something missing from the photograph.

Sunday, 23 December 2012

Salt Family Crests - Saltaire

There are two differing family crests adorning the buildings in Saltaire. The first is on the old Dining Hill in Victoria Road by the entance to the railway station. The second can be found on the old Hospital, again on Victoria Road, between Saltaire Road and Bingley Road.


The Latin phrase quid non deo juvante: translates to "What is not possible with God's help?"



Saturday, 22 December 2012

Salts Mill - Saltaire

The size of Salts Mill in Saltaire is impressive. When completed in 1853 it was the largest industrial building in the world by total floor area. It is a grade II* listed building. The mill closed in 1986, with renovation beginning the following year.
This photograph taken on a bright sunny winters morning is from Caroline Street with allotments and the railway line in front of the building.

Wednesday, 19 December 2012

Victoria Terrace - Saltaire

Situated off Victoria Road in Saltaire, this is the back of cottages that form Victoria Terrace. The   photograph was taken from inside the grounds of  the United Reform Church. The Leeds Liverpool canal is on the other side of the cottages.

Sunday, 16 December 2012

Santa and the Cemetery

This morning I paid a visit to the Windhill Methodist Cemetery on Owlett Road in Shipley. I was taking photographs of First World War graves as part of my research into men in the area who died in the Great War. Despite the glorious sunshine I was in a sombre mood,  as I reflected on the many young lives who died without really having a life.
However I saw this shot and it made me chuckle, life goes on as we look forward to another Christmas.

Saturday, 15 December 2012

Sketch Effect

Not having Photoshop, I use a free programme called FastStone to manipulate my photographs. Here is a photograph given a sketch effect. It is of my wife looking for a scarf at Otley Christmas Market

Thursday, 13 December 2012

Otley Pubs

Otley has documented history that a market began in 1222 when King Henry III granted the first Royal Charter. The town had two cattle markets, Wharfedale Farmers' Auction Mart on East Chevin Road and the Bridge End Auction Mart which has closed and was subsequently demolished. Market days are Tuesday, Friday and Saturday, and there is a Farmers' Market on the last Sunday of every month.
Like most English market towns Otley has a lot of pubs. The latest count is 19. The Black Bull claims to be the oldest.

Sunday, 9 December 2012

Sundial - Otley

Otley is well known as the birthplace of the cabinet maker Thomas Chippendale, see my blog by following this link:-

Sam Hartley Chippindale (often spelt wrongly as Chippendale) was born in Otley in 1909. He was a property developer and a great benefactor to Otley and the surrounding area. He died in 1990. In 1993 this sundial was erected in his memory on the bank of the River Wharfe as it flows through Otley.



Saturday, 8 December 2012

Co-op in Otley

This is one of many attractive old buildings in Otley It is now the Westgate Arcade, formerly the Leeds Industrial Co-operative Society Limited.
The Leeds Industrial Co-operative Society (Leeds Co-op) was a British independent co-operative society based in Leeds, West Yorkshire, which merged with United Co-operatives in 2007.
Leeds Co-op was founded in 1847 as a Co-operative Flour Mill Society, workers at Benyon & Co's flax spinning mill raising funds through instalments to acquire some land. By the end of the year it was selling flour cheaply to its members and the price of flour in the Borough of Leeds was lowered considerably

Friday, 7 December 2012

No traffic in Otley

Locals will know that Otley is always a traffic bottleneck. I say always, so how I managed to take this shot without a car in sight is beyond me. It is the junction of Wesgate and Kirkgate, with the Market Place right at the lights. 

On the right you have the Black Horse Hotel. The building dates back to the 17th Century and has been trading as a pub and hotel for over 100 years.

Thursday, 6 December 2012

Ward Jackson Park - Hartlepool

Like a lot of public park, Ward Jackson Park in Hartlepool as a small lake. As a child when visting the park I was alway fascinated by the model boats that sailed on the lake. Fifty years I am pleased to say this tradition continues.

Wednesday, 5 December 2012

Public Parks

Across the UK there are many public parks for all of us to enjoy. This photograph is from Ward Jackson Park, which is in my home town of Hartlepool.

The inscription reads :-

A place of recreation, of amusement and of life and of health.  Where young and old might join together.  Where all might enjoy themselves and  benefit by getting the pure air.


Lets hope we can all enjoy and treasure our parks for years to come.

Tuesday, 4 December 2012

Movember at work

This was taken on Friday 30th of November at work. The sales office staff joined in on the fun and helped me raise money for the Movember charity. So far I have raised £120. Following the rules I shaved my moustache on the 1st of December.

Monday, 3 December 2012

A Bit of Brass

Yesterday we went to the Victoria Hall in Saltaire to see the switch on of The Christmas Tree lights. Whilst enjoy the mulled wine, the christmas tree was uninspiring, even more so when it was lit up. We enjoyed the brass band who played a selection of well known carols.


Sunday, 2 December 2012

Winters morning - Roberts Park

Two brave souls enjoying the peace and tranquility of Roberts Park, Saltaire on a frosty winters morning. At times those of us who live in Saltaire do not realise how lucky we are to have Roberts Park on our doorstep

Saturday, 1 December 2012

Adventure Playground Roberts Park Saltaire

Even on a frosty winters morning, the adventure playground next to Roberts Park in Saltaire is  popular with the kids. In the summer it is always packed.
Sadly the pub in the background, the Cup and Ring is closed and subject to vandalisim. This is a sign of the times as many pubs are closing.

Friday, 30 November 2012

End of Movember

My Movember is now at an end, and my moustache will soon be no more.
I have not got a final figure yet, but thanks to my friends and colleagues both at work and on the Shipley Glen Tramway I have raised over £120


Thursday, 29 November 2012

Bradford Playhouse

Bradford Playhouse is a 290 seat proscenium arch theatre with circle and stall seating based in Little Germany, in the city of Bradford,

The theatre was founded by an amateur group, the Bradford Playhouse Company, in 1929, renting Jowett Hall – an ex-Temperance Hall previously used as a cinema – as its premises.The Bradford company was an offshoot of the Leeds Civic Playhouse Company, and became independent of its parent in 1932.

Jowett Hall burned down in April 1935. With help from Priestley, who donated royalties from several plays, the organisation bought the site and rebuilt. The new premises, a combined theatre and cinema called the Priestley, was opened by Sir Barry Jackson in January 1937.

The company ran as an amateur theatre, with film showings between plays. The latter continued until 2001, despite losing its status as a Regional Film Theatre a few years before, when the National Museum of Television, Film and Photography – now the National Media Museum took over that role.

On the night of Friday, 19 July 1996 during a run of Aristophanes' Lysistrata, the theatre had another major fire, but the company rebuilt the set in their Studio theatre so that the final show of the run took place.

During the 1996–97 season, although the main auditorium was closed for reconstruction, a full season of plays was presented in the Studio, then on Friday 31 October 1997 the main auditorium re-opened with J B Priestley's An Inspector Calls.

However, public interest in amateur theatre was unavoidably on the wane. By 2003, the theatre's finances had become critical. The current board of directors recommended that the company closed, but a rescue plan was accepted by the membership. The theatre's days as an amateur producing house were over, but it has continued as a receiving house, while the production function was devolved to a new company: Bradford ACT. The same fate met other aspects of its existence, such as its theatre school, became independent of the theatre itself.

Bradford Playhouse relaunched in October 2012, as a multi-disciplinary community arts centre, encompassing drama, music, film, dance and visual arts. The organisation's focus is community-led

Wednesday, 28 November 2012

St. Peter's House - Bradford

At the beginning of the 21st century Bradford Cathedral authorities decided to develop a museum of religion in St Peter's House (built in the 19th century as Bradford's main Post Office). The visitor numbers were much lower than expected and the project collapsed leaving the cathedral in debt, from which it was discharged in 2007. St Peter's House is now owned by a South Asian arts group, Kala Sangam.
This photograph shows the intricate ornate masonary above the entrance to St. Peter's House

Tuesday, 27 November 2012

Bradford Cathedral

A parish church for over 1000 years, the church of St Peters became a cathedral in 1919. The prsent building dates from 1458 with extensiona and alterations done in the 1500's, the 1950's, 1960's  and the 1980's.

This photograph is of the back of the cathedral, bathed in late autumn sunshine.  

Monday, 26 November 2012

Foundation Stones - Bradford

Sculptures by renowned artist Gordon Young, created in Bradford in 1985, are now installed in pride of place overlooking the Urban Garden. he works of art, known as Foundation Stones, were created for money lender Provident Financial,  were given to given to Bradford Council whose workers carefully lifted them into their new home  on Sunday 4th March.The Mansfield stone sculptures weigh at least a tonne each. 

They once stood in the grounds of Provident Financial’s former headquarters in Sunbridge Road, but the company was granted planning permission earlier this year to have them relocated to Hall Ings, opposite the Urban Garden, after it moved its HQ to the city centre.

Sunday, 25 November 2012

Warehouse Sculptures

53-55 Leeds Road in Bradford is home to a Eli Milnes designed warehouse, built between 1859-62. The architectural sculpture in the form of roundels is wonderfully original and lighthearted. From the entrance you can see a bird in flight carrying an olive branch of peace in its beak, sheaves of wheat, a globe, a beehive (symbolising industry), a quirky camel with a wool pack on its back, a woman, and lastly a steam ship.

Saturday, 24 November 2012

Sculptured Heads - Bradford

No 30 Chapel Street is an old warehouse in the heart of Bradford’s Little Germany quarter.
It has four windows, in each of which can be found a sculptured keystone head.
Their significance is a mystery; they might represent the different countries the warehouse merchant was trading with, or perhaps the continents. Whatever their reasoning, they are boldly carved and very well preserved, enticing an explanation of some kind.

Friday, 23 November 2012

Mural - Bradford

This mural can be found on the side of a building on Hall Ings near Chapel Street, Bradford 

The Independent Labour Party (ILP) was a socialist political party in Britain established in 1893 at a conference held in Bradford.

The ILP was affiliated to the Labour Party from 1906 to 1932, when it voted to leave. The organisation's three parliamentary representatives defected to the Labour Party in 1947 and then organisation rejoined the Labour Party as Independent Labour Publications in 1975

Thursday, 22 November 2012

Pelican House - Bradford

This intricate stone carving can be found above the entrance to Pelican House. Built in 1862, it is now an office block in Currer Street in the quarter of Bradford Known as Little Germany.
It depicts a high relief pelican with reeds behind holding a fish in its bill stands on a scroll keystone draped with a swag of carved Flowers.


Wednesday, 21 November 2012

Lap Light Peckover Street Bradford

This eye catching piece of work can be found under the iron canopy at the Merchant House in Pecover St. in the heart of Bradfords Little Germany Quarter.


Lap Light was commission for Bradford Council with the assistance of Public Arts. The sculpture symbolises the bringing of the Victorian Warehouse and area into a new regenerated era. The sculpture takes the form of a green metal hemisphere, 5 foot in diameter and pierced with tiny holes which give a shimmering effect in daylight. At night, Lap Light is lit from behind by computer controlled lighting.

Sculptor Charles Quick won the commission in a limited contest.
The sculptor studied at Leeds Polytechnic and was artist in residence at the Henry Moore Centre for the study of Sculpture in Leeds in 1985.

Tuesday, 20 November 2012

Homage to Delius 1992

This large eye catching piece of sculpture can be found in Exchange Square, Bradford.

Homage to Delius is in the form of two giant winter leaves, half decaying and skeletal and half still alive shown by coloured glass giving an overall effect of transparency. The work expresses Delius’ love of nature and recurrent interest in the themes of life, death and regeneration expressed through his music.
Frederick Delius was born in Claremont, Bradford in 1862. Despite his German ancestry and spending much of his career and mature life in France, Delius’ music is perhaps most appreciated in Britain due to a typicallyEnglish stylistic appeal. Inspired by authors and poets, his music reflects his commitment to nature. A stunning portrait of Delius by the Leeds artist Jacob Kramer can be seen at Cartwright Hall Art Gallery.
Just as Delius’ music evokes the emotional response of the listener, so Amber Hiscott’s Homage to Delius encourages the participation of the viewer, not just to look, but to walk through the 20 foot long tunnel created by the meeting of the two leaves. Constructed from steel and coloured glass, the sculpture cost £36,000.
Amber Hiscott, a Swansea artist, won the Bradford commission through a National Competition which asked sculptors to create a focal point for the new public Exchange Square. This work, however, was not without the controversy which surrounds so much contemporary art which involves a conceptual idea rather than a physical representation. One critic likened the leaves to a Colorado Beetle!

Monday, 19 November 2012

Grandad’s Clock and Chair 1992

This amusing sculpture can be found in the quarter of Bradford called Little Germany, not far from the Cathedral.


This is an amusing interpretation of a mill owner’s office with a comfortable chair, mirror and grandfather clock. The work looks back to the past, but the swinging pendulum of the clock indicates that time does not stand still and the past has an important contribution to make to the future.

Timothy Shutter was commissioned by Bradford Council and the Little Germany Action Group in 1991 after his design won a sculpture competition. The work is carved
from sandstone and cost £5,000.

Sunday, 18 November 2012

Hirst Wood - Photo effects

Not having Photoshop, I am limited to what I can do with my photographs once I have them on my computer. However there is a free program called FastStone which has a number of features to alter your photographs.

Original Photograph 

Art Effect

Leaf Mask

Saturday, 17 November 2012

Dewsbury Town Hall

This grade II listed building is full of original stained glass windows, wood panelling, columns and ornate ceilings. The Town Hall contains a 700 seat concert hall, function and meeting rooms, and the Old Court Room.
The foundation stone was laid on the 12th October 1886 by the Mayor Thomas Bateman Fox JP. According to the Dewsbury Reporter “a day as it proved so rich with rain, the foundation stone was laid amid great rejoicing. There was a general holiday, decorations, a procession and bands of music illuminations”
The Town Hall was built during the reign of Queen Victoria and was completed to the plans of Holtom and Fox, a local firm of architects within the town. The total build cost was £40,000.
The new Town Hall was built to cater for the towns increasing needs for the many civic offices such as town clerks, schools, highways, lighting, sewerage, rating, town planning, police and courts, merchant exchange, Council Chambers, Concert Hall and mayoral proceedings.
Dewsbury Town Hall was officially opened on Tuesday 17 September 1889 by the Mayor of the time, Alderman John Walker JP.
As with the laying of the foundation stone the official opening of the town hall was declared a general holiday in the town. The main event was a grand procession assembling at Saville Town marching through the borough to the new park known as Crows Nest. From there they followed the route through the streets finally finishing outside the new town hall. The guests were then seated within the Victoria Concert Hall.

In 1888 the then mayor of Dewsbury Alderman Mark Oldroyd expressed his desire to present the town with a clock for the town hall. The offer was kindly accepted by the council. The clock was supplied by William Potts and son of Leeds. It was started by Mrs Oldroyd at 11.55 a.m. on Tuesday 2 April 1889. The costs of the clock was over £1,000.

Friday, 16 November 2012

Black Prince Statue - Leeds

This statue of the Edward of Woodstock (15 June 1330 – 8 June 1376), better known today as the Black Prince fairly dominates City Square in Leeds, directly opposite the Queens Hotel.

Edward was the eldest son of Edward III king of England and Philippa of Hainault, he was invested as prince of Wales in 1343. He was a popular and gifted military leader but dying a year before his father he never became king. Edward married Joan (fair maid of Kent) their son became king Richard II of England.

As a military leader he won several notable victories against the french during the 100 years war, including the battle of Crecy at the age of 16. Later he led the English against the French at Poitiers 1356, when desipte inferior numbers they again won the battle.

Erected in 1903, designed by Thomas Brock. It was a gift from Colonel Thomas Walter Harding, Lord Mayor of Leeds between 1898 and 1899. The choice was probably also a tribute to the future Edward VII, then Prince of Wales.

Thursday, 15 November 2012

Queen Victoria Statue - Bradford

There are many statues of Queen Victoria, not only here in the UK but all over the world too.
Here is the statue at Bradford which can be found between the Alhambra Theatre and the National Media Museum.

Sculpture - Alfred Drury (1859-1944)
Unveiled on 4th May 1904 by HRH the Prince of Wales (later to become King George V.
The statue is 12 feet high and cast from three tons of bronze. It depicts Queen Victoria as she would have been at her first Jubilee in 1887

Wednesday, 14 November 2012

War Memorial - Keighley

Keighley war memorial is a composite piece. A bronze victory figure stands atop a stone obelisk. At the sides are bronze figures of a sailor and soldier and a bronze plaque. The memorial is on a raised stone platform in Town Hall Square. It is grade II listed and is in Keighley town centre conservation area.
In 1999, the Keighley branch of the Royal British Legion received permission from Bradford Metropolitan District Council to place a millennium stone plaque on the memorial. The plaque, made of Yorkshire stone, commemorates the thousands of lives lost in the 20th century in all conflicts throughout the world. War Memorials Trust gave £250 towards their appeal.

The memorial was unveiled and dedicated on 7th December 1924 by Lieutenant General Sir Charles H Harington of Northern Command and Reverend S Howard-Hall, former chaplain of the 6th Battalion of the Duke of Wellington's (West Riding) Regiment. An estimated 25,000 people attended the service.
In 2010 Keighley Town Council made improvements to the square, cleaned the memorial and added protective railings. Four flag poles were also installed in the square and a book of remembrance put on display in Keighley Town Hall.