I just love this atmospheric derelict old building alongside the canal with it’s shattered fascade, the lifting platform where goods were once hoisted from the barges below as the smoke rose from the engines through the open windows to be breathed in by the workers with blackened faces. Workers who sweated and toiled from dawn until dusk and beyond. Stand for a moment and you may imagine the scene, smell the industry and remember the workers, the people who made this country great, a bygone era of industry and development sadly lost, the people gone, the skills gone too along with the pride in being a working man…… as the buildings melt towards the earth from where they once rose.
Archive for the ‘industry’ Tag
I’ve been taking a trip down memory lane with old photos, mainly because the weather has been so very wet and cold of late. I even looked back at the posts that I made this time last year and although the weather was still relatively cold it was bright and so enabled me to shoot outdoors frequently. So, having delved into the depths of my hard drive I found some interesting photos from various trips, including this shot of a section of the Forth Bridge taken during a stop off en route home from Speyside in Scotland. Now at this time I only had a small pocket camera but it interests me to see that I already had an eye for shooting detail rather than the whole view. I remember standing on the steps of the cafe that we had stopped at and looking across at the expanse of metal that spans the Firth of Forth, trying to imagine the men who constructed it in an age of manual labour and damned hard work! Blood sweat and tears a plenty no doubt. A feat of British engineering that still stands testament to our endeavours weathering the storms and carrying the weight of the travellers making their way to the other side.
Not too much going on today so visited a sculpture park for something different to do and came face to face with, well a face! This sculpture was massive in size and was made from welded metal, truly impressive. As you moved around it, it seemed to move with you, the light changing as the angles changed.
My Father was from the city of Coventry, my Mother from a rural town in Shropshire. A few years after their marriage I arrived but Mum hated city life and so they moved to a smaller village called Burbage in Leicestershire. This was where I was to live until the age of 22 when I moved out into the town of Hinckley a mile up the road from Burbage. The two places almost merge together now but there is a really different feel in the village from that of the town. Burbage has held onto its village way of life with many cottages, churches and pubs to be found in a small area, mainly due to its prosperous past. As it was such a nice afternoon I decided to revisit some of the places I spent as a child, Burbage Congregational church’s hall was the location for the Playgroup that I attended prior to going to school, the Methodist Church hall was where I ran my dance school of 10 yrs, many happy hours spent teaching children of all ages how to dance. I drove to the centre of the village and walked around the grounds of the main church St Catherine’s with it golden weathervane shimmering in the late afternoon sunshine, and onwards to the smaller parish church of Aston Flamville, a hamlet on the outskirts of the village, a beautiful gem of a church, small and welcoming, a place you can step back in time as nothing has really changed for hundreds of years. Driving further round the village I parked up and walked onto the park where I spent hours with friends, and Saturday afternoons watching the cricket with my Dad, a match was in full swing as I arrived although it looked like the visitors were winning! I love the shot of the Pavillion where the expressions say it all, as does the chap laying flat-out on the bench! The image of the old factory shows the knitting and textiles industry was thriving here although it has long since gone and is now the home of a photographic studio, the pub opposite which was once full of workers now a trendy bar and meeting place. The image of the blue door is purely for the colour, although Id love to know what was hiding behind….a cottage garden maybe? And there it is, a small insight into the place I grew up in, a place I have known all my life and loved to share with you all.
Down the road from where I work there used to be a piece of land that was barren, void, neglected. In the last few months it has been transformed into a building site. Huge structures have been erected and deep drilling has ensured they remain upright for years to come. We are to have a new shopping centre, another commercial development purely for capitalist purposes…….making money! To me that piece of land could have been used for a wealth of endeavours, a community centre for the young, a place for all ages to go and socialise, have fun, learn and be entertained. But no, we have another shopping centre full of the same old stores selling the same old rubbish, mass produced and manufactured thousands of miles away, the cost to the environment huge as well as the cost to fill those stores with plastic, manmade disposable items that are desired, purchased and then outgrown, outdated and eventually ousted to the vast object graveyards that are the recycling plants, rubbish tips and landfill sites that scar the countryside. A recycled piece of land maybe, a recycling success??? Ask the owners of the stores, they are the ones that profit in the long run.
In my town there are many buildings standing empty or derelict….a forgotten workplace that once saw hundreds of workers with skill and trades pass through the doors daily to manually go about their traditions and labour for their rewards. The knitwear industry as I have blogged before was prolific in Hinckley and employed most of the men and women for years, from a young age children were employed to sweep the floors and keep the skilled workers working. But having walked around the towns back streets you see a different town, a neglected forgotten history, many people who would have gone into the factories now unemployed and resigned to a life on the sofa with tax payers money putting food in the cupboards. These buildings were a group of factories where the raw materials came in and were turned into clothes, one shows the old loading doors high up in the building where the wool would have been hoisted off the carts and wagons up to the top of the building ready for processing, another shows the dying houses where the bland fibres would have been turned rainbow colours. Sad that now the buildings are empty, derelict and silent, no workers shouting across the floors, no sound from the machines and no soul……destined to become another block of flats as souless as the ghosts that wander there…..
I dont often take shots of buildings, but I think I may start to look for more! The buildings around you seem to merge away into the scenery and almost get lost amongst the more eye catching things that surround us, how often do you actually really study your home from the outside, probably only when its time to decorate, or after a storm to check the rooftiles! How often do you actually consider the shape and form of the place you work in, after all you spend so much time there! Old barns, cottages, high rise office blocks, new, old, derelict or historic there are just so may buildings that man has thown upon the landscape, used, abused, loved and loathed….whatever your take on the buildings around you they were thought of, designed, constructed and used by man…..amazing every one of them! This one is in a field not far from where I live, the stone is somewhat weathered and appears to be reasonably old although the original roof has gone and is now topped by a more modern tin sheeting, there are timbers supporting the roof and Id like to think that its a haven for wildlife, field mice and their adversary the Barn owl….I may have to return to find out one night!
Bit of a play on words there! There are a couple of tyre fitting centres in my town and I happened to be walking past this one after closing time and noted the large pile of old worn tyres mainly because of the patterns they are stacked in. So probably looking most suspicious I pointed the lens through the gap in the railings and started to shoot. I love the way that the tread marks on the tyres are all different patterns, but they all boil down to the same thing, black worn rubber, redundant, spent, removed from the vehicles they served and stacked high awaiting their fate…..as the title implies ‘Retired’.
Something really simple tonight. Not far from where I work there is a building site. For a few weeks now the noise from this site had reverberated down the road and probably driven the people who live close by steadily mad! But this morning as I drove towards work I approached the mini roundabout and ended up going round twice as I had seen my shot. There was a road sweeper parked up further down the road which had obviously been down and left a trail of water upon the surface of the road, the sun was shining and the effect was dazzling, you know what its like trying to drive when the sun is shining but the road is wet, you simply cannot see! Its like a mirror on the floor. So thats the shot today, plain and simple, no frills, just spills and sunshine!
Rain rain go away! Well I know we need it but every day for weeks?? So at the moment my outdoor pursuit of an image is restricted to a few moments grabbed here and there (generally dry whilst Im sat behind my desk I may add!!). However, tonight on my way home and having spent ages stuck in the queueing traffic I took a chance and drove into the countryside a mile from my home and parked the car on the side of the road. The spot I chose is a bridge which passes over the Ashby canal but less well known is the walking route alongside that occupies an old railway track since removed and left to grass over, I have cycled past it many times (in the summer!!) Apparently it was a railway built to link Stoke Golding to Hinckley and the rest of the area but was never used, hence the name ‘ghost railway’, so out came the camera and yeap you guessed it back came the rain! But I still managed to get some shots! For railway enthusiasts I have added a link regards the ghost line history.