Wednesday, 29 March 2017

That view - with daffodils!

I take this shot - or one very much like it - every year at this time! A blue Spring sky is such a joy and a perfect companion to the yellow daffodils in Roberts Park, whilst the iconic view of Salts New Mill across the weir is a scene I never tire of.

Tuesday, 28 March 2017

No dumping

Wouldn't it be lovely if we lived in a society where everyone was kind, thoughtful and respected each other and our marvellous planet? Sadly, we seem ever further from that utopia. I was dismayed to see, on a recent local walk, the mess left by people dumping rubbish despite the large sign clearly prohibiting this. (Not even sure why a sign is needed... surely it's basic common sense not to dump rubbish by the side of the road or on someone's land.) Paint tins, plastic piping, plastic wrap, garden rubbish, wood panelling, boxes...  There is a Council tip and recycling plant not two miles away, free to residents but I guess trades people have to pay to use it.    
I despair...

Monday, 27 March 2017

Hallmark building (for Dave)

It's always a pleasure to get messages from readers who enjoy my blog. Not long ago I had a lovely email from Dave in Phoenix, Arizona, USA. He said that, for three years, he'd lived in the UK in nearby Harrogate and worked in Bradford, at Hallmark Cards. It made me think that, although the building is only a couple of miles from here and I know it well, I'd never photographed it or shown it on my blog. When I found out it is for sale, I thought I'd better hurry up!

'Hallmark House' (formerly Sharps Card Factory) is a wonderful Art Deco building, built in 1936, originally for W N Sharpe printers. Hallmark, the greetings card company, took it over in 1984 as its UK headquarters and refurbished the main Grade II listed building in 2001. Now, they are consolidating their business onto one site at the far side of Bradford, meaning the building is up for sale - with a £7 million price tag!

I only hope it is sold quickly and not allowed to deteriorate. It would be lovely turned into luxury apartments. It has huge windows and attractive detailing. The large site as a whole is level and attractively placed, in a prime semi-rural position on top of a hill on the boundary between Bradford and Shipley. If I had £7 million, I'd snap it up!

I did my best with the photos but it has more security than a prison, with close-meshed fences, huge electric gates, high hedges and trees all round. I tried chatting up the security guard, who was very nice but he wouldn't let me past the barriers!

Sunday, 26 March 2017

Sticker fun

I haven't shown you a photo of this little one lately (my eldest granddaughter). Actually, she is not so little now. She's five and recently started (proper) school, which seems to have brought a multitude of both benefits and drawbacks. The benefits show in increased confidence and sociability but one drawback is that she seems to catch a lot more illnesses now, all the bugs that are going round! Since her mum now has a job, we grandparents find ourselves helping out on occasion. She recently had a nasty flu-type virus. Luckily the feverish worst came over a weekend but she was not able to go to school the following week so I went over to care for her. After a couple of days at their house and when she was on the way to recovery, I decided to bring her over to mine for a change of scene. We went to a craft shop and bought lots of stickers and she spent a happy time making pictures with them. 

The shop had an Easter chicken display, which provided a colourful frame for that cute little face! She's no longer all that keen to have her photo taken but a quick snap on the iPhone is sometimes tolerated. 

Saturday, 25 March 2017

Cherry blossom

Some cherry blossom, such a cheering sight and herald of warmer days to come. It's welcome, even though we've had a mild winter by most standards.

Friday, 24 March 2017

Mughal Gardens artwork

You may remember back in February (here) I mentioned an artwork in Bradford city centre by the acclaimed Pakistani artist, Imran Qureshi. When I was in Lister Park, I walked round to the Mughal Gardens to see its companion piece. The two-part work is called 'Garden within a Garden'. It commemorates the million-strong British Indian Army that fought in the First World War. 'Light and dark mix, horror and hope collide' in the tranquil setting of a peaceful and serene garden (in itself inspired by the heritage of the many Bradfordians who can trace their lineage back to the Indian subcontinent).

Thursday, 23 March 2017

Samuel Lister

Samuel Cunliffe Lister (1815-1906), after whom Lister Park is named, was a Victorian inventor and industrialist. He is notable for inventing the Lister nip comb, which revolutionised the wool industry by mechanising a previously difficult job. His father, Ellis, was a wealthy MP who built Manningham Mills in Bradford for his sons to manage. After a fire caused a rebuild, it became the massive Lister's Mill (see here). Samuel went on to have a glorious career, inventing silk combing machines and a velvet loom, which made him very wealthy. He was made a peer, 1st Baron Masham, in 1891. His statue, sculpted from white Sicilian marble by Matthew Noble, was unveiled in 1875 and stands at the entrance to the park he donated to the people of Bradford.

Wednesday, 22 March 2017

More angles

These are some more of the images I took around the theme of 'angles' that didn't quite make the grade. Nevertheless, it is fun spotting potential subjects and a useful exercise in paying attention.

Tuesday, 21 March 2017

February theme

The February theme for my online photo group was 'Angles' so I spent a few days out and about looking for photos on that subject. It would have been easy enough to go to Leeds. There are angles aplenty in the modern office blocks and hotels of a big city. Instead I decided to stay closer to home as that seemed more of a challenge. It's often quite fun having a theme. I find I notice things that otherwise perhaps I wouldn't see.

I would not normally be found photographing the closed-up market stalls in Shipley, but I found 'angles' there. At first I was getting slightly irritated that cars kept passing the archway at the end and people kept walking through unexpectedly. However, I finally decided that I liked this shot best, out of all those I took here. The passer-by provides a point of interest and movement, a softer foil for all those hard lines.

Monday, 20 March 2017

Early blossom

We had a run of rainy nights and dry, sunny, remarkably warm days. It was perfect for walks, although everywhere is incredibly muddy so I've tried to keep to pavements and paths, by and large. I get fed up of sliding around - and cleaning my boots! Now it's turned a bit more wintery again. Such an unpredictable season...

Walking home past St. Peter's Church (the church where I worship, as it happens) I noticed this tree full of early blossom and thought it looked attractive in the sunshine.

Sunday, 19 March 2017

And finally ...

Bradford Walking Tour 8
Another couple of photos from the Bradford Walking Tour, quirky things that took my fancy.  The first is a metal railing above an archway that was apparently the entrance to a Quaker school, though I can find little information about it.

The second is an old carved fragment that now sits on a wall in the open space at the heart of Little Germany. Called Festival Square, the open area was created around 1990 as part of an ambitious scheme to regenerate the conservation area. They sought to bring in creative industries and community arts ventures as well as converting many of the historic buildings into apartments. Fifteen years on, it is apparent from the general atmosphere of the area that this vision has had limited success. I suppose some buildings had to be demolished to make the square, so perhaps the cherub came from one of those.

Saturday, 18 March 2017

Mr Bean?

Bradford Walking Tour 7
Another rather unusual sight in Bradford's Little Germany - Mr Bean and a Tyrannosaurus Rex! Don't ask me why... I have not a clue! The carved door surround, though, is rather special. Caspian House was built in 1873 as a warehouse for D Delius and Co. The company's senior partner, Julius Delius (his name is rather a mouthful!) was the father of the composer, Frederick Delius, who was born in Bradford in 1862.

Friday, 17 March 2017

Street furniture

Bradford Walking Tour 6
This sculpture, standing on Chapel Street in Little Germany, is called: 'Grandad's Clock and Chair' according to the Bradford Sculpture Trail leaflet but 'Victorian Presence' on the artist's own site. It was created in 1992 by Tim Shutter. The grouping of armchair, clock and mirror acts as a reminder of the generation who built Little Germany. Perhaps it is meant to be a mill owner's office or house? Whatever, it is a quirky piece and fun suddenly to stumble across it on a walk.

Thursday, 16 March 2017

Little Germany's treasures

Carved eagle, Devere House, built in 1871 as an American and Chinese export warehouse.
Now used by Bradford Chamber of Commerce.  

Bradford Walking Tour 5
No walking tour of Bradford would be complete without a wander round the area known as Little Germany. It is so called because it was established in the second half of the 19th century by Jewish merchants, many of whom came from Germany. They built imposing warehouses for the storage and export of Bradford's woollen textiles. The market with Germany collapsed in 1877, causing difficult conditions. 

Imposing doorway of Albion House, now apartments
The area contains many listed buildings and there have been attempts over recent years to conserve and improve it. Many of the warehouses have been converted to offices and residential apartments but, despite the efforts of the city council and developers, it seems to struggle and has a rather sad and neglected atmosphere.

S L Behrens warehouse, built in 1873