Earlier posts

Earlier posts
This blog is a continuation of an older one. To explore previous posts please click the photo above.

Monday 31 October 2022

Curves and geometrics

Leeds Dock was redeveloped as a mixed residential, leisure and business area, around the canal basin, in the late 1990s/early 2000s. I find such 'modern' developments often have a wealth of interesting angles and shapes, reflections and juxtapositions and it's fun to seek out abstract compositions. Here are a few I found.

Sunday 30 October 2022


I like stripes. In fact, one of my friends teases me because I wear so many striped T shirts and jumpers! I'm always delighted, therefore, to take my camera down to Leeds Dock in Leeds city centre. Some of the modern buildings there are clad in wooden screening, painted in a rainbow of bright colours. The effect is magnified by the reflections in the buildings' windows and the way it all wraps round the corners of the blocks. 


I took the images above on a recent visit whilst the one below was taken several years ago. It is a photo that has done quite well in camera club competitions. 

Saturday 29 October 2022

Leeds Dock

Leeds Dock is the old docks area in Leeds, where the Leeds-Liverpool Canal ends and joins the Calder and Hebble Navigation. Redeveloped around the turn of the 21st century, it has residential, office and leisure units ranged around the marina. The Royal Armouries Museum is the stark building on the left. 'Steph's Packed Lunch', a daily lunchtime entertainment/chat/lifestyle show on Channel 4 TV, hosted by Steph McGovern, is filmed in a building at the far end of the dock. 

I'm not sure that the area has ever really 'taken off' in the way it was intended. Unless there is an event on, it often seems relatively quiet and has certainly never attracted any retail development. You're hard pressed to find even a café open! (We grabbed a coffee in the Holiday Inn Express.) It is quite a walk from the main shopping centre in the city so maybe that's why. 

It's quite an interesting destination photographically though. My friend and I spent a happy hour or two there. There are several rather good sculptures, including this, one of two by Kevin Atherton, which I featured on my blog some years ago HERE

Friday 28 October 2022

Beauty in the ordinary

Many of our towns, villages, churches and parks contain war memorials, often dating from 'The Great War', WWI (which wasn't really great at all) and some updated with information after WWII. The rather ornate cross, above, is the memorial in Bingley's Myrtle Park, attractively underplanted with colourful begonias. (Says she knowledgeably! I'm not 100% certain of my plant ID skills... ) I understand the cross itself was first erected, on this site, about 1922 and is still the focus of a memorial ceremony on Remembrance Day each year. When they were first installed, these monuments must have provided some sense of comfort to those bereaved in the wars. Now we tend to walk right past them, so ordinary and familiar they are to us. Nevertheless if we stop and pause to look and reflect, there is beauty of a kind there. 

A memorial of a different kind, the new rose arbour has been installed, a walkway in memory of a former Bingley resident. It has been placed where, historically, there used to be a rose arbour, long since disappeared (and where it delightfully frames the war memorial). The five arches have been planted with a pink, scented, climbing rose which should, in time, create a romantic and beautiful 'tunnel of love'.  

We often look for autumn colour in our woodlands, gardens and parks and yet there is also beauty to be found in the ordinary... Here, in a line of trees that screens the town from the busy bypass that runs, in a cutting, right through it. 

Nearby, close to the end of its flowering season and yet still a nice little splash of colour to be enjoyed, bright and bee-friendly annuals have been planted in front of some social housing blocks, instead of the more usual bedding plants

Thursday 27 October 2022

Red and rope

Having had three weeks of feeling a bit below par and thus not getting out and about as much as I usually do, I'm rapidly running out of photos. I might have to have a break from posting but, trawling through the last few months' images on my hard drive, I did find this trio of ropes and red boats. They were all spotted at different times and in different places but nonetheless provide a cohesive study of the textures, knots and coils to be found anywhere there is a boat. 

Wednesday 26 October 2022

Myrtle Park trees

I had to pop to Aldi in Bingley to do some shopping. They have some very good 'own brand' items and I usually stock up on some of the bigger bulk buys there too, so I tend to go about once a month. It's cheaper than most of its rivals, though as their fresh fruit and veg is often packed in bags that are too big for one person living alone, I mostly get fresh stuff from Asda or Sainsbury's.   

It was lovely weather.  We've enjoyed a few days of what might be described as 'an Indian summer', with above average temperatures. While I was in Bingley, I decided to have a walk around Myrtle Park, to see if the trees there were showing any good colour. It is still quite muted, but there are a couple of small acers by the walled garden which were glowing nicely in the sunshine. (I'd seen a photo on social media of these two trees that rendered them both absolutely bright red! The reality when I visited was a lot more muted and nuanced. I guess the social media post was a photo from a previous year - or perhaps it had been heavily processed, in the way people often seem to love to do. I think you can mostly hardly improve on nature.) 


Tuesday 25 October 2022

Walking the dog

I popped over to Hebden Bridge with birthday presents for my eldest granddaughter. When I arrived the girls were out swimming with their dad, so my daughter and I had a rare chance for uninterrupted conversation together, which was a joy. As it was a beautiful sunny morning and surprisingly warm, we set off for a longish walk with their cockapoo, Cookie. There are numerous tracks in the area, many of them the original cart-ways and packhorse trails to the water and steam powered textile mills that once provided work in these valleys. Left to myself, I'd get pretty lost! A few years of regular dog walks means the family are very conversant with the myriad paths. 

We followed a track upstream along Colden Water, skirting the bottom edge of Eaves Wood below Heptonstall, and then climbing up the hillside until we came out above the trees and gained wonderful views. In the shot below, you can see Heptonstall church on the hill, top left. (We were on the opposite side of the Calder valley from the walk I reported a few weeks ago HERE.) The V-shaped valley beyond is where the town of Hebden Bridge is tucked away. There are a few isolated houses dotted about, enjoying magnificent views but often rather hair-raising vehicular access! 

The farthest point we walked to was an ancient clapper bridge over Colden Water known as Jack Bridge, which also gives it name to a tiny hamlet. Here we crossed Colden Water and returned on another ancient track on the other side of the stream. There's a wealth of history in the area and many of the tiny hamlets grew up around textile mills in the mid 19th century, nestled in the narrow valleys and cloughs. The larger settlements tend to cluster on the highest ground, out of reach of flooding in these steep-sided valleys, whose streams can fill with storm surges alarmingly quickly. 

A few more rainy days have replenished our streams to some extent, though the reservoirs are still low. There is beginning to be some colour in the trees but much of the gold comes from the dying bracken. The trees have yet to catch up. 

Monday 24 October 2022


I've been longing to photograph this mural in Leeds for ages but the area around it was being redeveloped so it has been blocked off by fencing and I could never get a good angle on it. That has now been cleared so I managed a better view, though the tree and street lighting in front do obscure it to some extent. It's actually thirty years old but it was painted using specialist paint and it is withstanding the years very well. On the end wall of a building on Call Lane, it was commissioned by the former owners of the Corn Exchange, which stands opposite, and I believe it was painted by Ilkley-based artist Graeme Wilson. It alludes to the Corn Exchange's original purpose as a trading centre for grain, depicting harvest and abundance, with references to mythology and hard-working Leeds folk. 

Taking part - for the first time for ages - in Monday Murals. See HERE for more wonderful murals and blogs from around the world. 

Sunday 23 October 2022

Squares in colour

I stuck with the square photos all day whilst we were on the Grassington outing. It was an interesting exercise and I enjoyed the compositional challenge of using a different format. Of course there were one or two images that really demanded colour rather than mono, like the red Virginia Creeper covering a house in Grassington village, and the bright border of colourful annuals that had been planted alongside the drive of the old house at Yarnbury.  

Some of the rusty metal textures just asked to be photographed in colour:

And, actually, though the moors do lend themselves to a gritty, high contrast mono treatment, they can also look rather lovely when the soft natural colours of turf, stone and sky are allowed to shine. 

Saturday 22 October 2022

Grassington lead mines (mono)

Whilst up at the lead mines above Grassington, I did take a few more general views as well. The house at Yarnbury was originally built for the Duke of Devonshire's mineral agent in the 1700s.  In those days this would have been a busy, noisy area with lots of comings and goings. Now it is quite a remote and peaceful area to live, though probably pretty bleak in winter. 

One of the few parts of the site to be fully restored is the flue chimney that extracted poisonous gases from the smelting works. It stands tall at the top end of the site. 

If my memory serves me correctly, the ruin below was the site of the Brake House Wheel, dating back to 1821. It housed a water wheel that powered a system of rods, levers and ropes that served to pump water out of the mines and wind the carts full of lead ore to the surface. 

I got seduced by the sweeping curves of the many miners' tracks that criss-cross the site. 

Of course, the sheep that now graze where men once worked add an element of life to the landscape. They are hardy Swaledale sheep, bred to survive the harsh weather and sparse pasture of these Yorkshire moorlands. 

Friday 21 October 2022

Trying something new

We had a camera club outing to the moors above Grassington where the old lead mine workings are. You may recall that I posted some photos from there earlier in the year when we did a recce up there. (HERE

Having taken a lot of the general views already, I felt I needed to do something different this time so I set myself a challenge to take mostly mono photos in a square format. For the first time ever, I actually set my camera up to do that and it was interesting how just that small change made me see things differently. Helped by quite a moody sky (but not aided by a very strong and cold wind!) I found myself noticing the vegetation and clouds and how they fitted in the landscape. 

I've ended up processing the images in quite a contrasty way, which is unusual for me. 


Thursday 20 October 2022

A back road

It feels like quite a while since I took the back road to Salts Mill but it was the sensible route when I was walking home from Shipley and wanted to call into the bookshop in the Mill. The back road in question is called Ashley Lane, threading its way along the narrow strip of land between the railway and the canal. I usually view the old warehouses along Salts Wharf and the Quays from the canalside towpath. It looks quite a bit different from this other side, though the brick construction of Merchants Quay, with its round chimney, stands out in this predominantly stone-built area. The units now house a variety of businesses. 

Continuing along Salts Mill Road towards Salts Mill, this entrance to the site brings you right under the massive boiler house chimney. 

The building at the back of the Mill was once the wool shed, where the fleeces used to arrive to be sorted and graded, before being cleaned. Even here, the architecture is ornate and Italianate, with decorative bands of stonework along the walls and rounded windows with carved arches. I liked the reflection of trees in the window itself. 

Wednesday 19 October 2022

Yorkshire wool

Yet another exhibition to enjoy in Salts Mill's roof space, though it gets no mention on their (rather poor imo) website.  It is mounted by Future Fashion Factory as a celebration of Wool Month and the Campaign for Wool and features garments from AW Hainsworth and the Yorkshire Fashion Archive. I think most people overlook the fact that, though many of our textile mills have closed, there are still some specialist textile companies in Yorkshire producing high quality woollen cloth. AW Hainsworth in Pudsey have been in existence since 1783, and have long produced cloth for military uniforms and royalty, for full-dress ceremonial occasions. (They're perhaps quite busy now, with the Queen's State Funeral and next year's Coronation!) They also produce specialist fire-retardant cloth for our emergency services, specialist felts for musical instruments, snooker table cloth and a number of other specialist fabrics.  

The magnificent military outfit displayed is a Coldstream Guards dress uniform. The Coldstream Guards, one of the oldest regiments in the British Army, is part of the Household Division, one of whose main roles is to protect the monarchy. 

Garments from the Yorkshire Fashion Archive included a lovely green suit with Astrakhan fur collar, manufactured by Harella in Halifax, bought for £15 by Mrs A Hackett as a 'going away' suit after her wedding in 1961. Very smart! 

Another lovely piece was this hand-knitted wool ensemble, made by Isora Steinart in the late 1950s. Mrs Steinart was born in Russia and came to England about 1904. Between the 1950s and 1970s, she used to visit department stores in Leeds to look at the new fashions and then return home to copy them for her daughter. No patterns ever used! What a talented lady. 

It was good to see a wool, double-breasted coat worn by the late Jonathan Silver in the 1990s. He was the guy who had the vision to rescue Salts Mill in the late 1980s and started to shape it into the wonderful institution it is today. Jonathan used to own a menswear shop at one time so he was knowledgeable about clothes. 

There was also a hanging display of punched cards used on a Jacquard loom, a binary system that lifted and lowered the warp threads to allow the weft thread to pass through to produce complex patterns. Each card corresponds to one row in the fabric. The binary system is a forerunner of our modern day computer programmes.