Literary Landscapes

I made a visit to the graveyard courtesy of an old friend. It’s a multicultural place just like Wool City of course. I tidied up, put in flowers – real ones, perused over graves of the golden oldies and tidied a few of them too.

It’s a pleasant day, cooler than the last few weeks. We took a walk amongst the stones. So many were of mighty people, with enough money to pay out for obelisks, huge Celtic crosses as befits  the once wealthiest town in the world. A section for Muslims and a small one for Jews, where there was a little synagogue. All ours are clustered together in one section too. Communities stay together through everything.

I don’t think there’s anything morose about death or discussing it – what you would like to happen, but then I was once a young Goth in the 80’s who thought it romantic to hang out by the Parsonage in Haworth, taking photos and doing rubbings of stones.

The last few days I have watched BFI films of the town I grew up in. It was once quite a slum in the centre. The number of mills present was astounding. How filthy it must have been. Now it is pleasantly green, and although it’s a busy, busy place and road pollution is high, the trees soak it all up and nature has found a way to come back.

What of the future of the old mill towns. Becoming green can only be the way, but til then, roads will be widened, houses built. Another mill burnt down in the early hours of this morning, fourteen fire engines were present. Grey smoke wafts in this direction, the main artery closed, causing chaos west of the city.

We must remember to keep writing, creating the stories, note happenings. Imagination and magic is all that is needed to breathe new life in to this old hell.

A trip to Whitby is on the cards – long time no see. That will appease more of my inner dark romantic! I wonder what it’s like to be a vampire and if there are any around here. So lucky to live in a rich literary landscape. And somewhere forever foreboding…

Whitby

From picturesofengland.com

Some Northern Soul in Ghost Town

Me ‘ome town is a ghost town. So many shop fronts boarded up. Large, major buildings cacooned in plastic, across its basin, where there is a  pool and outdoor screen. A surreal, almost futuristic experience when walking through.

The theatre is white, gold and shiny. The national media museum is still here despite threat of pulling funding. It has the best cinemas I’ve been in.

I seem to keep missing the demonstrations, celebrations, commemorations and parades that happen. But I’ve only been back six weeks.

So many of us left in droves in the 80’s and 90’s. The basin tipped and with the water we all tumbled out. In search of work, away from our dark satanic mills.

Now everything is sand-blasted and golden. The mills glisten in the sun – when it shines – Dubrovnik-esque.

And I go in search of the ghosts. Not even the ghosts are there.

Unlike its larger neighbour, my home town has a certain something. It’s indie,  rock,  art, film.  It’s earthy. There is soul. Yes and Northern Soul.

And so I venture in and back out. Slowly accepting its developments and new movements, meeting people, looking in to places. Ignoring the surface and digging deeper.

It is the world’s first UNESCO City of Film beating Los Angeles, Cannes and Venice to the title in 2009.

The National Media Museum is the most visited museum outside London.

It was once the centre of the industrial revolution in the UK and the birth place of the Labour party.

Do I dare to believe that it will revive itself. That’s up to us. Change, and the city will change with us. Only we can make it so.

A series of events are coming soon.

A story for the city is too.

My personal journey and that of the city are entwined. Future and past.

Still thinking about getting a record player…

skeletonsmusic                                  Found on Pinterest – origins unknown. Print Media Centre?

A Sweet Story

Whilst doing a bit of research for a short story I came across this:

http://www.historic-uk.com/HistoryUK/HistoryofBritain/Dying-for-Humbug-the-Bradford-Sweets-Poisoning-1858/

The accidental arsenic poisoning of two hundred people in Bradford by Humbug Billy in 1858.

William Hardaker, known to locals as “Humbug Billy”, sold sweets from a stall in the Green Market in central Bradford. As was common practise at the time, his supplier and maker of the sweets – in this case peppermint humbugs – used ‘daft’ in his sweet production, supplied by a druggist in Shipley. Tragically on this occasion, due to a mistake at the pharmacy, 12 pounds of arsenic trioxide were purchased instead of the harmless ‘daft’.

There’s a book too by Rebecca Williamson…

humbug