Category Archives: architecture

Lager Sylt entrance (lest we forget)

Thursday 16th August 2018, 2.30pm (day 2,548)

Lager Sylt gates, 16/8/18

Unlike the other Channel Islands, Alderney was completely evacuated in June 1940, eight days before the Germans arrived to occupy it for the next five years. Because of the lack of a civilian population, they pretty much did what they liked here, fortifying the island to an immense degree (to the extent that the Alderney garrison did not surrender until 16th May 1945, a whole week after VE Day). The labour that this required was undertaken mostly by Russian POWs, who were housed in four camps, or lager, each named after German North Sea islands. Lager Sylt was the camp for Jews, run by the SS, and along with nearby Lager Nordeney was thus the only concentration camp — so far — to have been built on British soil. 400 graves of prisoners have been identified on Alderney but many more are estimated to have died here. The only remaining sign of any of the camps are these old concrete gate posts, on the edge of the airport, and the small plaque affixed thereon, fading text declaring that this was the entrance to Lager Sylt.

World War 2 too often gets treated as some big nostalgia kick. But it’s worth remembering that all those years, all that effort and suffering and hardship, was fought for poor bastards like those prisoners, to stop this kind of thing ever happening again.  As time passes and the ruins moulder away, there’s a risk that some people are forgetting this.

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Last Manchester shot (for a little while)

Friday 3rd August 2018, 9.40am (day 2,535)

Library Walk, 3/8/18

A nice, but generic, Manchester shot. But it suffices to make the point that it is the 29th August before I have to go back into the city again for work purposes.

O yes.

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Carlton Street (not much happening)

Friday 8th June 2018, 5.45pm (day 2,479)

Carlton Street, 8/6/18

A year ago today I was in Siberia and Britain was having its latest inconclusive and pointless electoral spasm. But early June 2018 is a highly uneventful time. With a cloudy day spent working at home I came as close as I have in any of these last 2,479 days to having nothing to photograph, and that’s eventually how this blog will end: there simply will be nothing more to say. Maybe this one doesn’t say much…  but it is, at least, something.

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Fire escape, UiT

Monday 23rd April 2018, 1.30pm (day 2,433)

UiT fire exit, 23/4/18

Busy day’s work at the University of Tromsø (the world’s northernmost university). Views snatched out of windows were my best option photographically, on what was a bright sunny day — as it always seems to be here when I visit. I am developing a reputation as a sun god among the locals. I like the shapes on this one.

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View from Stockton station

Saturday 24th March 2018, 5.30pm (day 2,403)

At Stockton station, 24/3/18

The world’s first-ever railway line ran from Darlington to Stockton in 1825, and 192 years later the time it takes to get between these two places by train probably isn’t a great deal less than it was. As one waits, then, for the trains to permit one to leave Teesside there is plenty of time to admire the surrounding scenery, a happy hunting ground for fans of industry and the urban. I am not intending to be rude: I have had two good days out here in the last couple of weeks. But you don’t come for the landscapes. Or the train service.

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Fire escape

Monday 19th March 2018, 9.25am (day 2,398)

Arena stairway, 19/3/18

No big message today, I just like the shape it makes. And the little bloke in his hi-vis jacket.

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Bradford City Hall

Wednesday 21st February 2018, 6.00pm (day 2,372)

Bradford City Hall, 21/2/18

Well, the clock’s a bit blurry but you can see I have the time right, at least. In Bradford today at the start of a much-needed, half-term, half-week break from work, to see War Horse at the theatre, which as a visual feast, at least, was stupendous: but no photos allowed of that I’m afraid, so the grand City Hall will have to do. It’s at least nice that they have finished off Bradford (in a good way) after about a decade of stalled building works left the place looking as much of a bomb site as it did in 1945.

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Eiffel Buildings

Monday 19th February 2018, 3.50pm (day 2,370)

Eiffel buildings, 19/2/18

If it wasn’t for the distinctive topography of my home town, Hebden Bridge, I doubt I would have felt inspired enough to keep this blog going for 2,370 days. I do spend quite a bit of time here — some 40% of the shots are from HB. And, well, it does look rather good in the right light. I try to do it justice.

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Kilburn Building (and bus stops)

Wednesday 14th February 2018, 11.45am (day 2,365)

Kilburn building, 14/12/18

So, I see it’s a year ago today that I posted my 2,000th picture. In a couple of weeks it’ll be six-and-a-half years since I started this blog. But there are still little takes on the Uni of Manchester campus I haven’t tried yet. Even if they aren’t quite straight.

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By the croquet lawns

Wednesday 7th February 2018, 10.45am (day 2,358)

Heythrop walker, 7/2/18

Heythrop Park was built three hundred years ago, more or less. In its heyday doubtless it was a sumptuous retreat from the pressures of the outside world, where paid labour served the privileged few, who were repaid in  enhanced status and social cachet.

It is of course much the same now. But we call these gatherings ‘conferences’ and we all mingle to talk ‘best practice’ and ‘strategy’ rather than shoot pheasants. Ah, what the hell, it’s actually been a pretty interesting day and a half. Nice building too (the original manor house anyway: perhaps not the modern hotel extension).

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