Endurance and strength

These image are from the archive and show the lock keeper on the Rochdale Canal in the centre of Manchester in the Spring of 1977.  Those gnarled, strong hands look as though they have endured a lifetime on the cut (Travel Theme: Strong & Weekly Photo Challenge: Endurance).

In those days the Rochdale was still in private ownership and you were obliged to pay for the descent along the short stretch of canal which links the Ashton Canal with the Bridgewater at Castlefield.  There was so much water flowing down the Rochdale that it cascaded over the back gates and made the process of emptying the lock a long, slow process.  When I passed this way again in 2008 the lock keeper and the house adjacent to the top lock were gone but, the plumbing remained a problem.

Lock keeper ...

Lock keeper ...

(click on the images to enlarge)

It’s Alright Ma …

Travel theme: Merchandise

Disillusioned words like bullets bark
As human gods aim for their mark
Made everything from toy guns that spark
To flesh-colored Christs that glow in the dark
It’s easy to see without looking too far
That not much
Is really sacred.

I don't wanna be famous ...
Fruits Salad
Hoodies and hats

Advertising signs that con you
Into thinking you’re the one
That can do what’s never been done
That can win what’s never been won
Meantime life outside goes on
All around you.

Bob Dylan – It’s Alright Ma (I’m Only Bleeding)

Humanity II

The previous post has made me look at the image of the footballers more closely.  For years I just accepted the information on the back of the photo – “Fred is seventh from the left on the back row”.  Enlarged for the first time on screen, I now have my doubts. This image is from the same event and Fred  is sat on the front row holding the ball – significantly with a centre parting, unlike in the earlier image.  This is the grandfather I immediately recognise whereas the other chap doesn’t look quite right.  Perhaps Fred was behind the lens in the earlier image after all.

I am amused by two of his team mates – guess which ones :-) – all humanity is here and this being Aboukir, Egypt in 1918, rather than the Western Front, I like to think they all made it safely home:

All Nations football team


This post is not really in the spirit of the photo challenge – I certainly wasn’t the photographer and neither was my maternal grandfather, Fred,  who is standing on the back row, seventh from the left.  I suppose it is just possible that it was his camera they used to take the photograph, the one he is holding in this post.

All human life is here, gathered to take part in the ‘All Nations’ football match, Royal Flying Corps Training School, Aboukir, 1918.

All Nations Fotball match

In the years that followed the Great War, Fred immersed himself in work and local good causes. He was responsible for what was claimed to be the first ever floodlit football match and was associated with the Andover Carnival from its inception, becoming overall chairman in 1955.  During World War II he was a full-time officer in the Andover Fire Brigade, having joined as a volunteer in 1925; he was called to help at the blitzes at Portsmouth and Southampton. Not many years after his return from RFC Egypt, he was also responsible for raising the money for his town’s first ambulance.

Humanity:  the quality of being human; kindness or mercy – I think my grandfather had it in spades.

Andover's first Ambulance

Weekly Photo Challenge: Adventure!


This gallery contains 4 photos.

Sniffing the air, straining at the leash, it seems like dogs are always up for adventure. At the top of Glastonbury Tor, enlivened by altitude and far-reaching views everyone was high on excitement, and this being Glastonbury, probably banned substances … Continue reading

La Mort Subite

Weekly Photo Challenge: Dialogue.  This afternoon we climbed Glastonbury Tor.  No crampons are required but it is a steep ascent and for some perhaps it could prove one climb too many.  There is some sort of dialogue going on here but I will leave it to you to imagine what it might be:

Do you see what I see ... La Mort Subite

(click on the images to enlarge)

Travel theme: Orange

I know, this is a cheat but I just wanted an excuse to post another image from Falmouth 1977, from a time when orange was just a fruit and not a telco and apples were for eating not touching.  This local painter does not look exactly happy in his work but the weather is gloomy and there is a sharp wind blowing across the harbour – perhaps he just wants to go home.

I cheated with something else too – the orange is sampled from here :-)