Thursday, April 19, 2007

Venerable Liverpool Beatnik Bob Parker contacted Bagnall's Retreat to make a comment on the recent "Northern Archaology" posts:
" all those images from down-at-heel post-industrial towns and villages. A few years ago I took some pics of city centre dereliction thinking I'd best do it before it got replaced by shiny new flat-pack buildings. Wonder why it is you, me (and everyone else I know) finds this forlorn abandonment much more aesthetically pleasing than the concrete, steel and glass so beloved of the redeveloper? Maybe it's an age thing..."
Thanks a lot, Bob, especially for coining the eloquent phrase "forlorn abandonment". Here are some more photos I took which hopefully illustrate that phrase. First is a long deserted shop in Wingate (see how dusty the venetian blinds look.) Second is a boarded up school in Easington Colliery (the manual instruction classroom entrance) and third is a row of lovely dilapidated sheds/garages in Fencehouses. All from (as yet) undeveloped corners of County Durham.


Boring Being said...

There's something very appealing about weathered, tatty wooden buildings. I always look out for those sort of wooden garages - I suspect most residential locales have them tucked away, but they're so obvious they hardly get noticed. Allotments can also have some really interesting, vernacular structures. Just the place for a chap in a cardie with pipe-burned pockets to potter in.

John Bagnall said...

Yes, BB, the wooden garages in the Fencehouses photo were definitely "tucked away", behind a row of old red-brick terraced houses. There was only thoroughfare for pedestrians...

You've also brought up an interesting subject in allotments. Surely the redevelopers would hate this slow, unprofitable use of land, but these are without doubt the perfect areas for the lost art of quiet "pottering".

Home-made vernacular structures seem to flourish in allotments, ramshackle wooden structures made of old front doors etc. I'm not sure if this is a North East phenomenon but Pigeon Lofts are also great places to discover amateur shed/loft makeshift building, sometimes painted in lively gloss paint colours.

Boring Being said...

I grew up in West Yorkshire, and pigeon lofts were everywhere. Often they are in quite remote places, as well as in gardens. I've seen the odd one in London, but nowhere near as many. I visted the old mining village of Shilbottle near Alnwick a few years back, and an old boy had a home-made hut full of budgies on some spare ground at the end of his terrace.

We built a shed in our garden last year. It's just starting to weather nicely - one day it'll have that pleasant patina of slightly warped, slightly patched-up. With the onset of spring I had a clean out to make some 'pottering room' - I've got a shelf in there with a growbag of tomatoes, and a bit of space to work on the bits of my old Vespas that occasionally need attention. I might go on ebay later to see if there's a wood-front Roberts radio to hang from a handy nail for Test Match Special and Poetry Please.