Tiger Works

Tiger WorksSpent a few hours at Kelham Island in Sheffield last week taking photos and noticed this curious little workshop (now a bar of course!) on West Street on the way back to town on the tram. It was at one time part of the Viners cutlery empire, so definitely a part of the Steel City’s cutlery heritage. But tigers? More like lions I think….. Off to see a couple of old paper mills down south later this week.



To Sheffield via London, Hook Norton and Oxford

Shaddon MillOK  so it’s not the obvious route but on the way from the ‘Beer Writing – Past, present and future’ seminar at Hook Norton Brewery this Thursday (where I’m doing a book signing) I’m hoping to take some more industrial photos, including the famous marmalade factory in Oxford and the ‘White Building’ in Sheffield, with its white faience façade showing men engaged in various local trades. Unlike most of these monuments to industry, the men are wearing contemporary clothing; it is far more usual to see industrial scenes played out by dancing cherubs (see, for instance, Nottingham’s former Home Brewery offices) or by workers clad in medieval or even Roman/Greek style (see high up inside the quadrangle at the V&A). The photo is from last weekend, when I saw the old Shaddon Mill (Dixon’s Mill) in Carlisle, with its huge chimney, at one time the tallest in the country; I think the chimney at the Camperdown works in Dundee (which I shall be seeing in a few weeks) now beats it. Let’s hope the good photography weather continues!

Mill hunting in Stockport

Broadstone 352Latest industrial architecture trip was to Stockport, where saw mill after mill including this one (Broadstone), which was originally a double mill, half of which has now gone. The scale of these buildings is enormous. Just across the road is Houldsworth Mill, centre of the Houldsworth model village complex complete with church, and a few hundred yards further the pair of Elizabeth and Victoria Mills. A bus ride from Stockport centre is the wonderful Pear Mill (see the flickr pics) with a massive pear on its water tower, four pear finials (one on each corner of the main building), four smaller finials around the chimney base, a pear above a couple of entrances, and in case the onlooker still didn’t get the message, the word ‘Pear’ in a cartouche above the engine room (now a huge climbing centre). So that’s at least a dozen pears….. There’s a great deal of decorative terracotta detailing on these buildings too.

Suffolk power

Scallop Recently returned from a photography trip (and holiday) in sunny Suffolk, where I saw the lovely Long Shop at Leiston, a wonderful building and the centre of a museum devoted to Garrett’s, the local engineers. More agricultural engineering on show in Stowmarket at the Museum of East Anglian Life. Including a visit to various industrial sites in Norwich, came back with about half a dozen new photos for the Vic & Ed industrial architecture book, so that’s over threequarters of them done now. The hard part, ie the writing, comes next….. Briefly saw Aldeburgh and Maggi Hambling’s Scallop (which feels as good as it looks); curiously, to the north one can see three power sources, Sizewell’s dome (nuclear), the House in the Clouds (it was a water tower) and a windmill.