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Abandoned farmhouse at Red Dykes, Withens Moor

I’d wanted to shoot some moody panoramas at this old farmhouse for a while: it lies, skeletal and desolate, under giant skies on the uplands between Stoodley Pike and Cragg Vale. When I arrived it was apparent only sheep had visited since the snows came a few days beforehand: small shuffled hoof prints around the perimeter, but nothing inside the house. They may not be convinced of the psychological shelter afforded by these high walls, but it would be my first port of call if I found myself stuck on the moors as a storm rolls in.

I loved the bleached wood and weathered stonework, brightened by the weak winter sun and snow on the ground. I don’t know when this place was abandoned: perhaps when the reservoir was built and filled. Who knows what lives, births, deaths and celebrations once took place inside these walls? A oddly touching reminder of these anonymous experiences of the building could be seen in the smaller room view: a small bunch of synthetic red roses poked out from the snow. Coincidentally when I searched online about this place I found this image: the photographer found the same thing when shooting the scene. It made me think that whoever else has visited the farm in the time elapsed between our shoots must have left the flowers undisturbed: a gently reverential acknowledgment of the unknown and emotive story behind their placement.

Click below for a fullscreen 360° view of the scene in Flash or QuickTime format, or locate the scene in Google Earth.

Click below for a fullscreen 360° view of the scene in Flash or QuickTime format, or locate the scene in Google Earth.

Snow flurries, working class heritage

I’d previously shot part of this street for an album in 2007, and had been perversely fascinated by the soulessness of the metal grills covering the windows and doors. It saddens me that so many streets like this, in the working class districts of proud cities like Manchester, Salford and Liverpool, now lie abandoned and neglected.

This is partly due to the preference of local councils to claim valuable funds from central government to promote new developments, rather than renew and renovate existing areas. The trouble is that these streets, and the communities within them, have survived for generations: providing succour, security and shelter close to the city centre. They weren’t perfect, but have the potential to be updated and reinvigorated much more cost-effectively than new developments, and without disrupting the social fabric of these areas.

This meek snow flurry heralded the start of a heavy week of snow … captured in the snapshot of a flash just as the natural light disappeared behind the gloom.

Click below for a fullscreen 360° view of the scene in Flash or QuickTime format, or locate the scene in Google Earth.

Death of a nightclub: The Paradox, Aintree

This caught my eye while I was in the vicinity to carry out a shoot for work. I doubled back after work and took the shot as the clouds angrily scudded above me. A few minute later the sky was tinged pink as dusk broke through, but I love the moodiness of this scene as it is.

This tower is the last remnant of the sprawling Paradox nightclub in Aintree, Merseyside. I’m guessing the rest of the building was demolished a year or so ago: viewing the site in Google Earth shows a large building with the tower at one corner. So that explains the paradox of the lighting panel still visible on the side of the building, showing seven bars. I was wondering how they fitted them all in.

Click below for a fullscreen 360° view of the scene in Flash or QuickTime format, or locate the scene in Google Earth.