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Magna: inside and out

Some additional views of Magna Science Adventure Centre in the former steel mill at Templeborough in Rotherham.

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Click below for a fullscreen 360° view of the scene in Flash, or for more info in Google Earth and Wikipedia.

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Click below for a fullscreen 360° view of the scene in Flash, or for more info in Google Earth and Wikipedia.

Inside the Friends Meeting House at High Flatts

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I shot this during a visit to the former Quaker hamlet at High Flatts, between Huddersfield and Denby Dale, as part of the Heritage Open Days weekend. High Flatts is a delightful collection of honey-stoned cottages and houses set in the rolling Yorkshire hills: until a generation ago it was exclusively Quaker, but now it’s an affluent, secular and mixed community.

Although several generations ago there were Quakers in my family, I’d never been inside a Friends Meeting House, and the Heritage Open Day allowed a glimpse inside this still-functioning place of worship. Several friendly folk were onhand to explain the history and beliefs of the Society of Friends. I was curious to see whether Quaker beliefs would be mirrored in the aesthetics of the building, like other isolated religious groups such as the Moravians and Shakers. The styling is measured and balanced; the exterior is well-proportioned and Georgian in character. I liked the simple and harmonious interior, with its focus inwards: more for meetings of minds, rather than sermons.

Click below for a fullscreen 360° view of the scene in Flash, or for more info in Google Earth.

Wainhouse Tower, Halifax: a splendid Victorian Folly

Since moving to Calderdale I’ve been curious about this magnificent but somewhat incongruous tower which sits on the hillside at Skircoat Moor, between Halifax town centre and Sowerby Bridge. I drive past it on my daily commute, and enjoy how it stands proudly above the clouds which wreath the hillside on misty mornings, and how it’s beautifully illuminated at night.

I’d heard Wainhouse Tower was originally designed as a chimney for a local factory, but never used; and had also heard it had stairs inside it, leading up to a viewing platform which afforded stunning views of the surrounds. Intrigued by such snippets of information, I read more online and discovered that Calderdale Council, the present owners, had recently completed renovations to the ornate stonework and several public open days were held. Needless to say, I had to visit and try to capture some of its glory in 360°…

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

 

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

 

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

Where the Titanic was fitted out: Thompson Graving Dock, Queen’s Island, Belfast

 

This was shot on a moody Sunday afternoon in March 2008. I haven’t lived in Belfast for half my life, and it often seems like a foreign city compared to my memories. There’s much less left of Belfast’s raw industrial heritage on display nowadays, but that which remains is being renovated and refreshed. Sometimes for better, sometimes for worse.

This harbour area, originally part of the old Harland & Wolff shipyard,  is now known as ‘The Titanic Quarter‘, but this 268 metre long dry dock, where the mighty Titanic was fitted out before her maiden voyage, lies sadly neglected in this photo. New buildings, part of the Northern Ireland Science Park, sit back from the dock, while the old pumphouse can be seen with

I first visited here about 17 years ago, on a cold winter’s morning with my family. At the time the dock had fallen derelict, and lay almost forgotten in the wider public consciousness. Then it was even more dilapidated, but somehow much more evocative of past glories. A thin film of frost covered old ropes, bollards and scrap metal, and the sea dripped ominously through the gates at the far end. I remember taking black and white photos of gnarled ropes and puddles, fascinated by the decay and the prospect of former glories and activities at this site.

Granted, these days I’m taller, however the rather-unsympathetically designed new fence around the dock area seems to constrain and diminish the vastness of this space, compared to my initial visit as a kid.

Footnote: four years on, I believe much has changed here. The Titanic Quarter has grown rapidly, and this year’s centenary of the Titanic’s ill-fated voyage has centred around the area. The Graving Dock’s centenary was commemorated in 2011, and is recognised as a historical monument. I look forward to revisiting and reshooting this scene when I’m next back in Belfast.

(Edited March 2012, updating the panorama with a revised Flash and new HTML5 version, to mark the 100th anniversary of the Titanic’s fateful voyage.)