Tuesday, 14 June 2011

Buttermere Valley

(click to view larger, Nikon D70)

The Lake District is probably my favourite place in the UK. This is Buttermere, a tranquil area near where I grew up in the post industrial wastelands of Northern England. Aye lad, days were tough back then, when it really were real grim oop north. But just a few miles away from this heart of industry, there was a different world. There, you could escape from the grime, from the black soot-covered buildings contaminated by all the factory and domestic coal fires, into peaceful green landscapes. 

The industrial revolution seriously ravaged and polluted the whole area. Even in the 60's everything was black from the soot. Today they have all but cleaned up the buildings, knocked down the smokestacks and grassed over most of the industrial plant. The visual character that Lowry captured so well, is gone. In a way, I miss it. That coal-tar smell from the fires, the smog-filled fogs, the atmosphere. Perverse, eh?
These are two of L.S Lowry's paintings of the time. It's strange to think this was only in the early part of the twentieth century, and he painted these up until the '60's, but it seems an age away now. 

Another wonderful song from the sixties that fuelled my love of France.

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