Tuesday, November 29, 2005

Cheesden Where?

Industry, cotton manufacture, steam engines, chimneys and tail races are all terms which tend to make the toes curl of the average architecture junkie. I have been brought up in an environment surrounded by such elements and it has been one of my principle concerns since childhood to make sense of my grim industrial and urban locale.

Most of my life I have been pained by the reality of my surroundings, but through trying to understand the history of industrialisation of my area I have at least found some acceptance and in other ways realised that the Bill Brandtesque streetscapes are a part of my identity. Through accepting some of the uglier aspects of my urban surroundings I have gained a sense of peace which has enabled me to see value in the accrington brick, the proud foundation plaques and the cast iron gutters dotted throughout my existence.

Strangely, the photography of my locale has evolved from factual to the pictorial (a little out of fashion today). The image above is taken in Heywood Lancashire.

Industrial canal Manchester UK
As a direct result of this journey I have found in my own backyard an industrial site which is (in my opinion) worthy of World Heritage Status. The Cheesden Valley, Heywood, Lancashire. What is remarkable about this valley is that along its three mile length from top to bottom we have the remains of several mills which represent the full chronology of the industrial revolution from waterpower to steam and finally electricity.
I have set up a mini site and am updating it as I manage to get around and take more photo's. (I am currently engaged in transferring these pages over to my new fotofacade web site).

Cheesden Lumb Lower Mill - late C18th water powered

I have spent the last few years travelling throughout Europe photographing the urban streetscapes both historic and contemporary trying to quell my anxious zeitgeist and all along the answers were in my own back yard.

All images are copyright Andy Marshall

You can view around 200 of my 'industrial' images at Alamy

Monday, November 28, 2005

Cheesden Valley Project

I have set up this site as a collection point for all my activities relating to the Cheesden Valley which is situated near Heywood Lancashire UK. I am carrying out a personal project to record some of the archaeological remains of the 15 mills which are scattered throughout the valley. All of the posts are taken from my architecture blog, where I post regularly about my architectural photography.

Notes on using this blog

  • This blog is updated as and when I post information abouth the Cheesden site in my architecture blog, so it will not be updated on a daily basis. This site does have an atom feed which is http://cheesden.blogspot.com/atom.xml.
  • The latest information appears after this introduction. You can check out the archives for further information or you can search this blog for any of the mills which might be commented upon.
  • Comments are welcome and will enhance this blog as a useful resource. Please note that all images and words are copyright Andy Marshall and should not be used elsewhere without contacting the author.