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We shall not see their like again


Time for an update: I still use film, though. Not vast quantities, but I have a darkroom, and I'm not afraid to use it.

I enjoy every image I take: I hope you'll enjoy looking at them.
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We shall not see their like again

6 May 2021 7:52AM   Views : 313 Unique : 195


It’s a phrase we sometimes hear when somebody wants us to share a nostalgia they feel, and which they realise that we may not be particularly interested in. When I talked to my wife about the subject in my lead picture (and my gallery post today), she was deeply unimpressed.

I grew up with fences like this one. I don’t know who made them, but I suspect one firm in the north Midlands produced them all – if anyone knows for certain, please post a comment. They certainly aren’t specially beautiful, but there were quite a lot around in North Staffordshire and Derbyshire in the Sixties: a particular response to the need for quick and durable fencing where – for instance – a dry stone wall had crumbled, or a hedge had died, perhaps.


We won’t see them again because the modern response is concrete and barbed wire, or perhaps showy new wooden fencing – or, even, a freshly-planted and laid hedge… We may well see more traditional boundaries appear as people become more willing to use labour-intensive solutions which share employment and prosperity, and encourage wildlife. I certainly hope so!


Maybe a factory in China will start making a similar product: but I think that won’t happen. It’s not, now, an elegant technical solution, or a beautiful one, so it will meet the same fate as all the workaday chairs and tables that local carpenters made when Chippendale and Sheraton furniture was emerging from cabinet makers’ workshops. Nobody’s going to make special efforts to preserve it, until we’re down to the last fifty-foot stretch on a farm near Stoke-upon-Trent, when it’ll get whipped into a heritage museum, or slung on the back of the last rag-and-bone Transit passing by.

So, when you go out for a walk today, keep your eyes open and your lenscap off, and see if you can find something that has been around for fifty, or a hundred, or two hundred years, and won’t be replaced when it is damaged…



dudler Plus
17 1.6k 1859 England
6 May 2021 8:00AM
Middle images are of a fence around various things in Walsall - I think all the land may have belonged to Walsall Technical College at some point.

The lower picture is of a graceful and confident building that I knew as the home of GEC Measurement in Stone, Staffordshire, but was probably something else when it was built. Disambiguation: the General Electric Company was a British conglomerate, now splintered and taken over, and not to be confused with the American General Electric firm. As far as I can tell, they were competitors in many fields (and, with other names, GEC's products continue).
woolybill1 Plus
14 37 78 United Kingdom
6 May 2021 8:47AM
When I first heard the term 'GM crops' on Radio 4 I was immediately and almost irredeemable puzzled. What had Vauxhall and Chevrolet to do with rolling fields of wheat? When 'Today' starts referring to 'Stellantis crops' I shall know we really are in trouble!

6 May 2021 10:20AM
Your last image of the GEC Factory, is very reminiscent of the 1950's factories, we have near to us the British Nylon Spiners Factory later ICI Fibres which still stands but is now divided into multiple units, and the Technical College I attended looked the same. To me there was a certain elegance about them. Paul.
pink Plus
17 6.7k 8 United Kingdom
6 May 2021 4:29PM
The last picture reminds me of a local Grammar school, still in use today as a comprehensive, but badly extended in the 70's. Its interesting to note that the extensions have since been renovated, the original building has not.
JuBarney Plus
10 33 5 United Kingdom
6 May 2021 7:14PM
I should post a selfie as I have been around for over 50 years, but don't have one to hand!
cooky Plus
17 6 4 United Kingdom
6 May 2021 9:57PM
Do think every generation when it hits that 60+ marker has a yearning for things lost?

It is a chuck and buy new society rather than make do and mend. There is no permanence in objects or traditions that had previously stood the test of time. Even wooden fences are now made of plastic wood!

Favourite programme...The Repair Shop, let's preserve those memories!

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