Yorkshire is hard to pin down, and as this new book by renowned Hebden Bridge photographer John Morrison shows, there are many ‘Yorkshires’.
There’s the Yorkshire of whippets and pigeons and flat-caps and other stereotypes. There are the milltowns still reeling from the collapse of major industries. Then there is the new dynamic, forward-looking Yorkshire: all business plans and executive waterside apartments. There’s the Yorkshire of great houses, built by families of note to glorify themselves, with money made in the slave trade. There are streets of back-to-back houses where privacy is just a pipedream.
But there’s also the Yorkshire of moors, dales and wolds, criss-crossed by drystone walls, where hardy farmers make a precarious living from the land as they have done for centuries. There’s the Yorkshire coastline, punctuated by fishing villages, extending from Staithes down to Spurn Head: the very end of Yorkshire. There’s cricket on the green, or a crowd at Headingley. There’s a village illuminated – briefly, but vividly – by a single shaft of light. There’s springtime in the dales, with grass laid like green velour. There’s a moonscape of a limestone pavement, covered with snow. There’s light on the landscape and mist in the valleys – that both conceals and reveals. All these ‘Yorkshires’ are captured by John Morrison’s sensitive, enquiring camera, in a stunning book which every lover of the county will want to own.
John Morrison, who lives in Hebden Bridge, has previously written the hilarious Tales from Litterdale and Dawdling Through the Dales for Halsgrove, and he has provided the photographs and captions for the highly-acclaimed Moods of the Yorkshire Dales, Portrait of Leeds, and Portrait of Bradford, also for Halsgrove.
ISBN 1841145335, hardback, 214x230mm, 144 pages. Published July 2006.