27th October 2003
Birkdale is a lonely place. Not many people go there and most of them are passing through on their way to somewhere else.
It was just such a journey that took me through the dale in pouring rain back in 96 and I’d filed it in the dusty recesses of my memory as a spot worth revisiting.
On the 27th I was scouting for locations and the conditions were overcast and not very promising. There were certainly shots to be had but I contented myself with shooting digitally with the intent of doing it properly with film under better conditions.
Looking back I almost can’t believe it now but I was yet to have my eyes opened to the full capabilities of digital imaging.
This shepherd’s cottage and sheep fold huddled down under the weather with the damp stone reflecting what little light there was but even this scene did not prompt me to drag the Bronica out. I took just two frames and carried on. My target for that weekend was the Lakes and Hodge Close. Little did I know I would return here just two days later.
The use of these old rail wagons as sheds is something I remember well from my childhood in Westmoreland.
But in the end it was this simple feed shed with it’s corrugated iron sides that caught the sense of isolation that I was looking for. I wanted something to connect the Earth and the sky and this was literally the only thing for miles capable of breaking the horizon.
Postscript: I’ve always liked this image but felt that it needed something else. Lately I’ve been turning some of my older images into artworks using a technique of my own that I’ve been developing. I think you’ll see more of this work as time goes on.