Wandering Through 1982 Brighouse By Kamal Kaan

Based on conversations with Brighouse residents, writer Kamal Kaan takes an imaginative journey through the past...

Report

It’s 1982; the first of Spring, there’s still a lingering of frost dusting the sleepy slates of the sandstone buildings. The sun makes the town glitter in silvery light. The scent of freshly baked pies from the Bakehouse allures me towards it. I could do with something warming in my belly; so I walk down Market Street, follow the tantalising trail to buy a pie.

Add a note

Report

Item details…

Canal Scene with watermark- 18.03.1985
Collection of Chris Helme

Go to the item's page

Standing on the corner where Ship Street meets Canal Street, I can see the looming tower of the flour mill. It reaches into the sky like a concrete arm, waving out to the town. Today, police Sargent Robert Norbury is up there, he’s the crime-fighting hero of East Riding. He’s decided that it would make a perfect place to guard over the town. I call to him, “how do I get up there’s no steps!” He replies, “hang on to the vertical conveyer belt and you’ll get pulled up through the floors”. “How will I know when I get to the top, what if I fly through the roof?!” I step onto the knots of the belt and the motor begins and I shoot up - firing through each floor, I feel like a human rocket, hurling skywards. I get to the top and Sargent Norbury is there, with his binoculars, hawk-like. I tell him, “I’ve got a message from your wife, make sure you get a pint of milk on the way home”. He smiles, “now that will be a crime if I forget!”

Add a note

Report

Item details…

Briggate - 1947

Collection of Chris Helme

Go to the item's page

From up here, I can see The Albert Cinema and in the near distance, the music spills in the Spring air, the bands getting ready to perform this evening for the Spring fling in the re-named Tropicana Night Club. The building looks dashing, all posed, wearing Art Deco stripes - looks like a scene from The Great Gatsby. Down there I can see Karen and Mack, dressed in their best. Oh, it’s a bit early for dancing isn’t it? Sargent Norbury interrupts; “it’s never too early to go dancing in Brighouse”. I see them swept up in excitement as Mack takes Karen by the hand and leads her up the steps. “They’ll be dancing the night away on that dance floor, the best-sprung dancefloor in the whole of Yorkshire you know!”

Add a note

Report

Item details…

Sugden's Old Mill from Guddersfield Road Bridge 2013

Collection of Chris Helme

Go to the item's page

Over there, I see the river Calder flirting past with its curves and bubbling. Down by the canal is new recruit Norman Butterworth. In his hand - a piping warm pork pie keeping him company. I wonder - what is he looking for? When, whilst taking another mouthful of pie, he spots something in the river. He scrunches the remains of his breakfast into his pocket and runs towards the waters edge. Is it the body? As the water laps up, it emerges, the motionless frame of the man, still smiling in his death. “This must be him; the reports must be true then, who jumped himself into the water yesterday morning”. Norman takes off his helmet in respect and gently utters, “find peace in where your soul has sailed to now. Life is too short to be spent in sorrow, live each day like there’s no tomorrow. Amen”.

Add a note

Report

Item details…

Canal Basin from Millroyd Apartments2 - 22.08.2010

Collection of Chris Helme

Go to the item's page

From the tower, I say farewell to Sargent Norbury. “One last thing” – I ask “what will Brighouse be like in years to come?” I look out over the town as it beats on with its proud people and I ponder: will the river ever cease to be an enchantingly beautiful lure for first kisses and last wishes? Will the music still sing from the handsome Art Deco night club? What will become of this looming flour mill? Sergent Norbury assures me, “come back in years later and you’ll find out!” I smile and set off into the future...

Add a note