Thursday, 22 March 2012

South Square, Thornton

The other 'must visit' place in Thornton (as well as the Brontë birthplace) is South Square, a visual arts resource centre and gallery.  It is the base for a coalition of artists and also holds meeting rooms, a print workshop and studio space, a craft shop and a very good vegetarian café. (I had the cheesy potato wedges with tomato salsa: tasty, filling and warming on a chilly day.)

The centre is housed in 19th century millworkers' cottages, which are now Grade II listed buildings.  It's a good place to wander round, quite quirky really... in parts of it you almost feel as though you're walking through someone's home that just happens to have artworks on the walls.  It has lots of entrances through the various cottage doors rather than one main entrance, and then all the rooms run into one another, so you are not quite sure if you've seen all of it or not!

The nature of the space allows several different artists to show at the same time so there is a wide variety of styles and types of work - including some photographs of Bradford's mills by Gemma Doyle, when I visited.  One of her photographs was shockingly similar to my own 'Saltaire's New Mill at night' - gave me a bit of a turn! - but it's such an oft-photographed scene and doesn't change much from day to day so I suppose there are probably quite a few similar images out there!

This is the Thornton Challenge, Day Four - in which Alan Burnett and I agreed to explore the same village at different times and from our own perspective and then share what we each 'saw'.  For Alan's eye view, please go to his blog NEWS FROM NOWHERE.


  1. By day four, you're heading off to the cafe and I'm heading off to the pub! Why didn't I go to South Square? I suppose it is due to a lack of research on my part and too much time spent sniffing around pubs ancient and modern, open and closed. But the one thing your Blog always does os flag up places for me to make future visits to - as I have said before, you ought to get an award from Yorkshire Tourism (or whatever they call it these days)

  2. It's a place I would love to mozzy around ... Quirky with loads of atmosphere .... Now I'm off to read Alan's perspective.

  3. Cafe, Pub; I think we see different approaches to this village.

  4. South Square a little gem of a place, and once again well captured.
    Now then! if it's "quirkyness" one is after on a trip around Thornton why not take a walk a mile or so up James street and onto to the "Tops" and visit the hamlets of "Moscow" "Egypt" and "Worlds End" . . . I kid you not ! ! !

  5. I think you have both made a hit with your respective posts. Nice job.

    I am trying to get the word out to all blogger friends that I have a new birds blog. Since I was hacked I had to give up my old user name and the blogs that went with it.

    So this is the new birds blog and I hope you can come visit. Birds Birds Birds and Birds

  6. The perfect partner for Alan's pub post.

  7. I love the way that the old flagstones are uneven and worn by the passing of many, many feet.

  8. Beautiful photos. And thank goodness there's also a cafe and a toilet; I'm a little thirsty after that long walk up the hill on Alan's blog - only to find the pub closed.

  9. Sounds a fun place to visit if you are into art. It is a great idea to keep these old places alive. It does look a very old area but well kept and with nice green windows.

  10. I have not seen the word toilets used in a long time. Alan went to a pub..I would have gone into the cafe too..vegetarian..oh my:)

  11. I love the trade signs, it makes me want to go shopping and exploring! ~Lili

  12. Hello, this is great seeing people taking interest in the small village I grew up and lived. This is the first time I have come across this blog and I felt my name had been seen as coping a photograph, and not look at as a photography project taking place at south square. I wanted to post my blog up here to show that my photograph was part of a series called 'The Silent Mills' which I took over a period time. and the working progress titled 'untitled' in march 2011

    1. Hi Gemma
      No, I didn't think you'd copied it! Yours has fewer lights and more foreground and on a close look, it's not the same at all. But it was initially quite unnerving to see a photo not dissimilar to one of my own. I guess it's the obvious viewpoint for the Mill - there must have been many equivalent images taken by many different people. Mills are a good subject for a photo project - nice that you documented something that is disappearing fast, as so many are demolished or converted to flats.
      Thanks for the link to your website. I tried and failed to find it when I was writing my blog post.


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