A heart felt read as time marches on.
Watching those videos of Wakefield brings a melancholy feeling. I've seen the old '60s film before of course, in a slightly better print. It's the Wakefield I knew when I was an art student at that time and long summer days spent in and around the city with my then girlfriend, Lynne Holiday.
It's a shame that the camcorder technology used in the 'A Walk Around Wakefield' video didn't exist back then. It would have been magical to see the place captured as it was in the '60s with today's digital clarity and length.
The 'Walk Around Wakefield' video will provide a record of the city for future generations who will, perhaps, look back with nostalgia at what, to them, will seem like a very old fashioned place compared to whatever surroundings they may be living in 50 or 60 yea rs from now.
The 'walk' video is relatively current with it's Covid warning signs but it serves to remind me of the many changes to the city that I have personally seen in my lifetime. Not all of them for the better in my opinion. The busy and colourful market that I visited with my mother in the '50s, (its '60 incarnation can be seen in the first film,) is long gone, replaced by the big, impersonal shopping mall glimpsed in the 'walk' video.
What I find disconcerting is seeing some of the old buildings that have survived the planners 'modernisation' huddling between contemporary structures that seem to overpower or dwarf them. The Wakefield of the '50s seemed a cleaner, more human and 'humane' place somehow, (which is borne out by photographs from the period.)
But I'm also reminded, by the 'walk' video, of the last 20 or so years when I would visit my mother, driving over to Wakefield every weekend to take her shopping and out for a meal. She too would reminisce about how the place used to be and how she felt it had lost something as the years passed by. I can still see her, walking those streets, fit and sprightly at first but year by year, slowly but surely, becoming more and more infirm. Those weekend visits have stopped, of course, and now the only time I travel to Wakefield is to take flowers to the cemetery. A cemetery that, as a very young boy, I would visit each weekwith my mother to place flowers on the graves of my great grandparents.
Mum never left Wakefield, she was born, lived and died there. And that fact ties a big part of my heart to the city, despite all the changes...
We're going for City of Culture 2025 you know. 😎
Some fantastic architecture and buildings.