By Chrysanthemum

Dalton Mills and the vintage red bus, Keighley

Dalton Mills is a large and impressive Victorian mill complex in Keighley, one of the many on which the prosperity of the town was built. In its heyday it was quite possibly the main jewel in Keighley's crown and was certainly one of the largest textile mills in the region. But times have changed and as the textile industry declined, so did the building and its fortunes, and by 2004 it had been empty for almost a decade. The building still remains and today I went to photograph it, intending to attempt another foray into the world of black and white. The huge main rectangular structure displays the usual depressing dereliction of graffiti and broken windows or worse, concrete blocked windows, which I felt might make it a suitable black and white subject. Having photographed the main structure, I moved to record the far end of the building, a part which is still in use and well cared for, simply for future reference. As I was photographing this end of the complex a bright red vintage double decker bus rounded the corner, suddenly and quite unexpectedly - not perhaps 'London-bus-red', but nonetheless red. The driver slowed down especially for my camera and after I'd taken the photograph, he waved cheerily. So it therefore became a question of whether to blip a gritty black and white photograph of dereliction or a colour photograph of the scene with the red bus. The colour photograph won. The run-down mill isn't going anywhere, but the chances of a bright red vintage bus suddenly appearing again right before my camera are pretty slim. I would love to have rendered the building in black and white and the bus in (red) colour, but haven't quite been able to manage that tonight.

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