The Pit Hills


The past is a curious thing. It’s with you all the time. I suppose an hour never passes without your thinking of things that happened ten or twenty years ago, and yet most of the time it’s got no reality, it’s just a set of facts that you’ve learned, like a lot of stuff in a history book. Then some chance sight or sound or smell, especially smell, sets you going, and the past doesn’t merely come back to you, you’re actually IN the past. It was like that at this moment.
George Orwell, Coming Up For Air

I took this photograph in 1989. It’s a view of Leeds, looking north from the fields behind the estate I grew up on. I was up there recently and this location looks completely different. The Leeds skyline now reaches higher into the sky, but you couldn’t even see it from this vantage point as there’s now a thick copse of birch trees that has grown in the subsequent 25 years. And I’m probably the only person who gives a toss about what was once there. It was just some grassed over farmer’s fields and the site of an old pit (hence the name ‘Pit Hills’) but it’s one of the places that made me, so I have to give it an import that, at first glance, it does not warrant. Some people go on a pilgrimage to Stonehenge. I go here.


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