Another cold and grey winters day finds me on the outskirts of Glastonbury, having lunch in a fairly new cafe called the Bocabar. It is a part of the Red Brick Building, a community arts, education and enterprise centre situated on the site where the old Morlands wool factory used to stand directly under the lee of Wearyall Hill, a place of legend where Joseph of Arithmathea reputedly struck his staff into the ground and a holy thorn tree began to grow. Once a centre of local manufacture and business the collection of buildings and units is now a bustling resource bringing arts to the Glastonbury and street areas.
Some of the old buildings still stand relatively untouched, one a striking, Bauhaus designed large factory unit with what seems like a thousand square windows on its concrete front facade looking over the A361 as it winds its way into Glastonbury. Another large, impressive bulding is a structure with an immense brick chimney, now cracked, with bricked up windows, a low bank of earth deterring people from visiting it and long straggly thorn bushes growing up its weathered walls and creeping out along the concrete hardstand like flailing tentacles.
Other buildings have been modernised; a new tile shop, an industrial looking metallic Screwfix building with an ocean of concrete parking area, a Premier Inn Hotel and Brewsters next to it. Although the sum of all these parts point to redevelopment, there is enough *undeveloped and original architecture, mostly though run down, to still place it firmly in another age.
The Red Brick Bilding is a very pleasing building with multiple endeavours occurring on its 2 levels. Artists and photographers exhibit there, art classes are held, Tai Chi and other, a photographer’s and other studios create there, and a cinema plays art house films.
Today I met a friend and we had lunch and then wandered around the site with cameras. My friend has his venerable Nikon D700 and I my little Sigma DP 1 Merrill, my friend confident of the abilities of the Nikon, myself conversely determined to reach some understanding of the Sigma’s mysteries. Together in the cold grey afternoon we photographed something of the past.
These are some of the Merrill’s images, mostly 100 iso and colour set to neutral, sharpness reduced in post, hand held. The final image is from the skateboard park behind the Morlands site. It was a very grey day and the images are not ‘aesthetic’, more functional and a learning exercise for me.