A few months ago I received an email from the editor in chief of the UK magazine “Woodworking Plans and Projects” asking if he could use one of my images. He wanted it to illustrate a story written by one of his readers. It told the story of how some of the wood saved from the demolition of the Tate and Lyle Sugar Refinery in Liverpool. UK, had been used in various woodworking projects. The editor had googled Tate and Lyle and the search result threw up a Blog article that I´d posted in February 2013. I was pleased that I could add to the readers enjoyment of the article – hopefully.
This enquiry and licensing of the use of one of my photographs highlighted a number of points for me. The first being that a photograph that I´d taken more than 40 years ago still had a use today. The second being, as well as fun, how useful blogging can be. The third, how important search engine optimization (SEO) is. And last but not least, the importance of picture captions and that they should say something useful about the photograph.
Going back to the first point, a photograph never looses it´s power to say something, to illustrate something and to bring back memories. I can still remember walking through the remains of the Liverpool dockland as they went under the wreckers ball and disappeared for ever or was spruced up into a sort of Disney World of the British nautical and industrial past. It also brings back harder memories of strife, poverty and division that was so much part of the British story of the 1980s.
By the way, the now long gone Tate and Lyle Sugar Refinery and it´s demise still has an important place in Liverpool folklore. No-one can know how something – even an ugly building – or a photograph of it´s innards being ripped out, can retain meaning.
I really should get on with scanning more of my old negatives and positives and getting them archived and online – who knows what stories are buried there, and for who!