Sunday, July 01, 2018

Bingley, West Yorkshire, 1962

This is the polluted world as it was.

It’s not that way today thanks to the hippy environmentalists.

1 comment:

Dan said...

That's a photo of the showjumper Harvey Smith, on a horse called "Warpaint", in 1965. I don't think the town is Bingley, either; there's nowhere near there where there's a sharp drop overlooking a mill valley.

No, that's overlooking Saltaire, just down the valley.

The pollution is real, though. By the 1960s most of those mill chimneys had gone out of use, the steam engines they supplied long obsolete. The pollution haze is from domestic coal fires, again slowly being phased out at that time.

First the big mill steam engines went (that coal was not local, but had to be transported in), then the domestic fires were changed first to smokeless coke then supplanted by gas fires, and latterly mostly gas-fired condensing boilers supplying central heating.

That haze is now gone, and the air as fresh as anywhere you can find. The rivers are returning to a near-natural state, too; sewage pollution is being tackled now that most of the mills have closed.