Wednesday, 26 October 2011
Autumn Sky... By Saul Wilks
Where I live is steeped in industrial history and heritage and my house happens to be built on the old town dock, which if you're from Newport South Wales, probably means something to you. If however, as I suspect you're lucky enough not to be from Newport then the City was once one of the busiest ports in Europe thanks to the coal industry and other heavy industrial works of the area.
I bought my current house when the council, in all their wisdom, undertook the task of regenerating the now almost deserted dockland area of the city with modern housing and a host of other stuff they didn't end up doing.
All around the area I live are clues and relics of Newport's once illustrious and prosperous heritage both from an industrial and maritime perspective. I've always wanted to go out and explore the old ruins of the buildings which once housed numerous trades and companies such as The Baltic Oil Works but unfortunately for quite some time the areas where they are located contained a rather boisterous traveler community. Call me cynical, but I didn't quite fancy going wandering around a caravan site while brandishing an expensive camera.
Anyhow, fast forward to this evening and the gypsies have long gone (unfortunately the same can't be said for their mess) so I headed out and had a pretty ace time entering dangerous buildings and getting some snaps of the dry docks and surrounding areas including Newport's most famous structure - the Transporter bridge. I used to proudly announce to visiting friends that there are only three in the modern world, one in Canada, one in Middlesbrough and the one that sits proudly in Newport's Dockland area. I wasn't quite honest though, there's actually 9. God knows why I thought that would impress people, but there you go.
The majority of the area is obviously dilapidated and falling apart and nature has reclaimed a lot of the land. Still, with it being such a beautiful evening it was a pleasure to take some photos of some long forgotten places which once bustled with the heady fro of heavy industrial work and see my home towns often over looked enigmatic qualities through a lens... As I departed the scene, looking back at the glorious setting sun one more time I could almost hear the chirpy working class camaraderie that would have hung high in the air. Unfortunately though, all that I could hear were the expletive and cursing tones of a drunken hobo dancing on the banks of the river.
How the times they change...