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A Shout From The Attic: Peeking Places

Ronnie Bray enjoyed the yards where poeple lived in his home town.

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Yards are still my favourite places to peek. Even abandoned and overgrown they tell a story of lives played out within their confines, and it is not too far to see in their stones the joys and sadnesses of their long-gone people whose ghosts play about such places on sunny and on rainy days still calling to be heard. That may be why old places fascinate me still and call me to see and make the picture whole by restoring its ancient people struggling with the grime of an industrial setting and with the ever present threat of poverty or worse knocking at their doors.

Huddersfield had many yards, especially in the older parts of town, and sometimes I dared look into them when the houses were lived in and the grass had not grown into the guttering, and no windows were broken and things had not rusted to death in damp corners, and shouts and calls and even occasional laughter rang in those little squares of life where neighbours propped each other up when it was needed and left each other alone when that was the best thing to do. I was always an interloper in yards, but always a fascinated one.


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