With regard to your coverage of the hugely successful Tour de Yorkshire and also your reproduction of Jane O’ Neill’s representation of Haworth’s world-famous main street, with several cyclists riding up it – Workshops to create lasting Tour legacy (Keighley News, April 6) – I realise her depiction is a stylised version of an ideal Haworth (ring any bells?), so my comments in no way detract from what she has done.
It is a good and evocative picture.
In an ideal world, I suppose all telephone boxes of that kind are as pillar-box red, and London bus red, as presented in Jane O’Neill’s representation.
She makes it the focal point of a composition otherwise made up of shades of grey (the buildings and a subdued green backdrop, the fields and hills beyond).
The phone box stands out as much as it should do in real life. Reality is sometimes a harsher truth than art can ever be.
A couple of years ago you printed a letter of mine about this very phone box. I wrote of it as a true icon of British 20th century design, the work of a generally recognised, important architect. Placed at the foot of that cobbled street, in some ways the entrance to Haworth, I wondered why that phone box wasn’t better looked after. I asked why the seemingly self-important guardians of Haworth’s precious cultural reputation couldn’t do something about it.
The bright red paint was pale and flaking then; it is paler and flakier now. Nothing has been done in the meantime, and it still smells like a toilet.
In my village the same type of telephone box is still accorded pride of place at the top of Morton Lane. It is clean and bright red, local people put books in it so that other local people can read them and then return them for someone else. It is a fine, spontaneous example of what community spirit can be. Bright red.
These days people rely more and more on mobile phones. Thankfully, they still read books.
Please, you people of Haworth do something about your local landmark. I will pay for the paint.
Perhaps Simon Armitage could write a poem about it, along the lines of how the passage of time takes its toll on all of us and the meanings of history?
CHRISTOPHER ACKROYD Bethel Street, East Morton