July 8 2011: Three Views of Southwell Minster, Nottinghamshire (c.1960s/70s)

Having spent much of the past week on the road between Nottingham and Southwell, the 11th century Cathedral in these photographs (undated, but most likely taken at some time during the 1960s or early 1970s, based on the picture formats) has become something of a familiar sight. Last Sunday, I joined the audience here to listen to Simon Armitage reading from a variety of works, but in the context it’s fair to say it was the excerpts from his Gawain translation that really stood out: as someone in the audience pointed out later, the building we were in was already a few hundred years old when Gawain was being written in the late 14th century.

Which meant the next event I managed to attend at Southwell Poetry Festival – the Matthew Welton reading discussed yesterday – was something of a contrast, and the next I’ll be at, tomorrow, might be even more of one, involving a joint reading from Chrissie Gittins and Sarah Jackson, followed by an open mic session I’m hosting myself. In the meantime, these three images of Southwell’s Minster contrast nicely – in the absence of any particular detail that helps to date the photographs – with the Kodacolor image of Coventry Cathedral, dating from 1963, with its line of 1950s and early 60s cars parked outside, as featured here a few days ago.


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