Picture Post: Summer’s last hurrah washes across the sky

PIC: Tony Johnson
PIC: Tony Johnson
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THERE is something strangely evocative about fading summer days.

Perhaps it’s the last vestiges of warmth from the dappled sunlight, or the falling leaves that herald autumn’s impending arrival. Or maybe it’s the intense, over-ripened colours and smells that flood the senses.

You will certainly be hard pushed to find anything that captures this ephemeral moment more spectacularly.

The silhouette of the thin, needle-like Emley Moor transmitter and a hot air balloon suspended in mid-air, offer a dark contrast to the late evening sunshine as it spills its soft, golden yolk across a milky sky.

The Emley Moor transmitter is a familiar sight to those who regularly motor up and down the M1 in South Yorkshire and can be seen from all manner of vantage points for miles around.

As well as providing broadcasting facilities for both BBC Yorkshire and ITV Yorkshire, the transmitter, which stands over 1,000 ft high, is also a Grade II listed building.

A transmitter was first constructed on the site in 1956. By the end of the decade, the first Panorama had been aired, Sir Anthony Eden had given the first prime ministerial television broadcast and Coronation Street had just started on a journey which would see it become the world’s longest running soap opera.

There was drama for the Emley Moor Mast too. The March of 1969 was particularly cold and a combination of strong winds and heavy ice which had formed around the top of the mast brought the structure crashing down.

The collapse, which took the duty engineer completely by surprise, left debris strewn across surrounding fields and saw several million homes without service.

To prevent this happening again, 150 tons of steel chains were hung within the replacement tower to help anchor it to the ground.

Today, amid a patchwork of fields stretching as far as the eye can see, the transmitter still dominates the landscape - whatever the season.

Technical details: Nikon D3s, 80-200mm lens 1000th @ f5.6 200ISO