Take a Walk Around Honley Village with amateur photographer Alex Martin

by | Aug 3, 2022 | News

Eyes on Honley

An 84-year-old Honley resident and amateur photographer has been delighting fans with his picturesque videos of the area.

Alex Martin is the face behind a short video – A Circular Walk Around Honley Village – which he uploaded to Honley Business Association’s Facebook group Honley Community, with the caption “thought you might like to walk with me around our wonderful village.”

Fans loved and shared the post. Comments included “beautiful scenery”, “great place to live”, “absolutely love living here” and “love our village.”

Another said: “It just confirms why I wanted to move here … nearly 12 years ago … it was the best move we made. This is home to us … we are so lucky”.

Alex says he doesn’t plan his walking routes but simply follows objects that catch his eye.

“This could be animals, water, trees. It all depends on the natural light and what draws my eye to an opportune shot,” said Alex.

“After my walk or when the weather means I can’t go out, I like to edit my photos into short slideshows and share them online.

“The positive response from the Honley community has been a lovely surprise and encourages me to keep going.”

A Circular Walk Around Honley

Alex’s three-minute video starts at Meltham Road Rec with a view from the playing fields, over rooftops and up towards the iconic Castle Hill.

As well as capturing local livestock and a spritely dog playing in the river at Magdale, Alex has focused his lens on Oldfield, Magdale Dam and Honley Village Community Trust’s butterfly benches.

Honley’s well known landmarks, including St Mary’s Church and Honley Library also feature.

Alex said: “I don’t have a plan as such. I just take my camera and follow the light. Photography is all about where the light is shining. Finding the right light and me being in the right position to capture it is what makes a good picture.

“I think people enjoy my videos because it brings the outside, inside, and people like to look at their local scenery. Having it online makes it more easily accessible to all.”

Self-taught Amateur Photographer

The former production engineer moved from his Scottish roots to Honley more than 50 years ago.

Alex retired 25 years ago and joined Facebook in 2008. In retirement, Alex has taught himself how to use a computer, a semi-professional camera and basic video editing skills.

“My renewed interest in photography came about on my 80th birthday when my family presented me with a book of my family tree dating back to the mid 1700s. On reading it I found myself wishing there had been photos of the people mentioned,” said Alex.

“Those thoughts prompted me to investigate the various shoe boxes and biscuit tins used to store our printed photographs.

“I scanned and saved all the originals to my digital collection.

“Much of the collecting and editing took place during the covid-lockdown and kept me sane during our two-year curfew.

“To date, I have edited about 6,000 photos, and in doing so, I have created my pictorial family tree. As life goes on, I look forward to extending it.”

The Tour of Honley Continues

Alex also developed a keen interest in gardening when he bought his first house in Honley in 1968. Over the years, his horticultural interest saw him enter several flower and vegetable shows in and around the Honley area.

Alex helped to establish the Cuckoo Lane Garden Club that met at Honley Liberal Club, and he was treasurer of the Holmfirth Chrysanthemum and Dahlia Society.

Alex has created a website documenting his gardening diaries online.

“I feel humbled by the online response to my videos,” he said. “It has certainly encouraged me to keep going.”

To see more of Alex’s videos of the area, follow Honley Community Facebook group here.

You can watch Alex’s latest Magdale video here.

Honley is a lively village with a big heart. We encourage you to find out more about our Village Life.