Industrial Gothic

There was a sense that first arose in the eighties of something I call Industrial Gothic, a romanticism settling on places of terminal decline, abandoned coal mines, ship yards, crumbling factories, polluted wastelands.

They’re haunted places, filled with ghosts of better times, but there’s also a beauty in those industrial spaces, like ivy-festooned medieval churches settling back into nature.

That mood infected films and TV and books from the eighties on, capturing a unique feeling that revelled in the misery yet also found glamour.

I’ve always been fascinated by industrial sites, that strange beauty of lights in the dark, a scale that makes humans seem insignificant. The Humber Refinery, pictured above, has the grandeur of a cathedral.

Soon it’ll be obsolete and that mood will settle deep into the concrete and steel.

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