Daisy Hill Puppy Farm
I took this photograph in the spring of 2007 in Leeds.
At the time, the place seemed like a relic, a break in the space-time continuum just one shop-front wide. Junk mail was piling up inside the door. Combs sat in jars of Barbicide, doing whatever it is that things do when they can’t fester because they’re suspended in disinfectant. The sign was like something from another age, hand painted and full of promises about what treasures lay within.
I was back in Leeds a few weeks ago. The place is boarded up, destined to be gutted, renovated and turned into something else as yet unspecified.
That’s the least of it. A restaurant unit I ate in (with the same person both times, now I think of it) as both a Hard Rock Cafe and a Felicini pizza place is empty once again. There are 900 new bedrooms on campus, built on stray bits of lawn, garden and car park they found along the northern edge. New cafes spring up, old ones disappear. A whole chunk of the city centre retail district has been flattened, and for a while Holy Trinity is blessedly free of its usual three-sided cage of shopping centre. Not for long. It’ll be back, bigger than ever we’re assured. And, I expect, virtually unrecognisable from the cache of memories I cherish from my three years living there.
As Snoopy once remarked of the demise of the Daisy Hill Puppy Farm at the expense of a multi-storey car park, “You stupid people! You’re parking on my memories!”