Saturday, November 07, 2009

Former Fogarty Feather Factory, Boston

click photo to enlarge
Today's photograph title isn't a tongue twister designed to catch anyone out, but is a factual description of the building shown. South Lincolnshire has long had industries making products that use the feathers from poultry rearing, and this tradition continues today. This Boston factory was established in 1877, the date displayed at the top of the building. It advertises its connection with the manufacture of pillows and down bedding by the large stucco swan that looks down from on high. The company that erected the factory was taken over by Edward Fogarty in 1901 and Fogarty's went on to establish itself as pre-eminent in the field. Today the company has branched out into man-made fillings, and this building has been converted into flats, but the tradition of bedding manufacture continues in the Boston area.

The change of use from factory to residential premises happened with little change to the main elevation of the building because it has Grade II Listed Building status. So, the three storeys of red brick with stucco pilasters and arched windows remain, as do the decorative cornice and panelled parapet. The central and flanking doorways have been modified for its current use, but the twisted iron half-column mullions on the windows are untouched along with the heavy, pierced guard-rail above the main entrance. The piece-de-resistance of this factory, and the feature that makes it stand out from other industrial premises of this period is, however, the big swan, a symbol of the purity and warmth of the products that the factory produced.

I'd have liked to moved back a little more for my shot so that the couple of feet missing from each side of the building were included, but doing so brought in foreground clutter, and without extra height I couldn't keep it out. If I'd been carrying the Olympus with the 11-22mm lens I'd maybe have got it, but I only had the maximum of 24mm (35mm equiv.) of the LX3. However, I did notice a couple of people passing, so, realising that they'd bring scale to the shot, I waited until they were silhouetted by the central door and then pressed the shutter.

photograph & text (c) T. Boughen

Camera: Lumix LX3
Mode: Aperture Priority
Focal Length: 5.1mm (24mm/35mm equiv.)
F No: f3.5
Shutter Speed: 1/400
ISO: 80
Exposure Compensation: -0.33 EV
Image Stabilisation: On