I am drawn to dereliction, the danger-laced elixir of excitement. Dereliction with its almost erotic scents of mulch, dampness and timber, mildew and stale smoke. Dereliction with its teasing, tantalising revelations of yesteryear, whispered promises of longed for communion with the dead. The sum of our past rests in the hot bricks, redolent of tar and moss, silent now but for the scurrying of rats and lover’s caress of a muted breeze. In Sheffield that day of late summer I passed the Salvation Army Citadel, now seemingly abandoned as so many other buildings. Sadness mixes with sunshine, memories of desperate men and the wounds of loneliness. Yet the building is glorious, a citadel worthy of its name, a shrine of Victoriana, gothic and stoic to the end. So on Christmas Day, it behoves us to remember those who are homeless and for whom such citadels are the difference between life and death.
The original image used in this blog can be purchased at the link below.