Today’s photograph was taken at about 10am, a cloudy cooler day and it had been raining, it is of gates at the side of The Cheshire Cheese a now empty pub in Tunstall. There has been a pub of that name on that site for more than 200 years, it keeps opening up then closing again and is the closest pub to my flat.

These are the first gates I’ve taken for a few weeks, Tunstall seems full of well locked gates leading to places that can only be imagined. This one has at least three locks! Useful metaphor in writing and films. They can be used to bar/stop someone or something, or to open up, move on. John Ford is famous for using doors and gates, they had a great significance, they showed a border to peoples’ emotions, somewhere that ‘civilisation’ stopped or began. He planned these meticulously and it is important to read his visual language alongside the story when watching his wonderful films. One of his most famous uses of a door is the shot below from The Searchers. The character will not stop in the ‘civilised’ home, but leaves alone on a quest to find his own life, it is both the end and a new beginning, the door closes to blacken the screen and end the film. Not subtle? Maybe not but cinematic magic!




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