Lowry used the location of Albion Mill, near St Mary's Church in Pendlebury, many times in paintings and drawings from the earliest works of his career until the 1960s. The viewpoint often shifts, and in the present work the church, which was demolished in 1964, has already been replaced by a smoking chimney. Sometimes the lane is densely populated with trees in leaf, and in other works the seasons change to a snowy winter scene with few passers-by. In the present work, the lane is empty save for a lonely figure, whose solitary appearance is emphasised by the towering mill and buildings around him.
By the 1960s, the industrial scene that Lowry knew, loved and painstakingly recorded had changed as factories and terraces, no longer fit for purpose, were replaced by new housing and industrial units. As these new structures did not have a role to play in Lowry's topography, he replaced them with the old suburbs of his youth and his vision of the city drifted further back in time to the streets of his rent-collecting days. The individual, as opposed to the collective mass, become a feature of his later work, and exist in this parochial landscape. In the present work, the much-used Pendlebury street with its lonely onlooker, could act as a barometer of his emotions during this period of shifting change in the artist's own landscape.