Sunday, 4 October 2009
It's blowing an absolute gale here in Saltaire today (Saturday as I write this), which is a pity for two reasons - one, my friend's daughter is getting married and she'll have a job to keep her wedding veil from going stratospheric! And secondly it will blow down all the leaves, which are just beginning to look really stunning in their autumn colours. I pass this one every morning on my way to work. It's a rowan tree (mountain ash) and has blossom and then berries, and very pretty leaves - everything a good tree needs.
The building in the background is called Victoria Mills. It's about a quarter mile further down the valley from Salts Mill, and was built only about 20 years later. It too was a textile mill that had to close down a few years ago. A company called Newmason Properties have redeveloped the old mill buildings into apartments and also built several new apartment blocks, to make a housing complex of about 400 dwellings with gardens, sports facilities, a bar and restaurant.... and a very ugly multi-storey car park! I visited one of the show-flats and they are pretty stunning - high ceilings, open plan design and finished to a high standard, with some of the stone walls left unplastered and the original cast-iron columns still in place, to remind you of the building's origins. It's rather exciting to see the old buildings being used like that - though I have to say I'm glad that Salts Mill itself was not developed as flats. It seems much better as it is. (Part of the New Mill in Saltaire has been converted into apartments.)