Tuesday, 3 November 2009

Toboggan slide

I just love this picture. It's one that I got from Dorothy Burrows and it shows the Victorian toboggan slide that at one time ran down the side of Shipley Glen. I suppose you went up the hill on the Glen Tramway (see yesterday's post) and came down again on a toboggan. Just look at those prim Victorian matrons on their sleds!

The Slide opened in 1897 but closed after an accident on Whit Monday in 1900. It was one of a number of attractions on the Shipley Glen Pleasure Grounds, including several different aerial rides, one of which - The Aerial Glide - survived until 2004. That closed amid much local controversy, despite it having been awarded Grade II listed building status, one of only two fairground rides ever to be granted this. There were also tearooms, a Japanese Garden and many other stalls and sideshows.

The Pleasure Grounds were hugely popular with the Victorians and then again in the 1930s and 1950s, but gradually people's tastes became more sophisticated and the local council didn't seem prepared to conserve the area. It seems a pity, since Saltaire itself has found a new lease of life as a tourist destination; perhaps the Pleasure Grounds would have enjoyed another revival.


  1. Thank you Jenny as I have now satisfied my curiosity. I had read about the Shipley Glen Toboggan Ride and wondered what it was like. Thanks to your photo I shall wonder no more. All I need now is a time machine so that I can travel back and have a few rides on it ........!

    Andrew Canneaux

  2. The Toboggan Slide was some considerable distance from the Glen Tramway and it is hardly likely that people rode up on the Tramway and down on the toboggan Slide.
    The Toboggan Slide and the Tramway were built by Sam Wilson but the Slide was part of a massive fairground which existed on Shipley Glen (Bracken Hall Green).


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