Thursday, 4 November 2010
This is Shipley railway station, about half a mile down the line from Saltaire station and famous for being one of only two triangular stations in the UK. (There are railway lines on three sides: Leeds - Skipton, Leeds - Bradford and Bradford - Skipton - with the carpark and buildings in the middle.) The first station on this site was built in 1846.
At the moment it is more famous for being a squatter camp! Travellers' caravans moved onto the carpark on October 6th and, despite reportedly being served with an eviction notice, four or five caravans still remain (just visible among the trees). According to the press, the same group of travellers have been moving around the district much of the summer. At one time they set up a camp on grassland at the far side of Roberts Park near the Glen Tramway.
Bradford Council provides two permanent sites but they are both apparently full and anyway, many travellers seem to prefer to move around and do not wish to live on a permanent site. It causes much controversy. They seem to be their own worst enemies, parking up wherever they want and often leaving a mess behind them when they leave, causing landowners (in this case Northern Rail) to have to spend thousands of pounds in legal fees and clean-up costs to deal with the problem. Many people deeply resent their refusal to contribute (financially) to society. Bradford Council have for many years tried to take a constructive approach to support and educate what some see as a persecuted ethnic minority. But there isn't just one coherent community of travellers - there are true Roma families, Irish tinkers, young itinerants and, increasingly, gypsies fleeing persecution in other countries. It's an issue that tends to polarise views. In Shipley right now, many (rail) travellers are resenting the inconvenience this group of travellers is causing!
(I'm still canvassing votes for my photo(s) in the 'Yorkshire Landscapes' Competition. I've got into the last 100 and need your vote to make the final shortlist. The competition is stiff - so please vote! For more details, see my post last Saturday or click here to vote.)