Wednesday, 6 July 2011
Waiting for a train
To me, there is something vaguely exciting, unsettling and romantic about places of transit: airports and railway stations in particular. Saltaire station looks especially romantic right now - the little waiting shelter is covered over with a mass of the palest pink roses. I have no idea what variety they are... some sort of climbing rose with very dense, small petalled rosettes of flowers, and very pretty.
The station itself used to be a lot more attractive than it is now (see here for an old photo). The railway pre-existed Saltaire (and was one of the reasons Titus Salt chose this site for his mill) and the station opened in 1856. It was closed by government cuts in 1965 but thankfully reopened again in 1984. It is now a busy commuter line with links to Leeds and Bradford; both cities can be accessed in less than 20 minutes. Having a station so near at hand is great - Leeds is a very good shopping centre and both Leeds and Bradford have some excellent theatres and other cultural venues. As you can imagine, when my daughter was in her teens the bonus of being near the station meant I didn't have to worry about transport when she went off on (frequent) nights out with her friends.
The building behind the station is the old Saltaire Dining Hall, which used to provide meals for the mill workers and is now part of Shipley College. Beyond that you can see the top of the New Mill's chimney.