Saturday, 16 February 2013
Under my feet
Paved or pebble mosaic paths and squares tend to be a feature of towns in southern Europe, but are becoming more common in the UK. We have a nice example in the pedestrianised part of Shipley's market square. I've searched the internet for references but there are few, so I can only make an educated guess as to the symbolism. I know the five sheep at the centre relate to the town's name.... Shipley derives from the Old English for 'sheep meadow'. I'm less sure about the windmill - though there is an area known as Windhill - I don't know if that is connected... There are plenty of mills, but I'm not aware of any that were wind-powered. The undulating pattern looks to me like hanks of wool, an obvious reference to the textile industry on which this area prospered. But perhaps we can also see the canal and the river winding through the valley, and the many cobbled streets that once criss-crossed the town. The pale yellow stone is similar in colour to the honeyed local stone from which most of the major public buildings were constructed. There, I did quite a good job of that, don't you think?