|Photo © Bob Collier and used with permission|
After running the story on Saturday, I was delighted to find in my inbox this wonderful photo of Jamie Roberts, setting off on his trek from Saltaire to Kilnsey with alpacas in tow (or perhaps towing him, you can't be sure!) I don't think the alpacas are walking the whole way but they are a nice touch. They will be taking up residence at Kilnsey Park, to celebrate its links with Saltaire. Doesn't Jamie look the part? Let's hope the weather stays fine for him; it's a bit changeable this week and I don't suppose a Victorian gentleman's fine tweeds are much use in a downpour. Hopefully he has a voluminous cape too...
Because of work, I wasn't able to get down to Saltaire for the launch of the walk so a big thank you to Amanda Brown, of A2B PR, for thinking to send the picture to me. It was taken by (and is copyrighted to) Bob Collier, so Bob is starring as my guest photographer today and must be congratulated on a lovely photo.
The following text is taken from the publicity material:
Alpacas Star In Trek To Commemorate Yorkshire’s Mill Heritage
An important era in Yorkshire’s history was commemorated today when the owner of one of the county’s top rural visitor attractions donned Victorian attire and began a walk with a trio of alpacas in tow.
Jamie Roberts set out from Saltaire in West Yorkshire to return home to Kilnsey Park in the Yorkshire Dales as part of the Park’s 35th anniversary celebrations. The walk is also honouring an important anniversary in the history of Salts Mill, one of Yorkshire’s and the world’s greatest industrial powerhouses in Victorian times and now a cultural centre and UNESCO World Heritage site. It was 120 years ago when Jamie’s great great grandfather Sir James Roberts took over Salts Mill from the family of the founder, Sir Titus Salt and saved it from bankruptcy.
As the mill’s fortunes – and those of his family – were largely built on spinning alpaca wool, Jamie decided it was a fitting tribute to start the walk with the camelid trio before they take up residence at Kilnsey Park.
Jamie is walking part of the route with the alpacas, from Salts Mill to Crossflatts following the Leeds-Liverpool Canal, before rejoining the route about 4 miles from Kilnsey. He said: “Bringing home the alpacas to Kilnsey is a fantastic way of celebrating my family’s heritage and connections with Salts Mill. The success of the Mill enabled my ancestors to purchase the Kilnsey Estate in 1911 and it has remained in our family ever since.”
“In 1978 we opened a trout farm and trekking centre and since then the Estate has gone from strength to strength not only as a visitor attraction but also as a centre for conservation and as one of the most sustainable businesses in the UK.”
A weekend of celebrations is planned at Kilnsey Park on 10-11th August including family activities, outdoor performances, music and local food and drink. More information can be found at www.kilnseypark.co.uk
The alpacas are also local having been bred by prize-winning breeders at Carlshead Farm near Wetherby.