Men and machines, noise, pollution, traffic... an alien world as far as I am concerned. I've mentioned before that the area around my temporary office is pretty grim and it's taking some getting used to, compared with the relatively attractive area around Saltaire where I live and where I worked until recently. I am, however, determined to continue with my lunchtime walks, feeling that I need the exercise to combat being desk-bound the rest of the day. I was mildly cheered by a report on TV tonight that said that, despite the traffic pollution, city walking is still beneficial to most people's health overall. I must say I was beginning to wonder, as I choked on more diesel fumes. I nearly got mown down by a speeding van, whose driver was struggling to control it as he held a mobile phone to his ear! Scary; the pavements are so narrow.
Anyway, to get to the point of the photo... I have ventured a little further as the weather has improved. I have actually found a park nearby, though just walking to the park entrance and back takes up most of my allotted lunchtime, never mind venturing inside. It's an uphill walk to get there, meaning nice views over the city coming back. I also passed this curious relic of times past. It is an old railway crossing barrier, though the railway itself has long gone.
I have researched a bit online and found an interesting description. It was indeed a railway line and this was the Hall Lane level crossing. It appears to have been mainly used by goods trains, at least latterly, and closed in 1985. The report says the tracks survive here but I didn't notice them. There is a photo with the report, taken in 2010, that shows them but they have now apparently disappeared. More exciting, it seems this area was once a Victorian 'model' village, similar to Saltaire, called Ripley Ville. It was built between 1866 and 1881 (a little after Saltaire) for Henry William Ripley, a local politician and partner in Bowling Dyeworks. Apparently everything, apart from some almshouses, had been demolished by 1970. (There was mass demolition of lots of Bradford's Victorian buildings in the 1970s. It's a wonder Saltaire survived!)