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Tuesday, 30 November 2010

First snow

Snow has the power to transform English churches into something magical and its effect on Saltaire URC always pleases me, even though the church is far from a quintessential country church.  We woke up on Saturday morning to a couple of centimetres of crisp, sparkly white stuff and even though I had a 'To Do' list as long as my arm, I couldn't resist a walk.  The sun was not very high so the shadows were long but the snow around the church was virgin.  No-one had yet walked or driven down the drive - and I didn't go and spoil it either!

[After the great but inconclusive size debate, would it be very eccentric of me to post 'landscape' format images in Blogger's X large size and 'portrait' format ones in its Large size?  This one certainly looks better bigger.]

Monday, 29 November 2010

Another view


Taken a couple of weeks ago (before it snowed!) Tee hee! You'd have laughed, watching me trying to take this!  I have long been convinced that there is a good photo to be had by framing Saltaire's famous United Reformed Church in its own wrought iron gates. It's not the easiest project.  For one thing the gates are often open and I would not like to be caught closing them without permission.  But it's a tricky prospect mainly because of the contortions I have to get into, to get the framing right.  There are two gates, so neither of the round holes shows the church exactly in its centre when viewed square on.  Standing up I'm too high, kneeling down I'm too low - so I have to adopt a very awkward and unbalanced twisted half-crouch... must look hilarious.  This was hand-held but even with my tripod, I doubt I could get it to the right height.  I've tried once or twice to do this - this is my best effort so far.

Sunday, 28 November 2010

Technical question!

Diane has asked me why I don't post my photos larger.  Partly it's because the template I use needed stretching as larger pictures lap over the sidebar.  (I've done that now). Also, I have a very large screen on my iMac so I can view a whole photo even if it's quite large.  But I'm not sure what the effect is when you have a laptop with a much smaller screen.  Can people view a large image in its entirety?  I don't know if there's any advantage to posting large if it means people can't see the whole image at once.  The size Diane uses is comfortable on my screen but sometimes those Karen and Carolina (for example) use fill my whole screen.  What do they look like on a smaller screen?  I've never viewed a blog on a laptop - does what you see adjust to the size of screen?  What I mean is, do my usual pictures look very small on a small screen or do they look the same size as they look on my large screen (about 10x8 cm)?  I'm not very techy-minded.  Am I missing something here?

I have put today's picture again at the larger size here - which on my screen is 16x12 cm. And I can see the whole picture but only about 4 or 5 lines of accompanying text.  What does this look like to you?

And does it matter to you whether you only see a photo and have to scroll to read the accompanying words - or do you prefer to be able to look and read at the same time?

Hebden Bridge's bridge

Hebden Bridge was named after the packhorse bridge in the centre of the town. The stone bridge has just celebrated its 500th anniversary.  Before it was built in 1510, there was a wooden bridge over Hebden Water, which in medieval times was a meeting point of packhorse routes from Halifax to Heptonstall, Burnley and Rochdale, all centres of the handloom cloth trade.  During the English Civil War in 1643, an important battle between the royalist Cavaliers and the Roundheads took place here.  The Roundheads won a significant victory, forcing the Cavaliers, who on horseback were ill-equipped for the steep terrain, down into the valley and back across the bridge.

Nowadays the bridge - only wide enough for pedestrians or horses - forms an attractive focal point in the heart of the town centre.  The town is notable for the number of independent shops: it has lovely cafés, galleries and some interesting craft and clothes shops.  The area also has a rich literary history. The Brontë sisters wrote their famous novels just a few miles away in Haworth, the American poet, Sylvia Plath is buried at Heptonstall on the hill overlooking Hebden Bridge and the late poet laureate, Ted Hughes was born in Mytholmroyd, two miles away. 

For more Sunday Bridges, courtesy of Louis La Vache, please click here.

Saturday, 27 November 2010

Hebden Bridge

This photo shows quite clearly how the town of Hebden Bridge had to use the steep valley sides to sustain its rapid expansion in the 1880s & 90s.  This resulted in one of the town's most distinctive features: the "top and bottom house", an architectural curiosity virtually unique to the town.  These are four-storey houses that are effectively two houses built one on top of another.  The front door on one side leads into the lower house, made up of the bottom two floors of the building.  On the other side and higher up the hill is another front door accessing a separate house that is made up of the top two floors and the attic of the building.  You can see terraces of these in the photo above.  I think they cause the local postmen and delivery men a bit of confusion.

Friday, 26 November 2010

Knit wit

One of the solid old stone Victorian buildings in the centre of Hebden Bridge is reflected in the window of a (rather smart and trendy) haberdasher's shop.  Hebden Bridge is full of arty, crafty, interesting, independent shops.  For many years the area has been a bit of a magnet for creative types.  Since the 1970s it has had an increasingly lively population of artists, photographers, writers, musicians, alternative practitioners, teachers, green and New Age activists.  The surrounding area (being within easy commuting distance of Leeds, Bradford and Manchester) is home to some fairly well-heeled folk, who have snapped up the interesting old buildings dotted around the moors and hillsides and converted them into lovely individualistic homes.

This links in to James' Weekend Reflections - see here for more.

Thursday, 25 November 2010

Rochdale canal

Since the weather is a bit wintry right now and I am running out of photos (!), this seems like a good time to revisit some sunshine and show some pictures I didn't have the opportunity to post over the summer.  This was taken in August in Hebden Bridge - just over the moors, about 15 miles from Saltaire, in the next valley of Calderdale.  It's appropriate timing too, as the town has just won an award for the Best Town in Britain. The canal that runs through its heart and helps make it a very attractive place is the Rochdale Canal, winding its way from Manchester through to Sowerby Bridge.  The town is sited in a narrow valley and grew up around a river crossing over Hebden Water, becoming industrialised when wool and cotton mills were developed in the 19th century.

Wednesday, 24 November 2010


(Best viewed large)
I find it odd that I am so drawn to this view of Salts Wharf with Salts Mill in the distance.  It's hardly the most beautiful view in the world, yet somehow it enthralls me.  I see it most days, as my habitual walk to work takes me over the canal bridge from which it is taken.  That means I get to see it in all weathers and all seasons.  I suppose that's one of the reasons I am so fascinated - different lighting and different weather conditions radically affect the way the scene looks.  Yesterday I was passing just before the sun rose above the surrounding hills.  It was light but not fully so and, as you can see here, the sun was catching Salts Mill in the background before it touched the buildings in the foreground.  As an added bonus, there was a full moon still visible and reflected in the water.  A crisp, cold morning gave a crisp, cold image.

Those of you who are awake (!) will recognise the view as the one I entered into the Yorkshire Landscapes Competition.  I still haven't heard the results of that (they seem to be taking ages over the final judging).  I will of course let you know if and when I hear anything.  If you want to see my other photos of this view please click 'that view' in the labels.

Tuesday, 23 November 2010

Christmas is coming...

Advance notice of a Christmas shopping night at Salts Mill.  Might be worth going, as there are discounts available in most of the retail outlets.  Do your Christmas shopping in delightful surroundings, cheered on with drinks and seasonal nibbles - and a free concert by Hammond's Saltaire Band in the 1853 gallery at 7.30 pm. For more details, please see the Saltaire Village website.

(Funny...  I haven't seen fairies round Salts Mill chimney since the last time I was at the cooking sherry!)

For a photo of the real chimney, see here.

Monday, 22 November 2010


Alongside the Christkindelmarkt in Leeds (see yesterday's post) was a small traditional funfair with all my favourite attractions, including dodgems and an old-fashioned carousel.  I love these brightly painted horses that glide up and down their brass poles.  Riding these as a child, I used to really feel as though I was galloping on the dream horse I longed for.

In fact, the rides are properly called 'Gallopers'.  The one in Leeds is owned by James A Crow and Sons, and they travel with it round all the major fairs in the UK.  It really is beautiful.  All the horses are individually painted - works of art in their own way.

I didn't find it very easy to photograph.  I had to go in close, as it was hemmed in by other stalls and I couldn't stand back to photograph the whole carousel.  But all the lights and colours mean that the individual horses don't really stand out from the background.  I tried selectively darkening the photo, to emphasise one horse.  Now I can't decide which version I prefer!

Sunday, 21 November 2010


(View large)
Well, it's the weekend... but I'm afraid here in Saltaire it's grey, damp, dull, lifeless - the sort of weather that England does so well.  I was hoping for a few photos (my cache is rapidly shrinking!) but honestly it isn't good for much. So yesterday I headed to Leeds, our nearest big city, to make a start on my Christmas shopping.  Leeds Millennium Square holds an annual German Christkindelmarkt Christmas Market.  It started on 12 November this year and runs through to 19 December.  The stalls are housed in pretty wooden chalets, decorated with lights and greenery.  There is a traditional Bier-Keller at its heart (with live traditional German music sometimes, no doubt involving men in lederhosen) and you can buy food (German sausages, stollen, gingerbread, chocolates and amazing marshmallow concoctions - oh yes, and poffertjes, which I thought were Dutch?) as well as festive decorations, toys, clothes and all manner of trinkets.  I was rather tempted by a reindeer fur hat (proceeds to support Sami herders) but a faint reindeer fragrance seemed to linger around it, so I decided not!  I came away with some marzipan stollen, which I adore, and a nice Christmassy sense of good cheer.  Now then... off to write my Christmas cards.

Saturday, 20 November 2010


(Click photo to view large for best effect)
I've been playing, adding textures to some of my photos.  I am not very skilled at this yet, to say the least, but it is something I'd like to carry on experimenting with until I have developed more of an 'eye' for this way of working.  I'm always impressed by those creative bloggers whose photos have a 'fine art' feel to them: Chasity at The Road Less Traveled and Lisa at Red-Willow Photography are two whose work I really admire.  They each have their own styles but both take stunning photos and their processing skills are superb.  I really enjoy visiting their blogs and I urge you to take a look at them too.  I've linked this to a little project at another very talented photographer's blog: What Karen Sees - so why don't you have a wander over there too?  We're all in this together, encouraging and learning from each other.  That's what I like about blogland.

Anyway, here's a scene that will be very familiar to my local readers and probably to those further afield too.  It must be one of Saltaire's most photographed views, looking down Albert Terrace from Victoria Road.

Friday, 19 November 2010

The Victoria

From Queen Victoria to The Victoria.... This is my 'local' - The Victoria public house on Saltaire Road.  It's on the opposite side of the road from Saltaire village itself, so not actually within the village's boundary.  Just as well, since Saltaire's founder, Sir Titus Salt, would not allow the sale of alcohol in his village.

I think this is a lovely pub - it's friendly and cosy and serves good beer. (For a picture of one of the beers try 'Blonde - Saltaire' - albeit snapped in a different pub - by someone who has a blog entirely composed of photos of drinks!)  The Victoria suffers a little in being just across the road from the popular and crowded 'Fanny's Ale House' (see my post of 11 August 2010 ) but in many ways I prefer it.  I just read a comment on 'The Culture Vulture' blog that said: "Across the road from Fanny’s, which is fine but can get terribly busy at times, is The Victoria Hotel, a good honest pub with an excellent range of real ales including many of Saltaire Brewery’s range. The Victoria is often seen as being an overspill for the competition across the road but as a place for a quiet pint or two of decent beer with friendly, down to earth service it can’t be beaten. Not in Saltaire, anyway!"  And one of the managers, Gemma Aaron replies: "Thanks...... we are working really hard to make the Victoria a friendly, welcoming community pub, supporting many local breweries."

Incidentally the Culture Vulture site has a fine write-up about food and drink in Saltaire, with a great photo too - well done, my friend Richard from them apples.

Thursday, 18 November 2010

For his eyes only.....

Britain is consumed in 'Royal Wedding' excitement, following the announcement of Prince William's engagement to Kate Middleton. (Me too, actually. I think it's lovely, a welcome change from gloom and budget cuts - and they both seem such nice young people.)  It seems a good moment to look back to another royal love story.

This is a well-known painting of the young Queen Victoria by Franz Winterhalter. Described by Richard Dorment in a review in the Daily Telegraph as  "... a love letter. In 1843, Victoria commissioned Winterhalter to paint her portrait in an oval format as a birthday present for Albert. In it the 24-year-old Queen is shown in what looks like her nightdress, with her loosened hair falling over one bare shoulder. In case the recipient missed the point, her eyes are raised in adoration, and her lips are slightly parted. We recognise at once the private signals a wife gives to a husband. This is how only Albert will see her."

When I was privileged to see this in an exhibition at the Queen's Gallery in Buckingham Palace, I did find it an astonishing painting, picturing Victoria as I have never though of her before.  It was touching to see her portrayed as an
open-minded young woman, passionate - sexy even. We so often see her as the older matriarch, dressed in her widow's black. The more I find out about Victoria and the Victorian era, the more intrigued I am. We sometimes think of it as a restrictive, stuffy, overblown period of our history and there are many aspects that we seem to feel (perhaps rightly) ashamed of. Yet it was also a time of enormous change and social and economic development that has bequeathed us a heritage to be proud of - in Saltaire and elsewhere.  It would be good to think that we might have another such creative time - under King William and Queen Katherine perhaps?

Wednesday, 17 November 2010

Coffee break

I caught this candid shot of the security men at the entrance to Salts Mill, Saltaire, just having a coffee (smoking?) break.  I assume they patrol the Mill complex but they also act as an unofficial information point for tourists trying to find their way around.  Possibly their most important job (which they do every few minutes at the end of each working day) is to open the security gate for people leaving the Mill car park and trying to avoid some of the almost permanent traffic jam on the main road. (Using the 'proper' car park exit means you have to join the queue some half a mile further back!)

According to the press reports about the accident on the railway line on Monday, the Salts Mill security men were heroes, running along the tracks to stop the trains. So this is my tribute to them - they clearly did a great job.

The old fashioned blue 'Police' sign is not an affectation.  The little office here is used as a police contact point for the Saltaire community and is staffed on Wednesdays from 10 am to 1 pm for people to 'drop in' and share with the neighbourhood police team any concerns they have.  I think that's a good idea and a valuable local service.

Tuesday, 16 November 2010

Dusk's pink

(Best viewed large)
Yesterday evening I had to pop over to a friend's house just as dusk was approaching.  It had been a very cold day and as I travelled on the bus I could see the mist slowly creeping down the river and filling the valley bottom.  By the time I arrived on the hill where my friend lives, it was all looking very pretty.  The picture is hand-held and taken on my compact camera, so it's very 'soft' - but in a way I think that suits the subject.  Sometimes you just have to take a chance on a shot.

On a more sober note, there was a serious accident in Saltaire yesterday, when a car crashed onto the railway lines just outside Saltaire station.  Thankfully it seems no-one was hurt.  The Telegraph and Argus newspaper carries full details here.  (Sorry, your own intrepid reporter was stuck in the office at the time!)

Monday, 15 November 2010

Flowers at No 30

Cheerful flowers to brighten up another Monday.  I am always surprised by how quickly the weekend disappears and another week comes round.  Had to smile at my daughter's Tweet not so long ago: "Oh no, not Ctrl/Alt/Delete again!"   I don't know if all PCs open up like that (I have an iMac at home and it's different) but I start up my networked PC at work like that every morning and apparently she does too!  Ah well, hope your week goes swimmingly - enjoy!

Sunday, 14 November 2010

Remembrance Sunday

'Greater love hath no man than this: that he lay down his life for his friends.'

The War Memorial in the grounds of Saltaire United Reformed Church, unveiled on 27 June 1920, at a Service of Remembrance after the First World War.   The church organ was restored in 1950, as a memorial to those who died in the Second World War.

Saturday, 13 November 2010

Looking glass

As autumn continues apace, with gales and rain here, I look back a few weeks to a more tranquil day when the sun shone and the canal was like glass.  You might fantasise a lovely young woman sitting in this window, brushing her hair in the reflection in the water.  Actually it is not a home but an office, just outside Saltaire village at Salts Wharf.  The workers have a nice outlook, don't they? The window is at canal boat level and in the summer there is much passing traffic on the water.  The bright yellow flowers are just a weed, I think, a crucifer of some kind perhaps.

This is my entry for Weekend Reflections.  Click the link for more beautiful and interesting photos on the same theme.

Friday, 12 November 2010

Green door

From a blue door in Derbyshire to a green door in Saltaire.  Very carefully painted, but perhaps a touch too complicated a treatment for my taste.  Nevertheless, the front door and its stone surround are typical of the oldest houses in Saltaire, this one on William Henry Street, built in 1854.  The street is named after William Henry Salt (1831 -1893) who was Sir Titus Salt's first son.  He worked with his father in the family business at the Mill but retired in his early 40s to Leicestershire, presumably to a life of a leisured country gentleman.  On his father's death he became the second baronet, Sir William Henry Salt.

As a complete non-sequiteur, I was astonished to hear my own dear mother say at the weekend that she 'doesn't like' windows and doors with rounded tops!  How can you 'not like' something like that?  And how can my own mother not like them, when I love them!  Funny how you never really know someone completely, even when you've grown up with them.

Thursday, 11 November 2010


Sometimes it's fun, isn't it, to travel your own country but to try and see it with a visitor's eyes.  Just a small distance from home can become 'a foreign country'.  I lived on the Nottinghamshire/Derbyshire border from birth until I went away to university aged 18, and it now seems both familiar and strange at the same time.  As I said a couple of days ago, the countryside is gentler and more lyrical than my part of Yorkshire. But the landscape is also scarred by years of deep coal mining and the spoil heaps that produced.  Away from the towns, in the villages and hamlets, there is evidence of the older agricultural way of life.

This cottage is in the tiny settlement of Ault Hucknall, which is supposedly the smallest village in England. (It's a village rather than a hamlet because it has a church.)  Nowadays there is nothing there but the church, a farm and this cottage, though at one time it was believed to be a considerably larger community and I'm not sure why it dwindled.  Anyway, I looked at this cottage with a traveller's eyes and decided it was just as photogenic, in its own way, as any I might see on my wider travels.

Wednesday, 10 November 2010

Hardwick Hall


(Best viewed large)
There are several stately homes within easy drive of my mother's home.  One of them, Hardwick Hall, can be seen perched on top of the hill above the lake here.  To the right is the Old Hall and just to its left, above the trees, you can see the towers of Hardwick Hall itself, one of the finest Elizabethan mansions in England.  It was built in the late 16th century, by Robert Smythson, for the powerful Bess of Hardwick, Countess of Shrewsbury, the richest woman in England at the time apart from Queen Elizabeth I herself.  It has huge windows, a deliberate statement of wealth at a time when glass was a luxury, giving rise to the saying: "Hardwick Hall, more glass than wall".  Now in the care of The National Trust, it's a fascinating place to visit  - but on this occasion we simply enjoyed a stroll round the lakes and revelled in the beautiful autumn colours and the sunshine. 

Tuesday, 9 November 2010


Autumn is of course the bumper season for fungi in our woods and fields.  I'm not good at identifying mushrooms and toadstools at all but I think this one is a Fly Agaric.  I was attracted by it as I think it's the archetypal toadstool of children's stories - the one that usually has an elf or a fairy sitting under it.  Sadly, just like the pheasant in the wood that I mentioned yesterday, the little creature ran away in fright, refusing to be photographed!

Monday, 8 November 2010

An English wood in autumn

I've been away for the weekend, visiting my mother who lives in Nottinghamshire (about 70 miles/112 km south of Saltaire).  It's an area with a very different visual character from my own locality.  The hills and moorland of Pennine Yorkshire give way to more gentle, rolling farmland and woods.  The weather for much of the UK has been glorious - cold, crisp sunshine - and the autumn colours seem to have peaked.  Beech trees in particular have especially vibrant red-golds this year.  I disturbed a cock pheasant when I stopped to take this photo.  It's a pity it clattered off in alarm, as it would have added a bit of extra interest to the image.

I'm very appreciative of all you lovely people who voted for my photo(s) in the 'Yorkshire Landscapes' competition.  Thank you!  As I understand it, they will count up the public votes and use them to draw up a shortlist, from which a panel of judges will then select the overall winner.  Some of the photos will also be featured in a book and a calendar, so even if I don't win it would be good to see a photo of mine in print.  There is no timescale given - but I will of course let you know the result when I find out.   Here's hoping...!

Sunday, 7 November 2010


Last Sunday I featured a beautiful old packhorse bridge in Bingley, handbuilt by two local masons in 1723 and still standing proudly over Harden Beck.  Fast forward 280+ years and we find this bridge in Shipley, carrying a service road over the Leeds-Liverpool Canal to the office block on the left and the rear entrance of the Salts Mill complex.  It fulfils much the same purpose as a packhorse route, I suppose, but oh, how it lacks the grace and workmanship of the older bridge.... Ah well, the reflections are pretty.

The other side of this bridge (interestingly the other side is clad in stone, out of respect for the view) can just be seen on the left of my competition entry photo....  

Um... have I told you about that?  ;-)   You'll be relieved to know that this is going to be my LAST plea for votes!  The voting closes tomorrow so if you haven't voted yet, please do it quickly!!  See my post for Saturday 30 October or click here to vote.  Thank you!  xx

Saturday, 6 November 2010

Russet & stone

I liked the combination of colours here.  I pass this almost every day as it's not far from where I live.  The little tree really earns its keep.  I think it is some sort of flowering cherry, so it has pretty spring blossom as well as this lovely autumn colour.  It sits at the entrance to one of the local primary schools, Wycliffe Church of England Primary School.

(TWO days left for voting in the 'Yorkshire Landscapes' Competition!  I would love to make the final shortlist, which is decided by public vote.  So - if you haven't voted already, please do!  For more details, see my post last Saturday or click here to vote.  And huge thanks to those of you who have already voted.)

Friday, 5 November 2010

Onwards & upwards

For many years, passengers negotiated the complicated triangular layout of Shipley railway station by a series of underpasses - indeed, you still can.  But quite recently, I suspect for health & safety reasons, they have built a new footbridge over one of the lines and installed passenger lifts too.  I'm pleased, because it's quite an isolated place, especially in the evenings when it's dark, and I never really liked the tunnels.

Perhaps I was bored waiting for a train or perhaps something about the lines and shadows here appealed to my subconscious.  At any rate, I took a couple of photos before my train arrived.

(Only THREE days left for voting in the 'Yorkshire Landscapes' Competition.  I've got photos into the last 100 and would love to make the final shortlist.  The competition is strong.  If you haven't already voted, please do! For more details, see my post last Saturday or click here to vote.)

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.)

Wednesday, 3 November 2010

Interlude Tea Room & Emporium

Here's a favourite place to go for coffee or lunch - Interlude Tea Room & Emporium in Shipley town centre.  The tea room downstairs sets out to recreate the style and service of the 1920s.  They serve traditional afternoon teas with sandwiches and plenty of cake, and hot food including good old English favourites that you rarely get in a café, such as boiled eggs with toast 'soldiers'.  It's all rather quaint, with the food served on pretty mismatched vintage china plates, and a supply of old magazines and books to browse while you wait (see some photos in this review.)  Upstairs there is a vintage boutique and cake shop.

I sometimes go with friends from work when we feel like we need a (reasonably priced) treat - and whenever I go in there's always someone else I know.  It seems to be a favoured haunt of certain ladies in my church congregation.  It has a quirky, slightly eccentric feel to it but it's the kind of local enterprise that I always feel should be supported, as they in turn support local charities and are very keen on recycling and using Fairtrade ingredients.

Tuesday, 2 November 2010

Church bells

I was passing near Saltaire's United Reformed Church on Saturday, when I heard the bells ringing.  That's a sound that was not heard in the village for a long time.  The church's original bells, installed in 1870, were removed in about 1939 to make munitions during the Second World War.  In 2003, to celebrate the bi-centenary of Sir Titus Salt's birth, a new peal of bells was donated by Mrs Maggie Silver.  The church is one of only four non-conformist churches in England to have a ring of bells.

Despite the new bells and the church's beauty, I haven't noticed many weddings here (I believe about 25 a year) so I was pleased to see that the bell-ringing was celebrating a wedding.  It wasn't a great day for a photo - rather dull and dark - and you can't see the bride and groom, who were well-hidden amongst the crowd.  But I just caught this shot as the wedding party let loose a stream of balloons.  I'm not aware that is a traditional English wedding custom, but things change all the time!

You can get an idea of the scale of the building when you see people on the steps.  It is only a week or so since they removed the scaffolding and sheeting that has been covering the front of the church all summer.  The cupola (porch) canopy timbers and beams have been restored.  The next scheduled phase of restoration involves work to the Salt family mausoleum.

Once again, a million thanks to all who have voted for my photos in the 'Yorkshire Landscapes' competition.   And if you haven't... there's still time!  (See my Saturday post for more info.)

Monday, 1 November 2010

Towering majesty

This was taken in Saltaire a week or two ago, and the trees are showing more autumn colour since then.  I was enjoying the effect that a telephoto lens has in pulling things together so that everything looks connected.  Saltaire's Victoria Hall tower isn't really as close to those houses as it looks here.  But I like the combination of shapes.

(If you're new to my blog or haven't visited for a few days, please look back to Saturday's post - I need your votes!)