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Monday, 31 January 2011

Cottingley cottages

These days the village of Cottingley is part of the suburban sprawl between Shipley and Bingley but there has been a hamlet here for hundreds of years.  In 1753 a toll bar was established on the main Bradford to Keighley Road near here (where travellers had to pay to use the road).  In the 1860s the village consisted of 142 houses, five or six farms, a tannery and a mill.  My photo shows old houses on Main Street, originally the village centre - although now the centre of the village is located in the more modern estate around Littlelands.

Sunday, 30 January 2011

Cottingley fairies

Cottingley, a village a mile or two west of Saltaire, was the setting for the infamous "Cottingley fairies" hoax.  In 1917, two young Cottingley girls, Elsie Wright and Frances Griffiths, took photographs purporting to be of fairies.  These photographs were eventually published and 'authenticated' by - amongst others - the author Sir Arthur Conan Doyle.  The girls did not admit that they were faked pictures, of cardboard cutouts stuck on hatpins, until 1981.  It's a fascinating story (read more here) not least because it shows how readily people will believe what they want to believe.  The photographs, cameras and related memorabilia are now in the National Media Museum in Bradford.

The episode is commemorated in a sign at the entrance to Cottingley village - and that, in a way, is another story, as I have tried unsuccessfully to photograph the sign many times. From the front it does not show up against the trees behind it.  From the back (as here) it is cluttered against what is normally a busy road junction.  A snowy day a few weeks ago, with unusually quiet roads - plus a bit of tidying up in Photoshop - mean that this is more successful than my earlier attempts.  (All the snow has melted now.)

Saturday, 29 January 2011

Mixed message

I didn't know whether to laugh or cry when I saw this.... (graffiti on a hut in Northcliffe Park, Shipley).

Friday, 28 January 2011

Homeward bound

In the summer I often walk home from work along the canalside, but in winter it's too dark and lonely so I tend to take the main road, noisy and busy.  Just occasionally, I will cut through the car-park at the back of Salts Mill and walk up between the railway line and the mill buildings.  It's further that way, but an interesting walk. When there's no-one else about, you can almost hear the clack of wooden clogs on the cobbles.  Just imagine 2500 mill workers hurrying home at the end of a shift.  These days it's more tranquil and I find the walk gives me a welcome breathing space between the different demands and rhythms of work and home.

Thursday, 27 January 2011

Moo cards

Have you heard of Moo?  It's a company that makes business cards, postcards, greetings cards and such like - and they also do these lovely little mini cards, like a business card but smaller (3x7cm).  They are nicely finished, matt on good quality, sustainably sourced card and they come in a neat little box.

I found I needed something for when people asked me "How do I find your blog?"  Invariably I would find I hadn't a pen or paper to hand to write the web address down - and my clever daughter suggested this idea.  It's really easy to upload your photos and design the cards, with a photo on the front and the address on the back.  (The first ones I had done also had my little daisy logo on the back, but somehow I missed that off the second batch.)  The big advantage of Moo is that you don't have to have all the cards the same.  I used ten different photos, giving me a nice variety.  It's interesting to see what a letter box crop does to your images - it makes quite a difference to their impact; some really work and some don't, so it's an adventure picking appropriate images.  People seem to like choosing the picture they want to keep - some of my workmates have the cards on display on their desks!

Personally I just adore all things paper and I love browsing in stationers' shops like Paperchase - so just exploring Moo's website is a treat in itself.  It's very creative and you can get inspiration from the designs they showcase.  The cards would be ideal for advertising a small creative business or even using as gift tags.  Highly recommended - the Moo website is here - and to see some photographers' work see here.

Wednesday, 26 January 2011

Heritage Trail 22 - Salts Mill

'Continue along Victoria Road, past the row of shops, to complete your tour where it began...'
And here we are, back where we began, by the railway bridge opposite Salts Mill.  This huge Mill was the key to Sir Titus Salt's vision to relocate all his textile mills from the city of Bradford to a healthier purpose-built site, along with a surrounding village where his workers could enjoy a good quality of life.  I have written extensively about Salts Mill in previous posts so please click the label below for more information.

I hope you've enjoyed this 'virtual tour' of the Saltaire Heritage Trail.  It's taken us a long time to complete; well done for keeping up.  At least it was only me that had to wrap up in six layers of warm clothes!  Save your real visit for a day when the sun shines and Saltaire looks at its honeyed best.  Even though black and white photography suits the gritty industrial feel of the area, on a winter's day the light doesn't really make for great photos.  It's been an interesting project for me and an educational one too, and (woo-hoo) it filled up nearly all of January with photos! (It's quite hard at this time of year to find inspiration and motivation to get out there taking pictures.)  I'll leave you now to do a bit of browsing and shopping in Salts Mill (you can click the link) - part of the surprising place that is the World Heritage Site of Saltaire.

[No 1 on the street plan]

Tuesday, 25 January 2011

Heritage Trail 21 - Victoria Road shops

'Continue along Victoria Road, past the row of shops, to complete your tour where it began...'  This is another little row of shops where it would be interesting to document the changing history. When the parade was first built around 1854, the shops would have been useful outlets like general grocers, greengrocers, butchers and bakers.  There is still a bakery but the rest are stores leaning more towards the 'luxury' and tourist trade than anything - ethical clothing, an oriental interiors shop and a jewellers among them.  If you want food and general goods then you have to trek up to Gordon Terrace or into Shipley, where a large Asda supermarket provides for most needs.  The newsagent (useful if you wanted a paper to read on the train) has recently become a hairdresser.   I thought the other day that ArtParade, the art gallery that is on the corner by the station, had closed down - it was emptied of goods, but someone told me they were just redecorating.  Magic Number 3 is emptyish too - hopefully also simply undergoing a revamp.  These are lovely shops. We need them. We need more (rich) tourists too!  Saltaire's parade also contains the bar 'Don't tell Titus..' which refers to the fact (as I have said several times before) that the village's founder Sir Titus Salt would not allow the sale of alcohol in Saltaire.  It was many years before the rule was relaxed.

[No 4 on the street plan]

Monday, 24 January 2011

Heritage Trail 20 - The Factory School

'You will soon reach two of the finest buildings in Saltaire - the School on the left and the Institute on the right'   Sir Titus Salt chose to place the two Factory Schools - one for boys and one for girls - in pride of place in the middle of the village.  The Factory Act 1844 had required that children (8-13) should not be employed for more than 6½ hours per day and must receive 3 hours of education per day.  Education was initially provided in the Saltaire Dining Hall.  The Schools opened in 1868 and provided places for 700 children in very well-equipped facilities which had central heating, gas lighting and playgrounds at the back.   With gardens at the front, and the four stone lions on guard, the Schools and the Victoria Hall opposite provide a very attractive arrangement at the heart of the village.  The school building still provides education, now being part of Shipley College.

In the 1870s primary education became the responsibility of local School Boards. Titus Salt Junior was the first Chairman of the Shipley School Board and a new elementary school was built on land at the edge of the village on Albert Road.  In 1876, these existing schools in the village centre became a High School for older students.

Sunday, 23 January 2011

Heritage Trail 19 - Victoria Hall

Back on our virtual walk round the World Heritage Site of Saltaire, walking down Victoria Road:
'You will soon reach two of the finest buildings in Saltaire - the School on the left and the Institute on the right'   I have shown several photos of The Saltaire Club and Institute, now known as the Victoria Hall, on my blog before - click the 'Victoria Hall' label for other views.  It's a solid building, but beautiful in its own way, being pleasingly symmetrical and with some attractive stonework.  It was designed by Saltaire's architects, Lockwood and Mawson, commissioned by Sir Titus Salt to provide a social club and educational institute for adults.  When it opened in 1871, it had amazing facilities including a library, laboratory, billiard room, lecture halls, a gym and a rifle drill room (used by the 39th West Riding Rifle Volunteers).  Even today it continues to be a well-used local facility (though karate has replaced rifle drill!)

The post box, one of two in Saltaire, has a plain GR cipher which relates to King George V (reigned 1910-1936).  Apparently he chose not to have the V included in the cipher.  The box is very tatty and could do with a coat of paint!

[No 6 on street plan]

Saturday, 22 January 2011

Friday sunset

Well, I had such a good time having a virtual pint in Fanny's yesterday. (Thanks for the offer Alan!)  Time flies when you're enjoying yourself - and in no time at all it was sunset!

Seriously, this was last night's sunset - taken through a window in my office.  It was so spectacular that I thought I'd interrrupt the mono (tony) of our virtual tour of Saltaire with this exhilarating zing of colour.  And this is SOOC (straight out of camera) apart from a bit of a crop.  No saturation boost necessary.  We rarely get this richness of colour round here but it had been a lovely, crisply sunny, cold day. (Such a pity that the weekend weather forecast is back to damp gloom!)

Our office was built in the 70s, before a PC on every desk had even been imagined.  So it has wraparound windows and we spend all but the dullest days with all the blinds drawn, to prevent reflections on our monitor screens.  In consequence, I nearly missed this glorious view.  When someone drew back the blinds, it was like the opening sequence of a film or a colourful theatrical piece.  Breathtaking.  Like a free show put on by God just for our delight....

You can pick out a few Saltaire landmarks silhouetted on the skyline: from left to right - the fire station tower with its tall antenna, St Peter's church tower, the roof and tower of Saltaire's Victoria Hall and Salts Mill's soaring chimney.

Friday, 21 January 2011

Heritage Trail 18 - Victoria Road junction

'Use the puffin crossing (across Saltaire Road) to continue along Victoria Road'..... Are you puffin' yet?  Well, we'll soon be back where we started.  Be careful here - this is another very busy junction and accident blackspot .  Although the Salts Hospital building is on one corner (see yesterday's picture) that's no use as the building hasn't been used as a hospital for years!

Victoria Road is the main thoroughfare through Saltaire and contains all the big public buildings.  There are a few houses towards the top, as seen in the photo, and a parade of shops at the bottom near Salts Mill.  It is a wide and pleasant street, designed to show the village off at its best.

I know some of you will be ready for a pint of 'Saltaire Blonde' [the local beer named after me ;-)  ] so turn right here, down Saltaire Road - Fanny's Ale House is a few hundred yards down on the left, just past the car park .... but don't tell Sir Titus!)

[Junction marked on street plan, beside no 16 the Hospital]

Thursday, 20 January 2011

Heritage Trail 17 - Salt's Hospital

'Continue downhill until you reach the crossroads, where the former Hospital building stands at the corner.'  This hospital was originally built to treat injuries sustained by workers in the mill.  There was a surgery on the mill site but the Infirmary was equipped for surgical operations and when it opened in 1868 it had nine beds.  It started off as a two storey building but it began to treat patients in the local community, as well as mill workers, and a third storey was added in 1909. (Looking at it now you would never realise that.) 

It continued as a hospital until 1979, when it became a retirement home.  I have vivid memories of going at Christmas with a group from my church to sing carols for the elderly people.  It was homely, but blessed with that beige/pale green paint style so beloved of institutional living.  More recently it was converted into quite stylish apartments.  Some of them make use of the very high ceilings by having mezzanine floors.

Incidentally, in the background of the picture you can see the top of Salts Mill chimney, indicating where our 'virtual walk' around Saltaire's Heritage Trail has taken us in relation to the mill.

[No 15 on the street plan]

Wednesday, 19 January 2011

Heritage Trail 16 - Alexandra Square

Hope we're all refreshed after that virtual coffee.  (And the very good news is that virtual cake contains NO calories!) Now we will....
'Continue along Bingley Road and then turn left into Victoria Road.'  The top of Victoria Road contains this little green space called Alexandra Square, around which are grouped Saltaire's almshouses. (For more photos and history, please click the 'almshouses' label below).  This area was developed in 1868.  Sir Titus Salt was following the lead of other local paternalist industrialists such as Sir Francis Crossley, who in 1855 had established almshouses linked to his Dean Clough Works in Halifax.  There are 45 almshouses in Victoria Road, some now in private ownership but many still providing accommodation for the elderly or infirm, through a Housing Trust.

[No 14 on the street plan]

Tuesday, 18 January 2011

A coffee stop

And here we are in The Terrace, a popular café and bistro on Saltaire's Gordon Terrace.  I told you yesterday I'd treat you to a virtual coffee - and I felt we needed a bit of warmth and colour in the middle of our chilly black and white tour!  I've ordered Gingerbread Latte, slightly spicy, along with some walnut cake.  Or would you prefer a creamy Cappucino and a buttery toasted teacake?  If you're really hungry you could choose from a variety of bistro-type meals and snacks.  There's even haggis on the menu today I notice - would that be because of Hogmanay (New Year) or Burns Night coming soon, I wonder?

It was lovely to meet one of my dearest friends for coffee (and she doesn't mind my eccentricity in making her butter her teacake and then not eat it until I'd taken a photo!).  I do wish I could treat you all to a real coffee - wouldn't it be fun to sit and chat and get to know each other?

Whilst we're resting our tired feet here and taking a breather from our walk round Saltaire's Heritage Trail, it is interesting to ponder the history of this row of shops.  It was originally built as housing and I think you can tell that, even now.  The staircases to the upper floors are really quite narrow, only wide enough for one person at a time - fine for a house but not so geat for a café or shop!

There's a lively discussion thread on Saltaire's History Club pages, with people sharing their memories of the shops and businesses on Gordon Terrace in times past.  (But after yesterday's experience with the photo, I imagine you have to log in to the Village website to see the discussions too! I am registered already, so I didn't realise. Sorry.)  Honestly, I wish I was retired! I could sit all day browsing the internet; there's some fascinating information there and I simply don't have time to explore it all.

Monday, 17 January 2011

Heritage Trail 15 - Gordon Terrace

'Continue up round the corner and turn left to reach Bingley Road..'  Bingley Road is the main road from Bradford along the Aire valley to Bingley, Keighley and ultimately Skipton. It forms the southern boundary of Saltaire village so technically the left hand side is in Saltaire and the right hand side isn't. (Unless you're an estate agent, since the cachet of a Saltaire address these days extends quite a long way into areas that once would have died rather than call themselves Saltaire!)

The road contains a parade of shops on both sides and the Saltaire side is locally known as Gordon Terrace. It was originally designed by Saltaire's architects as housing, but the properties were converted into shops in the early 1900s. Nowadays there is an interesting mix - clothes shops come and go; there is a hairdresser, several estate agents, optician, delicatessen, jewellers, gift shops and a couple of eateries.  This one, The Terrace is a coffee shop and bistro and takes advantage of the wide pavement to have a few tables outside.  As we're over half way round our 'virtual walk' now, I shall treat you to a 'virtual coffee' in the bistro - but inside, as it's a little chilly for the open-air tables today!

The other side includes more functional offerings - a Co-op supermarket, chemist, butcher, florist and greengrocer plus a betting shop, a couple of fast food outlets and a good fish and chip shop.  All in all it makes a useful little local shopping area.  I've often thought it would be interesting to chart the change in the shops here since Victorian times... another project, maybe?  There's an interesting old photo that gives an idea of how the shops might have looked - but it seems you have to register with the Saltaire village website to see it - sorry!  I'll leave the link in case any members are reading this.

[No 5 on the street plan]

Sunday, 16 January 2011

Heritage Trail 14 - Saltaire Road

'At the top of Albert Road, turn left and use the zebra crossing to cross Saltaire Road...' and be careful because that is often busy too, though early on a Sunday morning it is eerily quiet.  (Malyss, Jack and all the rest of you who think we drive on the wrong side of the road here, we will hang on to you at this point, in case you forget which way to look at the crossing!)

The houses opposite were some of the later houses to be built as part of Sir Titus Salt's masterplan for Saltaire, completed in 1868.  The streets are called Jane Street and Dove Street.  Jane and Dove were Sir Titus's daughters-in-law.  The building just creeping into the left of the picture is 1 Albert Road, the largest house in the village, now a bank and originally the home of Salt's Mill's chief cashier.

The alley on the right is at the back of a row of shops called Gordon Terrace that we will visit tomorrow.

[Streets named on street plan]

Saturday, 15 January 2011

Heritage Trail 13 - Saltaire Roundabout

'At the top of Albert Road....' (which leads off to the right of this photo) be careful of the busy Saltaire roundabout!  This is the junction of the main roads from Bradford to Keighley and from Keighley through Saltaire to Leeds.  It is notorious locally as a very busy junction that frequently gets gridlocked.  I know of several people who will drive miles round to avoid having to negotiate the roundabout.  And sadly it is an accident blackspot - two people have been killed here within the last 6 months, and I noticed again the other day one of the railings gone.  Not surprisingly, much thought and debate has gone into trying to improve it (with various hare-brained proposals, including a tunnel under Saltaire!) and finally it looks as though a plan has been agreed to replace the roundabout with traffic lights.  That won't solve the congestion, but it might make it a bit safer.

The building on the far side, now a bar/restaurant called The Old Tramshed was (you guessed!) the old tram shed. The six bays were built in 1904 for tramcars that used to run from Bradford and later housed Bradford Corporation trolleybuses.  Bradford was one of the last places to have trolleybuses - they ceased running in 1972 (I remember that well, as I was at university here in those days) though I don't know when the last trolleybus to Saltaire ran.  The first tram ran in 1902, according to a wonderful photo I found on Flickr recently.  The film I drew your attention to last week also has, right at the beginning, footage of the trams along with lots of men in flat caps (traditional Yorkshire headgear for the working class man) and bowlers (ditto for white-collar workers).  Gentlemen wore top-hats!

NB: the difference between a tramcar and a trolleybus - trams run on tracks in the road and usually have one pole (pantograph) up to an overhead cable,  trolleybuses run on two overhead cables and no tracks.  The terminology here in UK is a bit different from the US.  Never say you don't learn things reading this blog!

[Photo taken beside telephone box on street plan]

Friday, 14 January 2011

Heritage Trail 12 - Albert Road

'Continue along Caroline Street to the junction with Albert Road. Here turn left uphill....'  Albert Road forms the western boundary of Saltaire village and originally looked onto open countryside. Now it overlooks the newer Hirst Wood estate and Saltaire Primary School. At the northern (lower) end of Albert Road you pass a row of overlookers' cottages but at either end of the road - as shown in my photo - there are some grander terraces and semis, originally home to the company's executives, teachers and the church minister.  They still make very attractive, good-sized family homes - solid stone with slate roofs, and lovely high-ceilinged rooms.

[Photo taken near the Primary School marked on the street plan]

Thursday, 13 January 2011

Heritage Trail 11 - Streets & alleys

'You will see the streets branch off at regular intervals...'  Walking along Caroline Street takes you past the end of many of the streets that run north-south, like George Street on the left here.  George Street is one of the longest streets in the village, cleverly designed so that the Church can be seen right from the very top (see here).  Between the streets run back alleys, where each house has its own backyard (and originally its own 'privy' or outside toilet) making these houses luxurious compared to the prevailing conditions in the cities in early Victorian times.  Remember, these were houses for ordinary working folk, Sir Titus Salt's millworkers, most of whom had previously been living in the city of Bradford where the mills then were.

I think it's hard for us these days to appreciate just how significant Salt's actions were.  James Smith in his report for the Health Of Towns Commission in 1844 concluded "... of Bradford I am obliged to pronounce it the most filthy town I visited."  Central Bradford in the 1840's is described as having "courts, yards and dingy alleys with overflowing privies, open cesspits, pig styes and slaughterhouses and effluent laden watercourses".  Diseases, including cholera, were rife.

The wonderful book by Jim Greenhalf, 'Salt & Silver' says: "For more than 25 years Salt had worked in the dirty heart of bursting-at-the seams Bradford... He was a very rich man, and might have retired with a lordly income... but he was proposing to adandon Bradford for a greenfield site more than three miles to the north. Everything was based in town. Yet Salt proposed removing to the country, putting himself at the astronomical expense of building a vast new works, fire-proof and with all modern conveniences." (Plus the village around it).  And why?..... "because he had a dream which he believed was his God-given duty to turn into reality. And so, on a chilly November evening in 1849, Salt walked into the comfortable fire-lit chambers of architects Lockwood and Mawson." And the rest, as they say, is history.

[See Caroline Street on the street plan]

Wednesday, 12 January 2011

Heritage Trail 10 - Caroline Street

'Turn right onto Caroline Street...'  Caroline Street, named after Sir Titus Salt's wife (1812-1893), is one of the long, wide streets pointing east-west through the village.  The village plan mostly follows a grid pattern, apart from where the main Saltaire Road, which predates the buildings, cuts through diagonally.  The grid pattern was chosen to use the land efficiently but the streets are carefully planned to ensure that each house receives ample daylight.  The whole village really is a masterpiece of design, with a symmetry and repetition that pulls the whole together and yet sufficient variety to avoid it looking uniform and dull.

Right at the far end of the road you can see modern semi-detached houses, part of the Hirst Wood estate, built much later than Saltaire itself.  When Saltaire was founded in the second half of the 19th century, this whole area was open countryside.  Sir Titus Salt deliberately bought up greenfield land to move his mill and his workers out from the city to a healthier environment.  Saltaire formed a recognisable and discrete village and the houses on the edge looked out over open countryside. But of course over the years it has become just part of the urban sprawl along the Aire river valley.

[Photo taken from the junction of George Street with Caroline Street, see the street plan]

Tuesday, 11 January 2011

Heritage Trail 9 - William Henry Street

'Then turn left into William Henry Street..'  The houses here, built in 1854, have small front gardens and are quite spacious inside.  They were intended for the 'overlookers' - the supervisors at the mill.  Personally, I think this street is one of the most attractive in the village, the houses having quite a pretty 'cottagey' look.   I love the rounded windows and doors, and the way the houses are uniform and yet have an individuality too.  You can see the difference between the ones that have had the stonework cleaned and those that have not.  As I have said before, the streets in Saltaire are mostly named after members of Sir Titus Salt's family.  William Henry (1831-1893) was his first son.

[William Henry Street is named on the street plan

If you're ready for a bit of colour after all these black and white images, I have recently posted some colour pictures of Saltaire in the snow on my other blog: Seeking the Quiet Eye.  Click this link or the image on the side bar on the right to track over there.

Monday, 10 January 2011

Heritage Trail 8 - Albert Terrace

'Retrace your steps to the railway bridge then turn right down Albert Terrace...'  Albert Terrace is one of the oldest streets in Saltaire and still retains its original setts (cobbles).  Some of the houses along here are three storeys high and were originally intended as shared lodgings for young single workers, but they apparently preferred lodging with families so, before long, these too became family homes.  Overlooking the railway, church and open countryside, they have a very pleasant aspect.

When I set out to take these Heritage Trail photos I decided that, even though I wanted to give a sense of the history of Saltaire, I would not deliberately avoid evidence of modern 'clutter' - so I didn't try to find angles that excluded all cars, litterbins, streetlights and so on.  Hence there's a wheelie bin right in the middle here!.....But it would have been a better photo without it, so I think I should have gone and pushed it round the corner after all!

[Taken from just past the railway symbol on the street plan]

Sunday, 9 January 2011

Heritage Trail 7 - Saltaire's Mills

'Look towards the mill chimneys - can you feel a breeze behind you?'  (Hope you're well wrapped up on this wintery walk!)  Sir Titus Salt deliberately built his mills on the eastern side of the village.  He was concerned about the harmful effects of smoke produced by factories and located his mills where the prevailing westerly wind would blow the smoke away from the village. (I know this first-hand - my workplace is directly east of the mills and sometimes the wind funnelled along the valley is so fierce that you can barely stand up.)

Salts Mill is on the right of the photo (its huge chimney is hidden) and the building on the left is the New Mill, built a few years later, with its ornate Italianate chimney.  The Victoria Road bridge goes over the canal and at one time went straight over the river into the park.  Since the river bridge was demolished, the road ends rather abruptly in the wall you can see. (The old film clip I mentioned yesterday has footage of people walking across the original bridge, with the mills in the background - at 2.34 in the film.)

I took all these photos on such a dull winter day - they're not the best in that sense but, in a way, I like the dark feel.  And I am really enjoying showing you round my hometown.  Some of you have commented that you are beginning to recognise parts and 'know where you are'.   That really pleases me - and I hope it doesn't make my blog boring.  There are only so many photos you can take in a square mile or so, but I keep endeavouring to find new angles.

[On the street plan the photo is taken from near the green man. The New Mill is No 16 and Salts Mill is No 1]

Saturday, 8 January 2011

Heritage Trail 6 - The Boathouse Inn

'Retrace your steps...' from Roberts Park back over the footbridge.  From this viewpoint you can see the old Saltaire boathouse from where, in earlier days, you could hire a rowing boat or take a cruise on the steamboat.  Nowadays it is a popular bar and restaurant, recently revamped after a fire all but destroyed it.  The canal is the other side of The Boathouse Inn and the church, seen through the trees, is on the far side of the canal.

The view to the left, of Saltaire's New Mill and the weir, is equally lovely and I have featured it several times - see here and here and last month on December 18, 'Lights' was a night shot of the view from almost exactly this spot.

There is also the most wonderful piece of film footage in the Yorkshire Film Archive online, shot in 1912, of people on the steamboat outside the Boathouse - see this link.  The relevant snippet is at 2 minutes 53 secs in to the film (2.53) if you don't want to watch the whole film (though I recommend it!)

[Roberts Park is No 3 on the plan]

Friday, 7 January 2011

Heritage Trail 5 - Entrance to Roberts Park

'Turn left down the ramp and follow the path around to the right, to cross the River Aire by the modern footbridge...'  At one time Victoria Road went straight across the river by a road bridge, but the bridge was demolished as unsafe in the 1950s and a metal footbridge now provides access to the park. Saltaire Park, opened by Sir Titus in 1871, was intended to provide leisure space for Saltaire's residents, as most of the open land within the village was given over to allotments.  It contained formal landscaping and flowerbeds with a promenade, bandstand and pavilion, as well as a cricket field and boating area on the river.  The park's name was changed in 1920 when it was gifted to Bradford Corporation by Sir James Roberts, then owner of the mill.  The park underwent a substantial renovation in 2010.  Click the 'Roberts Park' label for more photos.

[No 3 on the plan]

Thursday, 6 January 2011

Heritage Trail 4 - The Canal

'Salt wanted to distribute his products quickly and cheaply so he chose a site with excellent transport links. The Mill was built beside the railway, the motorway of the 19th century. The canal linked the village to Leeds and Liverpool and there were good local road connections.'

The Leeds-Liverpool Canal bridge provides one of the most attractive views in Saltaire - even on a cold dark winter morning. The canal runs alongside the grounds of the church, whose tower you can see on the left.  In front is the Stables.  When the village was built in the 1850s, road transport was predominantly by horse-drawn vehicles and stabling facilities were a necessity.  December's ice on the canal is gradually melting - but it is a reminder of how, in Victorian times too, transportation in the winter months would be fraught with hazards.

The little knot of people standing watching the swans was a group of 'silver' walkers, undeterred by the cold.  This spot in Saltaire seems to be a place where people congregate and I think sometimes it's a meeting point for the organised rambles that the Council's Leisure Services provide.  One of the enjoyable things about living in Saltaire is its proximity to some lovely countryside.

[Green man on the plan]

Wednesday, 5 January 2011

Heritage Trail 3 - Saltaire's United Reformed Church

'Continue downhill along Victoria Road, passing the impressive Saltaire United Reformed Church on the left...'  I have posted many photos of this beautiful and unusual building (click the 'Saltaire URC' label to see more - both inside and outside) - but for completeness as we 'walk' the Heritage Trail I'm posting another one. I never get tired of looking at it anyway, as it's such an iconic building.

Originally the Congregational Church, it was completed in 1859.  Sir Titus Salt, Saltaire's founder, was a staunch Christian and was anxious to provide spiritually as well as materially for his employees.  The church was in many ways the crowning glory of his paternalistic vision for a township that would provide all that his workers in the vast textile mill, and their families, could need. (As well as a last resting place for himself and his family, in the adjoining Mausoleum.)

Situated directly opposite the main entrance to Salts Mill, the church stands at the end of a long drive that focuses the visitor's attention on the magnificent entrance and tower.  To the right, you can just see the Stable Block cottages.

[No 2 on the street plan]

Tuesday, 4 January 2011

Heritage Trail 2 - Victoria Road

'Continue downhill along Victoria Road...' Victoria Road is the main thoroughfare through Saltaire, north to south.  Looking north from the railway bridge, you can see on the right the administrative block of Salts Mill, now home to Pace plc, a company that makes digital communications technology. On the left is the Mill Building of Shipley College, formerly the Saltaire Dining Hall.  This photo gives a good idea of why Sir Titus Salt relocated his entire business from the overcrowded and insanitary city of Bradford to this greenfield site, where he built his huge mill and the surrounding workers' village.  The fields and moors of Shipley Glen and Baildon still offer a lovely countryside view.  Sir Titus Salt gradually bought up parcels of land so that, at one time, most of what you can see belonged to him.

[At the red star on the street plan]

Monday, 3 January 2011

New Project - The Saltaire Heritage Trail

New Year... new project.  Yesterday I showed the Saltaire Street Plan out of the Heritage Trail leaflet, so I thought - why not actually follow the trail, in photographs?  Sunday promised to be sunny.  Ha ha, it wasn't!  Though it was a little brighter than it has been, it was jolly cold.  Never mind, I wrapped up warmly and set off following the blue trail.

'Our tour begins on the bridge over the railway line...' which is where you would arrive in Saltaire if you let the train take the strain. (And with petrol prices going up, no street parking and a long walk from the car park behind Salts Mill, arriving by train in the World Heritage Site makes sense.)  It's a cute little station (though not as picturesque as the original, which was pulled down after the Beeching cuts in 1965.)  To the left, you see the oldest residential part of Saltaire, built in 1854.  To the right is the Saltaire Dining Hall, now part of Shipley College, which originally provided meals for the workers at Salts Mill.  They are all built from the same local stone but the soot and grime of the 19th and early 20th centuries has been cleaned off most of the public buildings leaving the houses looking black in comparison.

[On the plan, start at the red star.]

Sunday, 2 January 2011

Getting to know Saltaire

I first showed this plan of the World Heritage Site of Saltaire way back at the start of my blog in June 2009.  But I didn't have any readers then - and now I have lots ... my 100th Follower joined on Christmas Day, which made me happy.  I know there are also other regular readers who don't appear on any lists.  Anyway, I thought it might be interesting and useful to put up this street plan again.  It shows the broad layout of Saltaire, so that you can see how it all fits together and perhaps begin to locate and visualise my photos within the context of the rest of the village.  I think if you click the map it will enlarge to become more readable. The street plan actually belongs to an explanatory 'Guide and Heritage Trail' about Saltaire, produced for visitors by the Council's Visitor Information Centre.  I'm sure they won't mind me borrowing it. The latest Guide is downloadable from their website.

Saturday, 1 January 2011

Peace on earth

Peace on earth..... seems to be a good thing to wish for at the start of another New Year.  Though in my photo, the dove seems to have got into a tangle with the floral decoration, which is perhaps not the best omen! Certainly peace on earth seems as far away as ever.  But I like to think we bloggers are doing our bit to foster friendly relations across the globe.  I dip into a lot of blogs, from all over the world, and I really enjoy getting an insight into people, places, families, festivals, customs and life in general in the many places pictured and represented.  I'm looking forward to another year of sharing my little patch of England with you.

I took this photo on Christmas Day in my church, St Peter's Shipley, which as usual was beautifully decorated for the festive season.  As someone with not a green finger on my body (!) I can only admire those with the skill to create such lovely and imaginative displays.

May I take this opportunity to wish you all a very happy, prosperous, healthy, fulfilling - and yes, peaceful - 2011.