Model Village

Saltaire MillsA short staircase of locks kicked off the day, it wasn’t long before the swing bridges came thick and fast. No need to bang on more than in previous posts, but flips they are tough.

Appalled by the conditions of the slums in Bradford, Sir Titus Salt relocated his textile business to the banks of the river Aire and set about building better living conditions for his workers. Stone cottages, wash houses with tap water, a hospital, school, a reading room, billiard hall, allotments and even a boat house were among the features that made his vision a success. He wSaltaireas in the Cadbury camp so far as alcohol was concerned and there was no pub, things have improved on that front, there’s now an international award winning brewery. His legacy lives on, Saltaire is widely considered an important development in 19th century urban planning and Shipleythe village is a World Heritage Site. The mill closed in 1986, now art galleries, offices and housing – passing between the intimidating giants is a ghostly spine tingler.

On through Shipley, we finally said goodbye to a couple we first passed on the approach to Dobson LocksBlackburn. It’s funny how you flip-flop boats putting in a similar daily average (although theirs tended to happen much earlier in the morning than ours). We hadn’t exactly travelled together but saying goodbye was strangely sad. As usual the drifting boat forced conversation to an early end, calling back everyone agreed to enjoy the rest of summer which was as good as saying it was great to know you for a while, have a nice life.

Leeds is around five miles away but tonight is strictly rural and the barbecue got HOT!