I decided to have a days excursion to Saltaire, this is a little gem of a village between Bradford and Keighley. The 662 Bus runs from Bradford every 10mins and if you get off in Saltaire you can browse round the High Street before heading down into the Village.
You can walk on the Canal to Bingley, watching the odd fisherman or canal narrowboat chugging along or just listening to the birds singing, a nice escape from the cars and buses, horns blaring and belching out deisel fumes, away from the hurdy gurdy, and down into the TRANQUILITY of a bit of Saltaire/Shipley countryside! afterwards you can always jump on a bus back to Bradford or visit Keighley (a bigger bustling town) in the opposite direction.
Salts Mill is one of the features of Saltaire Village and is open every day, except Christmas Day, Boxing Day and New Year’s Day, and its free to enter. Opening hours are Monday to Friday – 10am to 5.30pm, Saturday and Sunday – 10am to 6pm.
Saltaire is built in the Italianate style, giving it an enduring beauty and charm, its like stepping back 100 yrs in time, seeing the houses Titus Salt built for his workers working in his mill! In December 2001, Saltaire was designated a World Heritage Site by UNESCO. You are of course free to wander around and enjoy the Victorian industrial model village. In Saltaire itself their are places to eat, some shops (including antique), a lovely park and adventure playground for children, a Train Station, not to mention the Leeds/Liverpool Canal, and the River Aire which runs parallel to it.
Saltaire Village owes its name to Titus Salt, a textile magnate and philanthropist who built a mill and a village for his workers. Salts Mill was a masterpiece of its time and was hugely productive, turning out 18 miles of worsted cloth a day on 1200 looms attended to by 3000 workers. It was opened on 20 September 1853, Titus Salt’s 50th birthday and was celebrated with a banquet for his workers in the Mill’s combing shed.
The Mill changed hands – the textile industry faltered and the Mill closed in 1986. The following year it was bought by local entrepreneur, Jonathan Silver, who transformed it into a place of art and commerce. Jonathan died in 1997 aged only 47, though the Mill remains vibrant and in the care of his family. When I visited Salts Mill some pictures by the famous artist David Hockney were being exhibited inside the mill, as well as all sorts of Artifacts, and some antiques.
What I like about Saltaire is what I call the “Round Church” (Just opposite Pace Electronics Ltd and of course Free to go in) thats not its proper name, but I’ve NEVER seen a church like this one! Not only did he build them houses he also built them a place of Worship (now thats what I call a GOOD employer. I wandered in the grounds as I had just missed the opening hours! I decided to say a prayer (as I was standing on consecrated ground) and I placed both of the palms of my hands on the church stonework, it was a warm afternoon, very quiet just me, and a few ducks and swans wandering around before they dived back into the water, after 2 minutes I removed my hands and to my amazement their were 2 full hand prints clearly visible on the stonework, at that moment I had a vision of them searing through the 3ft thick stonework and landing before the alter of the Most High.! As I wandered away I thought to myself “well he definitely got that one”!