Saltaire. Jan 27th 2017

Salts Mill and the surrounding town of Saltaire are familiar enough to most people living in Leeds, and of course we’ve been here several times.  The Mill itself is always interesting – and they serve a decent cup of coffee – even it it is something of a shrine to David Hockney.  I appreciate his work (he says condescendingly) and I admire his advances with picture making technology, particularly his use of an iPad.  I do confess though to finding it a touch the same, but maybe that says more about my inability to appreciate good art when I see it!  I find the building itself fascinating, as of course is its heritage as an industrial venture on the grand scale.  The noise of production must have been appalling, but Titus Salt seems to have done his level best to “do the right thing” for his employees, as is well documented.

After lunch in the “Victoria Tea Rooms we wandered (on what really was a bleak January day) a mile or so long the canal bank towards Shipley.  Obviously some of these great looming mill buildings have been very creatively restored and are in good and purposive use, often as office buildings I think.  Others have yet to be restored and so are perhaps more evocative of their past.  Boats aren’t on the move much at this time of year, but there were several on moorings, at least a couple of which were worth a picture I felt.

We strolled around the part of the estate that Salt had built for his workers.  Different grades of houses from fine looking detached to rather more snug terraces, presumably appropriate to the station in life of their original occupants.  They have in common though that they look well designed and well built – odd little bits of detailing mark them out as having been put up with care.  I hope that’s right!  There’s certainly scope for individuality now as I guess they are all privately owned, albeit limited by the area’s status as a “World Heritage Site” – we rather enjoyed the very maritime looking collection in one front yard.

The United Reformed Church is a splendid looking building ….. and has in its grounds the mausoleum in which Titus and his family are buried.  Thus its cupola is the last of the images which follow:


Restored Mill Buildings
Gentrified Mill
Restoration Project (1)
Restoration Project (2)
Restoration Project (3)
Reflected Mill
Mill Windows
Saltaire Street (1)
Saltaire Street (2)
Garden Sculpture (1)
Garden Sculpture (2)
Saltaire URC

Pateley Bridge April 20th, 2015

This was just a lovely walk in beautiful Yorkshire countryside on a fine spring day, in good company, not particularly long or taxing, but just thoroughly enjoyable. Photographically I quite enjoyed the abandoned farm machinery as I always do, but was particularly taken with the reflections that we found around the small lake. It’s odd (is it?) that life looks so much better upside down and rippled a touch by movement in water!

Leeds City Centre (1) August 2012

I freely confess to a growing affection for the centre of Leeds. It has a vibrancy and dynamic that I enjoy increasingly – as I’m sure do many city centres. There’s a great deal of building and development going on even in these straitened economic times and watching the new emerge in the midst of the old is, to my mind, quite fascinating.

The images from this “shoot” really fall into three distinct sections, which I’m going to reduce to two. The first group is really about infrastructure with an underlying theme which is about exploring the relationship between old and new. In the images that’s obviously simply a visual relationship, how much that reflects the relationship at other – civic, economic, even philosophical and so on – is less easy to judge, and may well lie beyond my interest anyway – this is just about pictures and doesn’t pretend to be anything else.

So Boar Lane first and then Millennium Square. It’s about shapes, angles, textures and lines an so by and large works best in monochrome. The exceptions are the gilded bits, and there are a number of those about! The owls in “4” and “6” stand puffed up and proud of their gilt status, and maybe reflect something of the city’s self image both current and hung over from its previous standing in the woollen industry which I guess is the source of many of its fine older buildings.