A week's holiday goes by so fast...
On Thursday we had a rendezvous with J and J: Salt's Mill had been a favourite destination of theirs when they lived in Keighley (it is possible that it was they who sent us to Saltaire on our long-ago first visit), and it was easy for them to catch the train from York where they now live and join us for lunch and a little light shopping. We met them from the station, and pointed out "our" chimney from the railway bridge; we had coffee and talked about alpacas (J pointed out that Titus Salt was not only a philanthropist, he was also an experimenter and innovator in the dyeing process, which is why he was able to make use of that initial batch of "Peruvian wool"); we went for lunch, and discussed their recent holiday in Cornwall and our plans to meet again in York, with added Bears; we returned to Salt's Mill, where J communed with the Hockneys, J made a mystery purchase, and I enjoyed the exhibition of watercolours by Simon Palmer
. Inevitably, the ones I liked best didn't seem to be included in the accompanying book, weren't available as postcards and aren't to be found on the internet: his pure landscapes are pleasing, and his scenes from the mythical history of Saltaire are great fun, but my favourites were the landscapes with a twist of the unexplained.
After these excitements, we were all quite weary, and J and J wanted to get the train home before the rush hour struck. So durham_rambler
and I took a boat ride along the canal - accompanied, again, by a small and very squeaky dog (on first hearing I thought that can't be an oyster catcher...
) and a helpful guide who was able to tell us about the warehouse we'd noticed on our first day. We could have asked to be dropped at that end of the trip, and shortened our walk home, but we were enjoying the ride...
Friday was the last day of our stay, and we had been promising ourselves breakfast at Copper and Moss, the bar within the development (I'm guessing the name refers to stuff used in dyeing, but I don't know what colour you'd get from that combination), so we headed over there for juice and eggs benedict - I chose the yellow juice, and the egg yolks were quite a startling yellow, too. Then home for coffee, to recover. We had thought of visiting Halifax, which also has some fine industrial architecture, but roadworks meant our route would have taken us through the centre of Bradford. Instead we had a very gentle day, a little further along the Leeds and Livepool canal, at Bingley - to be precise, at Bingley Five Rise, which sounds like a secret password but describes a staircase of five locks
and completely eclipses the three-lock flight not very far away. It's a short walk between the two, but very green and peaceful:
The trees reminded me of those in Simon Palmer's watercolours: the tall straight trunks, the heavy balls of foliage - I had thought he was exaggerating, and maybe he was, a little, but not entirely.
Skirting the edge of Saltaire on our way home, we noticed some sort of market in progress in the square, surrounded by signs saying 'Parking suspended - Saltaire Festival'. Oh. We had seen something about the Festival when we first arrived, triued and failed to find out more, and had completely forgotten about it. That was a disappointment, but not enough so for us to walk all the way back from the car park, so let it go. We went home and bullied the oven into cooking our Co-op pizza.
We came home via Fountains Abbey and Studley Royal - but that deserves a post of its own.
This entry cross-posted from Dreamwidth: comments always welcome, at either location.