Wet and Salty – 7 October

I’ve added in the missing Thursday 1st, Friday 2nd, Monday 5th, Tuesday 6th blogs. And I’ve typed up most of today’s Wednesday 7th.

But no photos until I get to WiFi.

7 October 2015

Unfortunately for Michael and Rosemary, they had dentist appointments this afternoon. Also unfortunately it was raining, so Michael couldn’t do his morning’s gardening. Fortunately for me, it meant I had a few hours to get up-to-date – and I mean up-to-date! with my blogs.

But I can’t load pictures yet.

It was a lazy start to the day and I washed the mud (and I hate to think what else) out of my right anti-travel-sickness Seaband and scrubbed it off my rain-cape and waterproof over-trousers.

We left after lunch, and Michael and Rosemary dropped me off at the gateway to the Saltaire United Reformed Church, which was over the road from the information centre. I decided that as it had stopped drizzling and that I would be collected in about an hour & a half, it would be prudent to find out where the most interesting place to see in that time.

The first problem was finding the information centre. Rosemary had pointed out where it was from the car, but finding it on foot took a bit of hunting to find the easiest way – down some steps – to find it. What made it more difficult is that the only signage was a big “i” on the door at the top of some stone, slippery steps. Even once inside the signage wasn’t great. Straight ahead was a sign with the information sign on it. I went inside that door and set up my phone so that the alarm would go off at 2:55 as roughly 3:00 was when I’d be picked up.

I then looked around, but couldn’t see anything to tell me which way to find information. So I retraced my steps and saw another sign on another door. I went through that door.


I told the lady on the counter that I wanted something I could do until 3.00pm. She looked outside, saw that it had stopped raining, and pulled out a brochure. She explained that there was a trail that I could follow. This sounded good, so I took the brochure and started walking.

It started drizzling.

I decided to check out the tiny railway station, but couldn’t find a good place to get a photo, so didn’t want to get my camera out and risk it getting wet.

It continued drizzling.

I decided to follow the map.

Doing so allowed me to see the station from the other side of the tracks, so I went down into the waiting area on this side and got my camera rain cover out.

I’ve never had to use this before, so it was a struggle to get the camera into it in such a way that both the cover and the camera worked. What I discovered when I tried to use it was that it stopped the camera’s ability to zoom out. Photos were only able to be taken of a small area. If I pulled the sleeve that covered the lens clear, then all you could see was a small clear area surrounded by a vignette of plastic. I persevered for a while and then decided to give up, especially as the drizzle was becoming heavier.

A friendly postie warned me that the Yorkshire stone pavers that lined the footpaths got very slippery when wet. I didn’t tell him I had experience of that yesterday, but I did thank him for his concern.

The front door to the Victorian Hall was open, so I nipped inside and stood in the entrance as I put the camera away. There must have been something going on in the hall as lady after lady kept on entering. One commented on what a good idea the cover was. I responded that it would be a better one if it worked.

It was still drizzling when I left, so I headed back to the information centre where another woman was on duty. I asked her what there was to do that could have been done inside out of the weather.

She directed me to “The Mill”. Or should that be “T’ Mill”?

This had been the original woollen mill built by Titus Salt, and inside were shops and a historical timeline of the history of the mill and Saltaire.

The baron Titus Salt was a nonconformist and a Congregationalist. He believed that the workers had rights. He therefore resolved to create his own town, which he was eventually convinced to call Saltaire. He would build homes for his workers and until the town was complete 14 years later, he would transport his workers from their homes out of town.

He also had expectations of this workers. They weren’t to drink and had to go to church. In order to keep their minds off the demon booze, he built libraries, gyms, leisure centres (of the type expected at the time). He built hospitals for the town and medical centres for his workers to be treated on site for injuries.

What he didn’t know he was building was an UNESCO World Heritage site.

A damp one.

Having perused the timeline of the Salt dynasty I checked out the shops in The Mill. The bookshop looked interesting, but I didn’t want to drip on their product. The next room was a series of paintings depicting how wool was spun into cloth. The next a timeline of the history of the Salt family, the mill, and Saltaire. Then there was an antiques shop where I looked for 1900s, 1914, 1920s, jewellery and hats. I found a 1965 £160 plastic Thunderbird Two. It definitely wasn’t a Dinky toy.

Then I looked at a more modern jewellery shop. Would you want to wear a gilded carrot around your neck? How about a gilded potato with a fork jammed into it hanging from a necklace?

No, I thought not.

By this point it looked as if it had stopped raining. My phone told me I still had about twenty minutes, so I went back outside and managed to get proper copies of the photos I’d attempted to get before. Then I headed back to where I was supposed to meet the Blakes.

A red car was already there!

I sped up.

The car was a Toyota!

I walked even faster.

There was a Ferrari symbol dangling from the rear-view mirror. It had to be Michael’s car!

But I don’t remember anything dangling from the rear-view mirror. And the car wasn’t quite the same colour red, nor as shiny… And wasn’t it a different shape?

And the car I was going to be getting in wouldn’t have a young lady wearing a cap in the driver’s seat.

I got more photos.

Then the local grammar school came out and all the kids filed past to the railway station. I decided that it would be easier to meet the Blakes further up the hill. Which I did.~

My opinion of Saltaire? Damp. I wish I had the chance to see it in better weather.

The drive home to Leeds was a different way to each of the last two ways we’ve entered Leeds. This is great. I’m getting to see the countryside. Including the place name: “Eccup”. Doesn’t that sound like a Yorkshire hiccough?

This evening Rosemary was going to the Barber of Seville opera. She tried to get me a ticket, but the only ones available were either horrendously expensive or else miles away from here with a pole in the way. So she went to the opera and Michael and I went to the pub for a meal after seeing her safely to the bus stop. I even tried a tiny bit of black pudding – which I decided tasted like something else, but I couldn’t decide what. I eventually realised that it tasted like the apricot, pistachio and… something stuffing that my pork belly had been stuff with – before it was stuffed into my belly.

We had a convivial talk and then walked back home again. Michael watched one of his shows while I made a start on this blog. Rosemary got home about 10.30.

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