Friday, 3 January 2014

New year, old county

Eeeh, it's brilliant to be back in Yorkshire. It's been well over a year since our last visit to my home county and I have missed the moors, the dales, and the grit of northern city life. Today we drove over the moors north of Leeds to the five-lock rise on the Leeds-Liverpool Canal. In fact, there are seven locks grouped together but five are in immediate succession, following a longer stretch with two adjacent locks. The canal is surrounded by Victorian mills with their tall chimneys and rows and rows of black Yorkshire stone terraced housing.  It still feels worlds away from the gentile Dales on the other side of the moor, but this corner of Yorkshire has an aesthetic appeal, with its rugged landscape, warm, tactile stone buildings and faded industrial beauty. This is Titus Salt land. The man with the quirky name was a Victorian philanthropist - Yorkshire had many - but this one is now famous because his mill and Saltaire, the village he built for his workers, is now home to a large collection of David Hockney's work. Hockney was born and grew up nearby, and the vast mill now showcases his work in galleries, cafes, shops and multi-use spaces. It also has a fantastic collection of Burmantofts Pottery. Salts Mill is a favourite place of mine and I managed to squeeze in a quick visit today on our way back from the National Media Museum in Bradford. Lots of cousin love going on today, here are some pics of the imps - including one very slightly taller and definitely more mischievous one.