- Date: 12 August 2022
- Distance: 14 Miles
- Start: Shipley
On the Leeds to Liverpool Canal
We retraced our steps and took the train back to Shipley where we finished yesterday. Finding our way back towards the canal we crossed over and continued until we reached the River Aire with the purpose of following a sculpture trail that we had read about.
This proved to be a little less high brow than we had anticipated. Frogs, cats, dogs, fish all abounded in different formats! Then we reached the mills of Saltaire which bordered both sides of the canal.
Saltaire is a Victorian village built by Sir Titus Salt to house the workers for his textile mill. Houses were provided for the workers, wash houses, schools, a hospital, a park and several churches. This philanthropic mill owner wished to see the offspring of his workers better themselves and to give them a decent standard of living.
We wandered around the converted mill taking in the history of the place, marvelling at his foresight to look after his workers well so they in turn worked hard to make the mill prosperous.
After a sojourn there we walked on along the towpath eventually arriving at Bingley 5, a huge rise of locks that take the canal up a height of around 20 metres. Unfortunately, no boat was being taken through them, so we were unable to see how the incredible bank of staircase locks worked in practice. After eating our lunch and sampling a delicious ice cream from the local cafe we wandered on.
The sun was pounding down by this time and we sought shelter at every opportunity. At one stage I thought I had spotted a plastic heron in someone’s garden only to realise it was the real thing!
Eventually we came to our turn off to walk to the nearest railway station. This was along a hot, dusty road, not our favourite part of the day. As we ambled through Keighley we glimpsed the houses that all mill workers used to live I – 2 up, 2 down terraced properties that had no front garden and no back garden. Just rows of terraces facing each other. Not much space to call your own.
Then we arrived at the train station and enjoyed a fast journey back for a refreshing shower out of the heat. Altogether we walked almost 14 miles in the heat.
Author and Photographer: Lynne Burge