Sunday, 19 June 2016

Leeds - Saltaire model town and more catchups

We started our day as everyone at home ended it - watching the rugby. We liked the commentary here loads more than home! 
Breakfast in the hotel restaurant then Lawrence picked us up in his new A7 and took us on a scenic tour of Leeds and its surrounds ending up at Saltaire a model town where we spent much of our day. 
Lawrence loves this place so was a fantastic tour guide. In a nutshell Titus Salt owned a massive Mill primarily producing Alpaca cloth. In an effort to create a more reliable workforce he built a town around the mill offering benefits for those who moved to work there in return for them giving up the drink. His town included a laundry so they had clean clothes, a bath house so the workers were clean, an infirmary and a church. Successive events like wars, the depression, changes of ownership of the Mill left the place abandoned and purchased by Jonathan Silver in the late 80's who set about on a 50 year restoration programme. His friend and local famous artist David Hockney helped by making Saltaire home of much of his collection and opening venue for new exhibitions. Sadly Jonathan died but the restored Mill is now occupied by awesome shops, galleries and cafes, loads of businesses and the houses in the town now owned and occupied by families and back to a working township. 
Unesco made it a world heritage site and the Queen has been for tea. 
We toured the galleries and museum parts before meeting up with Mary and Amy for lunch in one of the cafes. This latest David Hockney exhibition is all done on iPad. Very cool. 
After lunch Lawrence took us on an adventure - riding the local Finicular! I think this picture tells you everything you need to know about it. 
At the top is a new village built in Yorkshire stone. We walked through that up a hill to this awesome view and rock formation. 
Back down in the park Don was taken with the cricket game going on. 
Lawrence took us to two local pubs. Then back to their amazing house for drinks, out for a Bradford curry then back for an evening of drinks and catching up. I had forgotten Lawrence is also a stereo man so we got to see his Naim muso and his Linn system. 
Our taxi arrived about 12:30 so 1 am into bed back at the hotel. Awesome catching up with Lawrence and Mary, so pleased we took the trip north. York tomorrow. 

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