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Where the kids use to play…

Where the kids use to play…

During the summer I returned to Saltaire; the model Victorian Village developed under the guidance and backing of Sir Titus Salt during the 1850s and where the kids use to play.

This time my focus was away from the main buildings took in more at the layout of the town, looking at the streets and houses. Although much of the original is retained and protected, modern life creeps in and impact how the space is used today.

Salyaire is a protected village and a UNESCO world heritage site. Yet, it remains a fully functional village, very much lived in by modern families and their ways of life. The impact on the town, although restricted, cannot be ignored. Cars line streets decorated with modern signage, electric lighting and painted yellow lines, restricting parking to residents.

One of the more noticeable changes, other than the cars, are the plastic wheelie bins which clog the back alleys where once, years ago, the kids use to play.

Where the kids use to play (between George Street and William-Henry Street)

The back alleys where the kids use to play are now constricted by modern wheelie bins. Arguably a necessity of modern life, and yet a blight on the urban landscape. Today kids can be found indoors hooked up to various electrical devices, but of course that’s progress for you!

Typical street in Saltaire (George Street)

A typical street with the buildings remaining largely untouched by modern life. I don’t think they would have had quite as much shrubbery in the front gardens back in the 1850s but it makes for a pleasant street today. The new additions here are things such as the telegraph pole and associated wiring, yellow lines on the street and the odd electric light etc.

One of the many interesting features of the town is the decorative treatment given to the houses. All the houses were designed to be solid and well constructed, but they reduced in their size and the quality of decoration depending on the occupiers role or status in the mill and town. This row of houses were some of the slightly above average properties, probably for the mill middle managers.

Salt’s Mill (Warehouse Building)

While I love the design of this old mill building, what I also like in this image are the reflections cast in the inky black waters of the Leeds and Liverpool Canal. I cropped in tight to the water and the building to avoid the distraction of anything else and to focus on the detail of the repeating window decoration and brick/stonework. The mono treatment brings out the detail here and avoids the distraction that colour might otherwise add.

Corner Shop (Victoria Road)

One of the corner shops in the short parade of shops opposite the original Mill building (which can be seen reflected in the window here). I could have really used a tilt and shift lens here to get the perspective, however without the lens I was able to do the adjustments in Lightroom. This is now a gift shop and gallery (not cheap either) but they do have some nice stuff. I think it would make a lovely artisan bakery or even better a proper french Boulangerie.

Saltaire Congregational Church

The church is such a dominating building as you walk up to it. I decided to use the perspective here to really highlight this. The image is slightly spoiled by the glare spots from the bright sun, but I quite like the image. I’m normally very insistent on keeping the verticals vertical for these type of architectural images, but sometimes I’ll break my own rules.

Neighbouring porches from the Almshouses of Alexandra Square

Highly ornate entrance porches from a pair of the higher class houses. A shared leads to to individual porches frames by elaborately carved sandstone columns and arches.

Infirmary Building

The Infirmary Building at the top end of Victoria Road. Despite efforts to reduce the dangers of mill work, injuries were still commonplace but, with the development of the infirmary nearby, accidents and illness could be dealt with promptly. Workers were required to pay into a sickness benefit scheme to cover the costs of running the establishment.

The hospital is constructed of pitch-faced stone with ashlar dressings in an ordered Italianate style.

The Hospital closed in 1979 after being in service for over 100 years. It then underwent extensive refurbishment to convert it into a nursing home. When the nursing home closed the building was redeveloped and has now been converted into private apartments.

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Where the kids use to play…

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