Salt’s Mill in Saltaire – a World Heritage Site – is only two miles as the crow flies from where I live and I go there all the time, often with my camera. It is rare though that I go there at night with my camera. I have mentioned in previous posts that a good friend and I regularly go out with our camera equipment with the intention of taking “the next masterpiece” but what usually happens is that we wander for a few miles, have a good chat, decide to go to the pub after feeling uninspired, and finish off the night with a good curry. A great night out every time still but usually not for photographic reasons!
Our recent trip to Saltaire though was a different story. We may not have taken what may generally be perceived as masterpieces (although I am really pleased with these photos) but we probably took more shots on that one night out than we had done for the last ten nights put together. We were still able to finish the night off with a couple of beers and a curry so basically it was an unmitigated success!
In fact we were so prolific with our shooting that I have another set of photos from this night which I will save for another blog post. They are completely different from these but only taken maybe one hundred metres further along the canal towpath.
I have to admit that I am not a big fan of Salt’s Mill from an architectural point of view. Here in West Yorkshire we are spoilt by the number of amazing buildings, whether famous or not, that were constructed during the Industrial Revolution. I know many which I think are much better than Salt’s Mill. What Salt’s Mill has in its favour is its setting – straddling the Leeds/Liverpool canal with Roberts Park on one side and Saltaire village on the other it was built in an area intentionally far from the slums of the inner city.
This particular evening was our first since the clocks went back and so we had to decide where to go with the knowledge that any daylight would be long gone. We decided on Saltaire for a few reasons – it is local, it is potentially very picturesque, it is well lit (at least in parts), and it has easy access to a decent pub and the best curry in Britain.
I say potentially very picturesque because Saltaire is not some historical model village, it is a place where people of the 21st century live and work. As such the cobbled streets are lined with cars, double yellow lines are painted alongside most curbs, and an electrified train line runs through the middle of it. If you are lucky you may be able to get a shot of the village itself without modern trappings cluttering up your view but so far I have not found an opportunity to do this. Down by the canal though, as you can see from these pictures, things are much quieter and not so different from how they would have been almost two hundred years ago.