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Shipley & District
Shipley is a popular part of the Bradford district, which over the past few years has seen an upsurge in property prices as people move into the area.
Thanks to the area's excellent road and rail links, which bring major business centres like Bradford and Leeds within easy commuting distance, property prices are continuing to rise.
The main shopping centre is Shipley, which has an attractive retail area with open market, surrounded by a wide selection of shops.
There is also a supermarket, large library, swimming pool, golf course and a very popular area of moorland known as Shipley Glen. The area has also gained quite a reputation for the number of excellent restaurants and takeaways covering virtually every cuisine in the world.
Alongside the Leeds-Liverpool Canal, former mill warehouses have been refurbished to offer a variety of businesses,including a waterbus service, restaurants and gym, while others have been converted into apartments.
There has also been a considerable number of new-build developments in the area
Nearby Saltaire is firmly on the tourist trail, drawing tens of thousands of visitors every year who marvel at the model village built by Sir Titus Salt, and the 1861 Gallery with its huge collection of works by Bradford-born artist David Hockney.
Other popular attractions in the area include Baildon Glen, Baildon Moor, St Leonard's Farm Park in Esholt and several parks including Norman Rae Playing Fields – known locally as Northcliffe Park and woods – Roberts Park at Saltaire and Crowghyll Park, which is home to Shipley's war memorial.
Until 1853, Shipley was an unremarkable market and textile town in Airedale, its name - from the Saxon for Sheep Field - betraying its history.
But in that year a man called Titus Salt came along.
The Industrial Revolution had choked the West Riding's manufacturing towns in filth - soot was turning the buildings a uniform black, human waste was turning what had been trout streams into open sewers.
Verminous, hungry and exhausted, the working population had swapped farm labouring for factory drudgery with all its attendant evils - drink, vice and drained spirituality.
Salt, himself a mill-owner, saw the condition of his workforce and was filled with pity - and with a vision.
At the edge of Shipley, where moorland dipped to the waters of the River Aire, he decided to make his vision real.
He had seen the conflict between 'masters' and 'men' at first hand as a young man when, in 1826, a strike at a Bradford mill had led to mob violence, wounding and death.
Now, as a successful manufacturer a quarter of a century later, he saw a way of leading his workers into a new way of life, away from the stink and stews of Bradford to a new place, a village to be built among fields and woods, with good fresh air and as much sunlight as could be had from a sky which touched the Pennines.
He would build it on the edge of Shipley, where there was a railway and a canal to bring in raw materials and take away the finished cloth.
At the heart of the village would be a mill, a grand mill built in the grand style, influenced by Italian design, light, airy - a good place to work.
Also in the village would be a hospital, almshouses, schools, places of worship. a village institute where people could learn, be entertained, have a window on the world. There would be parks and sports fields.
What there would not be would be pubs. Salt was not a prude, nor a teetotaller, but had seen the damage that drink could do to families.
And there would be houses the like of which his workforce had not even dreamed, in the slums they had inhabited.
The idea of model workplaces was not new. The reformer Robert Owen had created New Lanark half a century earlier. But Owen was a Socialist, while Salt was unabashedly a capitalist who believed the human condition could be improved hand in hand with the national economy.
What to call the new village? Here was Titus Salt, there was the River Aire. Combined, they made Saltaire. And Saltaire made Salt's fortune even greater, from worsteds and from alpaca, a light, lustrous fibre from a South American cousin of the lama which, as a fibre, was attractive but regarded as impossible to weave commercially. Salt found a way to weave it.
Nowadays the village is a tourist magnet and a popular place for homebuyers. The terraced houses are a long way from the stereotype back-to-backs of the industrial West Riding and the village retains a relaxed atmosphere to this day.
But Saltaire, and Shipley with it, is on the up. It is not a museum. Saltaire's mills complex houses two companies at the leading edge of communications technology. A new Holiday Inn has just opened. The future is arriving.
A town reared on fish and chips is now delighting in food from around the world, from tapas bars to one of the most up-market Indian restaurants around.
Antique shops, book stores and music shops now cluster round Salt's Mill.
And the mill itself, its interior glowing with the patina of age, now houses furniture shops, a diner and Saltaire's flagship, the 1853 Gallery, home to the biggest collection of works by David Hockney in the world.
The Bradford-born artist, who has keenly embraced technological advances, has even used a satellite to send his latest work by fax to the gallery - past, present and future in a harmony that would have pleased Titus Salt, a lover of music and concord.
Nestling in the Aire Valley between Bradford and Bingley are the mill towns of Shipley and Saltaire. Traditional markets are held on Monday, Friday and Saturday. The Leeds-Liverpool canal waterbus service starts at Shipley.
Apollo Canal Cruises - Wharf Street, Shipley, BD17 7DW. Tel: 01274 595914. Sails Easter-October, telephone for times. Fare payable. Stops at Wharf street, Shipley; Victoria Road, Saltaire; Hirst Wood Lock Swing Bridge; Fisherman's Inn, Dowley Gap; Park Road, Bingley. Group discounts and private hire available. Take a trip on a traditional narrowboat waterbus along the 200-year-old Leeds -Liverpool canal. West Yorkshire's oldest and the only Trans-Pennine canal still completely open to navigation. Five stopping points enable you to join the trip for one or more stages or the full round trip, which takes in the famous Five Rise lock at Bingley.
Bracken Hall Countryside Centre - Glen Road, Baildon, Shipley, BD17 5EA. Tel: 01274 584140. Opening times: May-August, Wednesday-Sunday, noon-5pm. April, Sept, Oct Wed, Sat, Sun noon-5pm. November-March, Wednesday and Sunday only, noon-5pm. Open Bank Holidays but closed two weeks Christmas and New Year. Free admission. Wheelchair access to centre, gardens and toilets. Many exhibits rely on touch, sight or sound so are suitable for the blind and deaf.
Shipley Glen - Immortalised in the song - "Meet Me Gwen In Shipley Glen" this wooded scarp was a popular place for mill workers and their families in late Victorian times In years gone by the Glen had a Toboggan Run but this was closed on Whit Sunday in 1900, after several people suffered serious injury. The stone circle opposite the Bracken Hall centre is a remnant of the Iron Age. Other rocky outcrops are: Number Nine Rock (a secret meeting place for illegal gamblers and courting couples), the Sentinel Rock, which has the appearance of an old man's face. Shipley Glen is also an ideal starting point for moorland walks.
Shipley Glen Tramway - Prod Lane, Baildon, Shipley, BD17 5BN. Tel: 01274 589010. Open weekends all year and certain weekdays. Santa Specials in December. Small fare payable. Cable hauled tramway which celebrated its centenary in 1995. After vandalism caused its closure in 1967 and after falling into disrepair, the tramway was restored by the Bradford Trolleybus Association in 1982.
Saltaire Brewery & Visitor Centre - County Works, Dockfield Road, Saltaire, Bradford, BD17 7AR; Tel: 01274 594959; e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org; website: www.saltairebrewery.co.uk. Opening times: The brewery and visitor centre is open strictly by prior arrangement, for groups of 15 or more on Thursday evenings 7pm and 9.30pm. Due to the fact we are a working brewery, health and safety considerations mean we cannot allow small children (under 10) into our Visitor Centre. Saltaire Brewery and Visitor Centre is a new state of the art micro-brewery. The brewery features a Visitor Centre with mezzanine bar and exhibition about the science of brewing.
Saltaire United Reformed Church - Victoria Road, Saltaire, BD18 3LA. Tel: 01274 597894; mobile: 07809275155; e-mail: email@example.com; website: www.saltaireurc.org.uk. Opening times: Monday to Sunday 2pm - 4pm from Easter - October. Open Sundays only from October to Easter. Bank Holidays 10am - 4pm. Services held Sundays at 10.30am. Cafe open on Sundays from 2pm and all day on Bank Holidays. The Church was built by Sir Titus Salt in 1859 to serve his staff who worked at the Mill within the village of Saltaire, now a world heritage site. The building is a unique example of Italianate religious architecture.
Museum of Reed Organs and Harmoniums - Victoria Hall, Victoria Road, Saltaire, Shipley, BD18 3LB. Tel: 01274 585601; e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. Opening times: Open all year Monday to Sunday, 9am to 5pm. Admission: Adults £2.50, adult concession £2, children £2. A display of approximately 100 reed organs in this private collection, from a tiny book harmonium to large 2 manual and pedal organs.
Salts Mill - Victoria Road, Saltaire. Saltaire is a perfect example of a Victorian village. Sir Titus Salt built what is now known as Salts Mill a grand textile mill in 1853, which employed over 3000 workers. He also built churches, schools and houses for the workforce, which still remains today. The Mill was purchased in 1987 and was transformed into Salt's Mill. The mill is now home to the 1853 Gallery and one of the largest collections of art by David Hockney, as well as a selection of shops and restaurants.The galleries are on three floors and are as follows: Ground Floor - There is a wide selection of David Hockney's art - from early drawings to recent oil paintings. At the end of this gallery there is an exhibition showing the history of Saltaire. Second Floor - More paintings and the popular Salt's Diner can be found on the second floor. Third Floor - On the third floor, there is a special show of opera sets, paintings and drawings, which were first exhibited at The Walker Art Centre, Minneapolis in 1983. There are also various shops throughout the Mill including: The Home, Book and Poster Shop, Kath Libbert Jewellery Gallery, Foothills, and Zeba.