Crowds warm to alpacas as sun shines on Saltaire Heritage Weekend

Bradford Telegraph and Argus: An alpaca at Saltaire World  Heritage Weekend gets a hug from owner An alpaca at Saltaire World Heritage Weekend gets a hug from owner

Hercules the baby alpaca was a hit with crowds who came to celebrate the 2013 Saltaire World Heritage Weekend.

And after weeks when woolly coats have sadly been the norm, the curly eight-month-old looked a little over-dressed in the bright spring morning sunshine on Saturday.

Event organiser Rob Martin claimed the good weather was all his doing – with the help of a powerful friend. He said: “I must admit I had a word with Titus Salt and said ‘make sure the weather’s right.’ “He obviously sorted it out and it’s great to see loads of people out in the sunshine learning what Saltaire is all about. It helps to raise the village’s profile and the wool from alpacas like these is how old Titus made his money in the first place!” Mr Martin said.

Hercules and two adults from Greenside Alpacas, Kirkby Lonsdale paraded down to a penned area where the good-natured beasts were patted and stroked.

Beside them in the bandstand, local artist Lou Sumray was helping visiting children decorate cut-out-cardboard versions of the money-spinning beasts.

“We come here every year and I have to say this time we’ve been very lucky with the weather.

“Wind is our worst nightmare, but this is great,” she said, surrounded by youngsters all busy with wool, glue and colouring pens.

After a sunny drink at the Roberts Park cafe, many visitors then made their way over to Shipley Glen Tramway to be met with a glimpse of the past. Volunteers running the historic 19th century attraction had dressed up in suitably Victorian outfits, including tram operator Graham Glover.

“I used to come her as a child as most Bradford kids did and after retiring I got involved with helping out at the tramway a year ago and have been a driver for two months,” said Mr Glover, who was a buyer for electrical firm Pitts Wilson Electrical of Bradford.

Also new to the famous tram was 4-month-old labrador puppy Flynn, making his first-ever trip down the line with owner Dianne Wyatt, one of the tramway’s trustees.

“I’m sure he’ll get used to it!” she said as Flynn wagged his tail happily all the way.

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