Bingley is located along the river Aire and running alongside it, is the Leeds and Liverpool Canal. Bingley’s been around since basically forever, but was given a market charter in 1212, which for all you readers who don’t know, that basically is the same as becoming an official town. I think!
Bingley is really quite lovely, but as far as I can tell, the thing people seem to associate with it most, is actually kind of out of town…it’s the Five Rise Locks on the canal. On Saturday, I set off along the canal to seek out some of the sights. I am not really sure if I even went in the right direction to reach the Five Rise Locks, but I do know that if I did, I actually got to Saltaire first, and was distracted by the happenings going on there. Surprise! It was Heritage Days Weekend. There were masses of people (okay, hundreds…but it’s a small village, so it seemed very crowded) all eating Mr. Whippys and sharing them with their masses of dogs.
I had no idea what was going on, but a very nice man from the canal restoration society told me where I was and why there was such a crowd. The artist, David Hockney, was born in nearby Bradford and still lives in these parts, and there was an exhibit of his work on at the Salts. The Salts is an old textile factory that’s now been turned into an enormous arts space. There’s a wonderful bookstore that takes up an entire floor! I also saw, in addition the Hockney works, an exhibit of photographs from the factory days, and one that chronicled textiles (by photo) from the sheep to the fabric.
I literally couldn’t get in anywhere to eat lunch, so I got a coffee and ate a protein bar (always travel with one!) and started the walk back to Bingley. The sign said 2 miles, but it seemed like a lot longer. At one point, I saw a sign that said “10 minutes to Bingley” but it took me about 30*! And I walk at a good clip. Maybe English miles and times are different to Canadian. I’ve included a bunch of pictures. Only God and WordPress know how and in what order they will be displayed, so I’ll just give you a random list of what they might be! The canal, a bridge, some people, some more canal shots, a wonderful huge bookstore, some Canadian geese (never far from home, am I?), a pack of notecards with a Pendleton Woolen Mills design, which really proves I’m not far from home as these were in the gift shop and Pendleton Woolen Mills originated in Oregon (now in Mexico), a photograph made from a huge camera with plates the size of each square and then put together to make a mural, a tent like structure at the textile exhibit that made me think it would be perfect for a writer, and whatever else I can find that might interest you! Oh, some Morris Dancers. When I was taking that picture, someone next to me in the crowd said, “Not many people do that anymore. They’re a dying breed.” and his friend said, “Literally.”
*Turns out the sign was for bicycles!