On the weekend of September 21st-23rd, there were three, inter-locking theatrical tours around the River Aire and Leeds-Liverpool canal, based on the ideas and stories we’ve gathered.
GREEN ROUTE: Weir to Weir
A riverside journey west from Roberts Park to Hirst Wood, along the grassy flood plain next to the Higher Coach Road estate – miraculously built on marshland in the 1950s!
Starting point: Park Lodge in Roberts Park, Saltaire.
BLUE ROUTE: Lock to Wharf
Take a step back in time with a barge journey on the canal — travelling through Hirst Lock, past Salts Mill, and over Bradford Beck! Can the canal’s history inform its future?
Starting point: Hirst Lock, at the end of Hirst Lane (starting from close to the point where Green Route ends).
RED ROUTE: Mill to Mill
From Shipley Wharf (where Blue Route ends) and back to the Aire, we weave our way through the post-industrial landscape of Shipley, recalling mill closures, bank crashes, and flood mayhem!
We did the Blue Route and were entertained and educated in equal measure. Our guide, Steve Bottoms, gave us an interesting insight into the history of the waterways. While Eddie Lawler sang a few songs which delightfully captured the mood of the waterways.
Blue Route finished - people gathering at the start of the Red Route