It’s another wet and windy day today so we have decided to go to Bradford. The trains seem to be running more normally and we have taken the 9:29 York train which stops at Bradford Interchange.
As the train trundles east through a green landscape I have been hoping that we might emerge from the clouds but so far that hope has not materialized. I think we shall just have to put up with the rain.
The train passes through Preston as do many services. Perhaps Preston would be a good place to stay another time as every journey goes through it anyway. On all notices and destination boards, it is carefully noted as “Preston Lancashire” as though there is another Preston with which we must not confuse it.
Of course, many important destinations lie across the border in that other county. You know the one I mean, the county of the white rose, Yorkshire. Perhaps it is important to some people to be reminded where each town is lest they stray unknowingly into enemy territory.
Just as we arrived in Bradford the sun came out and then went away again…
For lunch we decided it was time we had the first curry of our trip. Bradford, after all, should be a good place for curry. We found the Tulsi vegetarian restaurant in Centenary Square offering an eat-as-much-as-you-like lunch buffet. Sorted!
I was pleased to see that Bradford, in common with other northern cities, has a free bus, called Bradford Freecitybus, serving the central area. I think this is a good idea and very practical.
We didn’t stop to ride the free bus this time because we were heading for Saltaire Village, mill and workers’ village built in the second half of the nineteenth century by the philanthropist mill-owner Titus Salt.
The larger buildings have now been put to alternative use, for example by private companies and the NHS, but the hospital and houses – built on a plan reminiscent of almshouses – still exist and are very stylish.
We took tea in the Victoria Tea Room then climbed back up the hill to the main road. As we had a day ticket for the bus we might as well make use of it so we took the bus onward to Keighley.
I don’t want to do Keighley less than justice so will say nothing about it as we were not there long enough to gain more than a brief impression. We did notice some interesting buildings along with the usual urban dross of modern times. Though the sun made an attempt to break through, it failed, and so there wasn’t much incentive in the wind and rain to explore and take photos. We made for the little railway station, which must have been quite pretty in its heyday, and took a train back to Bradford.
From Keighley, the train arrives at Bradford Warrior Square, thus providing us with an opportunity to ride on the free bus to the other station, Bradford Interchange, where we take the train back to Blackpool. The bus is small but well designed and comfortable. The bus became crowded at certain points, as it was now rush hour, but here it comes into its own as there is no ticket checking to slow things down.
I would like to see some free routes tried in London, for example, circular routes linking stations and important bus interchanges, as I think this speeds travel and enhance life in the capital. I doubt whether it will ever happen, though, obsessed as everyone is with “value for money” and making services “pay their way”.
The journey back was without incident but in Blackpool we found ourselves facing a stiff wind off the sea as we walked back to the hotel, It was good to get indoors and made a warming cup of tea.