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My blog nick-name is SIR HUGH. I'm not from the aristocracy - my middle name is Hugh which relates to the list of 282 hills in Scotland compiled by Sir Hugh Munro in 1891. I climbed my last one (Sgurr Mor) on 28th June 2009


Thursday, 28 October 2021

Katie update and Salts Mill

Wednesday 27th October 2021

Granddaughter Katie is 10!

We had a trip to Salts Mill - a famous "destination" which includes exhibition of many David Hockney paintings. My third visit. Nostalgia for me.  Hockney was a contemporary of mine at Bradford Grammar School albeit a year ahead of me. Later he was a familiar sight pushing an old baby's pram round Bradford full of paintings and easels. It was rumoured that on receiving his "O" Level maths paper he scrawled across it "I can't do maths but I can draw" and so he did.

Our reason for the visit is that Katie is showing some talent for art. Even at her age she has had discussions about further education in that direction with her teachers.

We lunched in Salts Diner. The paper napkins had a logo of a dog printed, our waitress had no knowledge of the derivation. Our ever present mobile phones were asked to search. 'Tis Stanley, David H's pet dachshund doodled by him on a napkin during a visit to Salts.

Katie is constantly inventive and finds endless ways of entertaining herself. Stanley was seized upon, in what one may think macabre fashion, but not so,  with tenderness Katie knifed into Stanley's middle and informed us he was having an operation. The story continued with various stages of stitching up, recuperation, convalescence and tender care. I think all this emanated from a recent wound sustained by Aunty Kate's Springer Spaniel with a similar backstory which Katie has been involved with.

The Stanley saga continued even on the car journey home when Stanley was passed to Mum for careful care when Katie anticipated nodding off.

I was once again massively impressed with the Hockney paintings and in particularly those painted fairly recently using the iPad. I have created my own modest efforts using Photoshop Elements on my iMac.

What a super day out with Katie and Mum. Katie was a pleasure to be with the whole day and I think absorbed some of  the significance and importance of the art.

Katie views a chair constructed from a sort of anti-perspective Hockney painting

Bar a few crusts and one small portion finished off by me Katie scoffed the lot.


Katie operating

Katie and David

Watching an illuminated show of some of the iPad paintings. Stunning.

Just part of the exhibition of iPad paintings depicting the coming of Spring.

For BC - this one reminded me of the ex-WW2 ammunition dumps we found north of Dolphinholme:


  1. A grand day out.
    There is lots to chew over there.
    I remember we parked in the grounds of Salts Mill on our straight line walk. I've not been inside for years.
    Fancy the waitress not knowing the meaning of the dog motive — lack of staff training there. What was the fate of the dog once it was back in Arnside? Kate is obviously showing talent, which I know will be encouraged, and will remember that visit in years to come. As they say, it could be the “shape of things to come”.
    I see in that painting the resemblance, artistic of course, to the lane near Dolphinhome. It would look rather good in your study.

  2. Happy birthday, Katie! I remember reading about your birth here in your Grandfather's blog; a happy day, indeed.

  3. BC - Staff training, product knowledge,June 2014 (The Macmillan Way I think.) I spent a night in Woodhall Spa where I later learned there is a massive monument to the Dambusters - they flew from a nearby airfield. Here is an extract from my blog:

    "I have booked in at another B and B and am eating in The Lancaster, a so called brasserie. The name and interior decor confirm a connection with The Dam Busters, photos etc. When I asked the bar staff exactly what that connection was they had no idea, not even heard of a The Dambusters, went off to consult management and came back to say nobody knew! So much for "we will never forget." When I ordered I asked if the chicken dish was on the bone, they said no. Part of it was. The food was good including a surprise amuse bouche in consideration of time taken to cook the main. I reckon the chef here is the only one who is competent. Shame.

    I passed on my comments to the manager before leaving.


    The Crow - Hi Martha - good to hear from you. I hope you are not getting into trouble for clandestine use of the company's computer. I can't believe how quickly those ten years have passed.

  4. No troubles...I was on my lunch break, when visiting blogs is allowed. :)

  5. Your post caused me to do a little Googling about the Salts Mill, which from the photos looks to be an impressive building in its own right. Combined with what's inside, it has earned a slot in my "places we must visit" list.

  6. Gayle - apart from those attributes there is a railway station straight outside and the superb Dales Highway starts there (not to be confused with equally superb Dalesway.)

  7. I used to walk through the Salt area and - if I thought at all - dismissed what I saw as "just buildings". Buildings were an adult construct and thus of no importance to me in my perpetual state of early adolescent fever. They were not the alloy drop handlebars I longed to acquire for my bike; more especially they had nothing to do with "girls", a subject that seemed in danger of crowding out all other ideas from my desperately limited brain.

    Now the area has been sanctified to the point where the travel sections of the Sunday newspapers - ever Metrocentric in attitude - use them as a justification for urging residents of SE England to "go North". Saying, in effect, the North is not as bad as most people (ie, the residents of SE England) think.

    For a few moments - looking at your first two photos - I was astonished by a seeming impression of grimness. Not at all what I remembered. Then I realised that this was the mill from which flowed the money that financed all the subsequent acts of charity. The bits I remembered were the residential houses; quite substantial (certainly compared with latterday council housing), proof of a genuine spirit of enlightenment. But no pubs, of course.

    Saltaire becomes a measurement in time. With adolescence behind me I am able to approve of Sir Titus's practical philanthropy. And thus we move on to Katie as another way in which time is retrospectively measured. Notably how society constantly misjudges children. The detached surgery Katie practices on Stanley is quite in keeping with her age. I remember being appalled by Melissa's ghoulishness as a child regarding something quite horrible if now forgotten: perhaps the body of a dead dog in the street. Society steps in, imagining that so-called alarming reading matter will "harm" young readers. In fact the condemned material often turns out to be exactly the sort that fascinates them. Condemning it almost certainly ensures they will read it.

    But here's a truly salutary example of the children/time equation. Sarah is just three years away from the age I was when I retired. In three years she and I should be sharing the same period of life if it weren't for the fact that traditional retirement ages are now very much a thing of the past. Eheu fugaces...

  8. RR - At least a lot of that old stonework grimed by the Industrial Revolution has been cleaned up. As I have commented before many of the outlying villages around Bradford have become attractive well-to-do desirable residential locations.

    Your reference to the passage of time reminds me that I have now been drawing the pension from my erstwhile employment with Yorkshire Bank for longer than I worked for them.