West Vale Works, Greetland

I’ve feared this one for a while now. An empty Victorian mill won’t stay put for long, what with all that brownfield land underneath it. The magnificent West Vale Works in Calderdale will be demolished:

https://portal.calderdale.gov.uk/online-applications/applicationDetails.do?activeTab=summary&keyVal=O0U6L9DWL1400https://portal.calderdale.gov.uk/online-applications/applicationDetails.do?activeTab=summary&keyVal=O0U6L9DWL1400

West Vale Mill 3

Heritage England contemplated listing the building, but it would seem that if another example of said building exists (ie a Victorian Mill) then protection is not warranted, regardless of how important the building is to the landscape or local context. I’m glad this logic did not apply to the Colosseum.

 

West Vale Mill

The rows of terraces lead to the mill, telling the story of daily life in Victorian West Yorkshire.

West Vale Mill 2

 

No one really knows about West Vale. Some argue that it doesn’t exist, and it is in fact Greetland. I’ll leave that decision to the people who live there. I do know however that driving through this village just outside of Elland is West Yorkshire embodied. Photos sadly can not capture how to feels to move through this town past these monuments.

So perfect is the industrial townscape of West Vale, I considered moving there. The loss of this mill and the onset of suburbia in its place will personally devastate me. One by one, the places which embody our Northern identity are being sterilised. We long for authenticity in life, and allowing the market to dictate land use in this way will soon render England soulless.

3 responses to “West Vale Works, Greetland”

  1. adrian griffin says :

    My Grandad worked here all of his life and as a 7 year old child around 1970 he took me inside the small brown door off the main road…
    He had the keys and always opened up the mill in the morning,it was on a Saturday or Sunday and the mill was all empty.
    I went into a big room on the left and he let me jump on a large industrial Avery Weighing Scale that weighed the Bales.
    We then went into the lift which had open lattice gates and we went up to the 2nd or 3rd floor and he then took me to his school type desk which was half way down the room on the left by the windows.
    The room was full of machinery.
    He was an Overlooker… The late Mr Leslie Jenkins…
    I loved him very much he was amazingly kind to me….
    Very Sad that this fantastic Victorian complex is being destroyed and not restored.

    Mr Adrian Griffin

  2. Eric Verges says :

    Aw, this was a very nice post. In idea I want to put in writing like this additionally – taking time and actual effort to make a very good article… but what can I say… I procrastinate alot and certainly not appear to get one thing done.

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