Long-necked Alpaca Trio
The Otley Alpacas were obliging enough to pose for a photograph! Whilst they may seem out of place in this part of the world, the animal has played a part in the fate of Yorkshire for over a century and a half.
In 1834, a renowned entrepeneurial Englishman named Titus Salt noticed some bales of Alpaca fleece at a Liverpool warehouse. Trade ships arriving from the South Americas would use the fleece for cheap ballast during their ocean voyage and discard it as waste at the end of the journey.
Salt was already involved in the textile industry, owning four textile mills. He began acquiring quantities of this novel fleece and experimented with it extensively. Salt discovered that the material wove an exquisite cloth, one highly suitable for making expensive dresses for the English upper class. With the the manufacture of this cloth he became one of the richest and most influential men in Yorkshire, enhancing the local economy by creating jobs and livelihoods for thousands of people.