One morning in Haworth I hopped on the Brontëbus to Keighly and from there to Saltaire by train.
Saltaire is located near Bradford and is a Victorian model village, built in 1851 by Sir Titus Salt, a leading industrialist who wanted the workers of his woollen mills to be healthy and having good living quarters. Today Saltaire is a designated UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Salt built neat stone houses for his workers (much better than the slums of Bradford), wash-houses with tap water, bath-houses, a hospital and an institute for recreation and education, with a library, a reading room, a concert hall, billiard room, science laboratory and a gymnasium. The village had a school for the children of the workers, almshouses, allotments, a park and a boathouse” (wikipedia)
Saltaire offered recreational activities like bands and clubs, but there was also a strict no-alcohol policy!
Sir Titus died in 1876 and after the death of Titus son Saltaire was taken over by a partnership which included Sir James Roberts from Haworth. Roberts had worked in wool mills since the age of eleven and had quite the business interests in Russia.
Roberts came to own Saltaire, but chose to invest his money heavily in Russia, losing some of his fortune in the Russian Revolution. He endowed a chair of Russian at Leeds University and bought the Brontë’s Haworth Parsonage for the nation. (wikipedia)
Salts Mill had to close down in 1986, like many other textile mills but was bought in 1987 by Jonathan Silver, an entrepreneur from Bradford, who started to renovate it. Today Salts Mill houses an art gallery, a museum, coffee shops, an amazing book shop and also some industrial companies.
In December 2001 Saltaire was designated a World Heritage Site by UNESCO.
Saltaire, West Yorkshire, is a complete and well-preserved industrial village of the second half of the 19th century. Its textile mills, public buildings and workers’ housing are built in a harmonious style of high architectural standards and the urban plan survives intact, giving a vivid impression of Victorian philanthropic paternalism. (UNESCO)
After walking around the lovely village for a bit I met a fellow photographer. Carolyn and I met at a workshop in Italy and used my visit for a little catching up over ice cream and soup at the Salts Mill. Carolyn just had finished her project “In Between”, photographing girls between 10 and 12 years. At this stage in life when you´re half kid half teenager and lots of things are just a bit confusing.
The little bit bigger houses were the ones of the foremen.
Saltaire has been featured in various movies and TV shows like the upcoming Netflix-series by Julian Fellows “The English Game”.