|River Aire and Mill|
Forgive me for the length of this post and duplication of material. Some of the other shots I wanted to leave out but for the purposes of the text, have had to leave them in.
|The Old Tramshed, Saltaire|
|Saltaire Congregational Church|
By way of background, social and working conditions were not ideal in Victorian West Yorkshire as you may recall with the health problems that faced the Bronte family in my Haworth post, not a million miles away albeit in the countryside.
As both Mayor and Employer, Titus Salt felt an obligation to improve both the pollution from his chimneys and working / health conditions for his workforce, but as Bradford was already over populated with industry, his efforts were fruitless.
|Saltaire Mill & River Aire|
|Saltaire Heritage village|
|Supervisors home ?? .... with garden !|
One thing that was forbidden in the newly built village was alcohol and public houses as he wanted the best from his workers. Tenants contracts would be terminated if they displayed unsuitable behaviour or mismanagement of their property thus losing their home and employment.
In addition to the housing, the infrastructure consisted of ....
|an Institute (Education and recreation facility known as Victoria Hall),|
|Saltaire school, (now for local collage use) ....|
|Saltaire Park ...|
|Saltaire Congregational Church|
|Salt and Light !!|
" Salt's motive's in building Saltaire remain obscure. They seem to have been a mixture of sound economics, Christian duty and a desire to have effective control over his workforce. There were economic reasons for moving out of Bradford and the village did provide him with an amenable, hand picked workforce....
... Yet Salt was deeply religious and sincerely believed that by creating an environment where people could lead healthy, virtuous, godly lives, he was doing God's work....
.... Perhaps also, diffident and articulate as he was, the village may have been a way of demonstrating the extent of his wealth and power. Lastly, he may also have seen it as a means of establishing an industrial dynasty to match the landed estates of his Bradford contemporaries. However Saltaire provided no real solution to the relationship between employer and worker. It's small size, healthy site and comparative isolation provided an escape rather than an answer to the problems of an urban society."
|the walk to work ...|
It was thought that Sir Titus placed "War and Peace" near the school to educate and unite the social classes in his society in order to avoid the uprising of the poor against the rich, something that was quite common elsewhere at the time. Education was seen by Salt as the way that the working class could improve themselves and thus closing the gap on class distinction in Victorian times. Determination and Vigilance represented the world of work, business and all the qualities required for the woollen trade.
As an aside to that, it's interesting that he may have been inspired by the thoughts of a contemporary Edward Ackroyd, but in turn the Lever Brothers (in the Port Sunlight post) followed a similar model many years later on the Wirral in Merseyside with their soap business, village and education of the workforce.
A second interesting fact that connects with something I mentioned earlier was that the inheritor of the business and village (James Roberts) donated some of his estate to preserve the Bronte's Parsonage at Haworth. This seems remarkable at a time when preservation was unheard of by at least 50 years.
|sunk ?? .... maybe not ....|
|Awaiting a large book order :-)|
|"Just one Cornetto, give it to me, delicious ice cream, from ...." not quite the Grand Canal of Venice !!|
Lastly with a twist of the tail, I wonder what Titus would make of the 21st century with a more unlikely trader overlooking the Salt Mill, seen in the reflection ....
|(Don't Tell Titus, Saltaire)|