Report on Serendipity Group Meeting - Saltaire Guided Tour, Friday, 8 November 2019
- Led by Wendy Harvey
Twenty-eight of us arrived in Saltaire at about 10.15am on a chilly but dry autumn morning. After a welcome hot drink many of us then looked around the mill, where Titus Salt's employees spent many noisy hours every day from 1853, when the huge mill opened. In 2001 it was designated a World Heritage Site by UNESCO and now houses paintings by David Hockney. Currently there is also an Ian Beesley photographic exhibition, with poems by Ian McMillan. Salt's Diner was being refurbished but there were several other options for food and drink.
At 1.30pm we met Maria Glot (who has given us a very interesting talk at two of our monthly meetings) in the church. I 'forgot' to warn those sitting near the front that she has a tendency to drag people into the little play they put on. Brian was one of the unlucky victims on this occasion; he spent the whole afternoon as Henry Dooley, her long-suffering husband and father to their 12 children 'with another on the way'.
Then we divided into two groups for our guided walk around Saltaire. The village took about 20 years to complete; each street was designed to contain a variety of different houses, so that those in authority occupying the larger properties could keep an eye on their neighbours. Some buildings even had a look-out tower providing further ways of ensuring that the 'inmates' adhered to Titus Salt's rules at all times. He did not allow animals, alcohol, excessive noise or washing hanging outside the houses. Personal hygiene was encouraged and those not washing often enough were fined 3d for each offence. Meetings were discouraged; groups of 8 or more were forbidden. 'Inmates' were expected to report misdemeanours to their mill manager and evictions were common in Saltaire. Not quite the philanthropist he might have wanted everyone to think he was, but Titus Salt did make an awful lot of money.
To read more about Titus Salt and Saltaire:
The heavy rain we'd had in the days before our trip to Saltaire mostly held off for our visit. However our luck was not to last, as we got stuck on the M62 for two and a half hours on the way home.
According to one motorist: "Big crash on the #m62 , 4 fire trucks, 7 ambulances and 10+ police cars so far ...."
Statement issued by West Yorkshire Police at 18.30 Friday 8th November:
We were called to the scene of a crash on the M62 eastbound between junction 29 and 30 at roughly 4.40pm
The crash involves two arctic lorries and two cars.
There appears to be no serious injuries.
The last comment is astonishing given the state of the two cars on the breakdown trucks we drove past once the traffic got moving again.
If you'd like to read about the visit Alex organised in October 2011:
- Report by Wendy Harvey
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