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Colin Coates, historian
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Colin Coates writes: The diary shows events in Saltaire from 100 years ago, and is published weekly. The primary source of our information is the Shipley Times newspaper which was published every Friday throughout the war years.
We have where possible, used the exact wording from the newspaper. Where appropriate, there are links to soldiers' biographies and the snippets section.

Please feel free to contact me on with any comments or queries.

Saltaire War Diary: 15 February 1918

Sample advertisement

Saltaire War Diary February 1918

Julbilee Celebrations 1868 - 1918
PREACHER, SUNDAY, FEBRUARY 17th, AT 10.30 and 6 p.m.,
Rev. Charles Lee-Dunham (Southport).
Afternoon at 2.30,
United Sunday School Demonstration
SPEAKER: REV. R. A. JONES (Guiseley).
MONDAY, AT 7.30,
Great Public Meeting

Saltaire Times Friday 15th February 1918

Shipley Military Tribunal

The Tribunal were this favoured by the attendance at their meeting of two of the new proprietors of Saltaire Mills, in the persons of Mr E H Gates (chairman of the Bingley Tribunal) and Mr Henry Whitehead. This attendance evidences the keen interest taken by the new owners, and indicates a desire to fulfil their obligations to both the workpeople and the State.

Sir James Roberts

Following his stay at Grange, where he went to recuperate from his illness, Sir James Roberts, has now proceeded to Southport.

Salt Hospital

Report of Wounded Soldiers’ Comforts for the fourteen days ending Feb 13th;
Mr A Armitage – books
Mrs Coulter – tinned meat
Mr Shepherd – brawn
Mrs Walker – cakes
Mrs Halliday – cakes
Mrs Halliday, The Grove – tinned fish
Standard Girls Central Schools – sweets
Mrs Beaver, Bromley Road – games
Mrs Carpenter – eggs
Mrs Boardman – old linen
Salvation Army – large basket of fresh eggs (42)
Mrs C Roberts – magazines
Mr J C Fearnley – magazines
Anon – six large tins of fruit

On Feb 2nd, the wounded soldiers were entertained by the Weavers, Victoria Works, to a whist drive and tea at Friendly Hall. On Feb 4th, the children attending the Wrose Hill Sunday School gave a concert in the Hospital. On Feb 6th, the young ladies employed by the Windhill Co-operative Society entertained the soldiers at the Co-operative Hall to concert and tea. On Feb 9th, the employees of Fearnley Bros. entertained them at Musical Rooms to concert and supper.


The Food Production Committee have arranged to provide land suitable for allotment purposes in various parts of the district, and the number of applications is an extremely gratifying feature to the committee. Several of the sites have now been plotted out and notices sent to the applicants as to the areas allotted to them. A large number of applications were received which could not be dealt with, in consequence of the small number of plots available, but as the committee will, in all probability, have quite sufficient land in Albert Road to satisfy all comers, it is to be hoped that those who have not secured plots elsewhere will avail themselves of the land there.

Letter to the Editor – Collection of Tin-Foil and Scrap Metal

Sir, - I have this week sent to the general receiver of tin-foil and scrap metal for this district all the materials that has been collected and given in at the Hospital by the many people that have so kindly interested themselves in the collection.
I shall be grateful to you if you will kindly publish this, so that our friends may know that almost every kind of metal is useful, even the little bits required in the making of a linen button.
The articles that are inadmissible are: (1) Scrap Iron – galvanised, tinned or plain. Tinned iron including tins and various tinned lids. (2) Silvered paper from tea packets. This is coated with paint and not metal, and is therefore, useless.
Thank you for space in your paper.
Yours, H Mitchell – Salt Hospital, Feb 13th.

Saltaire War Diary: 8 February 1918

Sample advertisement

Saltaire War Diary, February 1918

A Public Lecture
Will be given in the above Club on SATURDAY.
FEBRUARY 9th, 1918, BY
F. J. Newboult, Esq.
Lecture to Commence at 6 O'clock.
Ladies are Specially Invited.

Saltaire Times Friday 8th February 1918

Shipley Military Tribunal

At the last meeting of the Tribunal the following were made with regards to workers at Saltaire Mills:-
J Mountain, age 34, married, class A, weaving overlooker, June 30th
Albert Flint Wilson, 37, married, B1, hydraulic press packer, adjourned 14 days
J Collinson, 28, single, A, spinning overlooker, June 30th
H Robinson, 32, married, C3, head clerk yarn office, June 30th
R Ilingworth, 35, married, C3, stoker, June 30th
John Arthur Lee, 21, single, B2, Tenter Hand
(Colin’s note – Albert Flint Wilson lived at 27 Shirley Street in Saltaire from around 1915. Joseph Mountain lived in Baildon. John Arthur Lee lived at 8 Birr Street in Shipley.)

Wounded Soldiers Entertained

The wounded soldiers from Sir Titus Salt’s Hospital were entertained on Friday by Mr & Mrs Joseph Lee and friends to a supper and concert. Requiring more room for the concert, this was readily granted by the executive of the Shipley and District Working Men’s Club, and the following programme was efficiently rendered by the artistes, who generously gave their services.
The songs, “Until,” and “My Task,” were excellently rendered by ex-Private W Ibbitson.
Songs with mandolin accompaniment entitled “Swing me in the moonlight” and “When the great big dawn is shining,” were given by Mrs B Swithenbank.
A humorous song, “Railway Porter,” was contributed by ex-Private Joe Fox, who also gave imitations, together with a solo on piece of cycle tube.
Miss E Lee sang with taste, “Moorish Maiden” and “Perfect Day.”
Master H Robinson gave a well-played pianoforte solo.
Glees were rendered by the Shipley and District W.M. Musical Union, who were conducted by Mr S T Simpson.
“Absent” and “God send you back to me” were admirably vocalised by Miss L Wigglesworth.
Mr W Cryer (one of the Governors of the hospital) who had promised to preside, was unavoidably absent. A letter of apology, enclosing 5s, to be spent in cigarettes, etc. for the wounded soldiers, was received from Mr Cryer, who also wrote there president of the club, Mr J Wall, asking him to officiate in his stead.
A collection was made and this realised 2s each for the whole of the soldiers at the hospital. One of the wounded soldiers in a neat speech cordially thanked the promoters on behalf of his comrades. This closed a highly successful evening’s entertainment.

Whist Drive

On Saturday last a whist drive and fancy dress ball in aid of the Shipley Prisoners War Fund, arranged by Mr W Storey, took place at the Victoria Hall, Saltaire. There were above 480 people present.
A very enjoyable evening was spent, Mr A Slingsby very kindly provided the orchestra. Messrs Harrison and Hardy acted as M.C.’s for the dancing and Mr J Eastwood was M.C. for the whist drive. The whole of the expenses were provided by friends, also the prizes for the best fancy costumes and whist drive.
Miss Alderson won the first prize as an Indian Squaw.
Mr Stanley Dobson as a Spanish Brigand was awarded second prize.
Third prize was given to Mrs F Staniforth as a lady jockey.
Mr Storey was assisted by a number of workers from the Saltaire Mills, also by Mrs C H Simmonds (chairman), Mrs Lodge (secretary), and Mrs George Gill and other members of the committee of the Shipley Prisoners of War Fund, who worked very hard to make the effort a success.
The fund will receive a sum of about £24 as a result of the effort. The Committee wish to express their thanks to the ladies and gentlemen who so readily gave their services to make the evening such an enjoyable and successful one.
(Colin’s note - £24 is worth c£1,300 in 2018.)


The hon. treasurer of the Shipley Soldier’ and Sailors’ Comforts Fund desires to acknowledge the receipt of £7 10s (per Mr A Dean) this being the proceeds of an entertainment held at the Victoria Hall, on Jan 26th.

Rose Show

The Saltaire Rose Show, which in pre-war days was such a great attraction both from a social and gardening point of view, looks like again being abandoned. The officials of the society again feel that they have no other option in the matter but to cancel the exhibition in view of the conditions arising out of the war.


Hutley – On February 3rd, at 2 Daisy Place, Saltaire, Sarah Ann Hutley. Interred at Nab Wood Cemetery February 6th.

Saltaire War Diary: 1 February 1918

Sample advertisement

That lasting smooth clean shaving edge.

Saltaire Times Friday 1st February 1918

Saltaire Mills

The new owners of Saltaire Mills and of the housing property and institutions which belonged to the firm of Sir Titus Salt, Bart, Sons & Co., Ltd., took over the management of their recent purchase this morning, the transfer being affected without any ceremony or any obvious appearance of change.
When the workers arrived at the mills this morning they found posted on the premises a notice from the new directors which read as follows:-


In taking upon ourselves the responsibility of the ownership of Saltaire and the management of the mills, we desire to inform all who are employed here of our sincere hope for the establishment of the most cordial relationships.
We wish to assure those concerned that every practicable measure will be taken to maintain continuity of employment on satisfactory terms.
It will be obvious that, under present conditions, we may experience difficulties in securing adequate and continuous supplies of raw material to keep the whole of the machinery running, but no effort will be spared to obtain everything possible.
We hope for the loyal co-operation of all in the endeavour to maintain the high reputation of Saltaire.

The three directors of the new firm were in attendance at the mill at an early hour on Friday morning, when they met some of the heads of departments. The transfer has been effected without any break in the continuity of the work, and there was a little indication inside the mills as outside of the change which had taken place in the management.

War Hospital

The following gifts have been received towards the Wounded Soldiers’ Comforts at the Saltaire Auxiliary Hospital:-
Mrs Coulter – sausages
Mrs Halliday, Claremont – cakes
Mrs Halliday, The Grove – tinned salmon
Mr Shepherd – brawn
Girls’ Central school (7th standard) – books, sweets, cigarettes, fruit
The children Crag Road school – cigarettes
J Smith Ltd. – 36lbs marmalade
Mrs C Roberts – eggs
Mrs Carpenter – eggs

In the last two weeks the men have been entertained as follows:-
Jan 18th – The weavers employed by Mr C F Taylor Shackleton entertained the wounded soldiers at the Clarendon Rooms to tea and concert.
Jan 21st – The Bradford Shell Factory gave an excellent concert in the hospital.
Jan 22nd – The weekly whist drive
Jan 26th – The mem attended a concert by invitation of the “Dutch Entertainers” at the Victoria Hall.
Jan 28th – The Glen Quartette again entertained the soldiers at the hospital, and a most enjoyable evening was spent.

The Library report for the month of December showed the number of borrowers’ cards in forces as 3,299, and the issue of books as – Saltaire, 5,831; Windhill, 3,112.

Saltaire War Diary: 25 January 1918

Sample advertisement

Transcription: Annual SALE of Men's & Boys' CLOTHING
Commences TO-DAY (Friday).
A splendid opportunity of buying at old prices. Owing to the increasing scarcity
Briggate, Shipley.

Saltaire Times Friday 25th January 1918

Saltaire Mills Sold for £2,000,000

It is announced today, that the sale of the business carried on under the style of Sir Titus Salt, Bart., Sons and Co. (Limited), Saltaire Mills, Saltaire, has been completed by Sir James Roberts, Bart., who has been the sole proprietor for over twenty years. The actual transfer was signed yesterday.
The purchasers are Sir James Hill, Bart., M.P., and his two sons, Mr Arthur James Hill and Mr Albert Hill, together with Mr Henry Whitehead and Mr E H Gates, all of whom have already large financial interests in the Bradford trade. Between them, the new proprietors form a combination familiar with the worsted industry, from the raw material to the manufactured article.
The first transfer of this important textile concern was in 1892, when Sir (then Mr.) James Roberts, Mr John Maddocks, the late Mr Isaac Smith, and Mr John Rhodes acquired the business, the village, and the whole of the extensive estates. Five years later, Sir James assumed entire responsibility; but unfortunately he has lost three of his four sons, and the remaining son is now in the Army. Handicapped further by indifferent health, Sir James Roberts has felt compelled to shed his commercial responsibility.
The new proprietors will take possession of the business and the village as from February 1. The purchase price is just under £2,000,000, but Saltaire Park, Milner Field, and the Knoll are not included. These are retained by Sir James Roberts, and the Saltaire Institute, Infirmary, and the Almshouses are in the hands of a governing body.
This morning the following announcement, in which Sir James bids farewell to his employees, was posted upon the gate of the mills:-
In consequence of a serious breakdown in my health, I am reluctantly compelled with much regret, to sever my connection with Saltaire. In accordance with my usual practice, I should like to meet you face to face to tell you this, but such a meeting is, in my present state of health, impossible.
I thank you for your steadfast loyalty during the twenty five years of my work at Saltaire. We have rejoiced together on happy occasions, and we have been upheld by your sympathy in the bereavements we have suffered. These twenty five years have been full of strenuous and enjoyable labour, for it is true that life’s highest pleasures depend upon the steady execution of life’s duties.
But at the entrance of my seventieth year of my life I feel that the time has come for me to rest, and my medical advisers urge upon me the absolute necessity of immediate relief from all business responsibilities.
My last message to you all is one of sincere thanks for the co-operation and continued support which you have given to me and mine in the great enterprise at Saltaire.
Yours very sincerely, JAMES ROBERTS.

(Colin’s note - £2,000,000 in 1918 is worth c£110,000,000 in 2018)

Missing Soldier

Private J F Carr, Machine Gun Corps., is reported missing since 25 October 1917. Before the war he was employed in the weaving department at Saltaire Mills, and was well known locally as the scorer for the Saltaire Cricket Club Second Eleven. He was also prominently connected with the Saltaire Men’s Own, and the Saltaire Horticultural Society. He had been on the Western front for 16 months, and just previously to being reported missing had been home on leave. His family have the deep sympathy of all friends in their anxiety and any news concerning him would be welcome if sent to 60 George Street, Saltaire.    

Public Notice

Shipley District Council – Allotments
The Council having acquired Land in Albert Road, Saltaire Road and Manor Lane for Allotment purposes, the food Production Committee are Open to Receive Applications from Ratepayers for Plots for the Cultivation of Vegetables, &c.
The area of each Allotment would be approximately 200 square yards, and Applications should be forwarded to the Undersigned not later than the 31st January.
Isaac Lindow – Clerk of the Council – 23 January 1918.

Saltaire War Diary: 18 January 1918

Sample advertisement

Saltaire War Diary, January 1918
Transcription: A Local Want has been met by the opening of a
SHOP AT SALTAIRE Where a Complete Stock of the latest
Is on view. Machines of any make Repaired or Exchanged.
Apply for Terms of Easy Payment.
Gordon Terrace, 53 Bingley Road, Saltaire.

Saltaire Times Friday 18th January 1918

Comforts Fund

The hon. treasurer acknowledges with thanks the receipt of the sum of £16 12s 7d total gross proceeds of whist drive and dance held in Victoria Hall, Saltaire, on the 14th December last.
This function, attended with such success, was the result of much careful and assiduous effort on the part of Mrs Hirst, Mr A Slingsby and others. The prizes for the winners at the whist drive were given by Councillors F Rhodes and Luther Shackleton and several donations in money were received which are included in the amount above acknowledged.
Several of the Shipley Clubs were appealed to and contributed viz.: Shipley Working Men’s Club £1 10s and the Woolcombers, £1 1s. As a side line a doll, presented by Councillor T Hill, was dressed and named by Mrs Hirst. This name was guessed (at a charge of 3d each) by no less than 431 different people, realising £5 7s 9d. The doll was ultimately appreciated by Mrs John Greenwood, who guessed the name correctly, viz., “Sarah.”
It should be stated that this was a voluntary effort, entirely on behalf of the Christmas Gifts Fund for Shipley Soldiers’ and Sailors.

Charity Concert

The concert promoted principally by Miss Hannah Mitchell (matron of the Military Hospital, Saltaire) and Mr J B Fearnley, of Shipley, given in the Victoria Hall, Saltaire, on Sunday evening last, was well attended, bearing in mind the fact that there has been considerable concert promotions for charitable purposes within the last few months.
The artistes, all secured “service free” were Miss Annie Firth (soprano) and Miss May Rogers (violinist), who have both done much useful and valued service for the Y.M.C.A. cause, etc.; Mrs S Whittingham, a very acceptable contralto; Private Mark Norris (tenor) and Seaman Fred Pickles, both at present in the Military Hospital. Mr W Cannon Dalby was the elocutionist, and in addition selections were played by the Baildon Orchestra, under the conductorship of Mr A Carpenter, and part songs were sung by the Saltaire Male Voice Choir (Mr Fred Bradshaw conductor).
As a result of energetic efforts, the support of a considerable number of the local mill workers and general public was secured, and those who gathered to hear the programme were evidently well pleased, for there was frequently a desire to have and hear more, though, the programme naturally being a lengthy one, their wishes could not be gratified. The programme was well sustained throughout, and generally homely type of items undoubtedly roused the imaginations and kindled the enthusiasm of the audience.
The takings at the door were £7 8s 6d, and the programmes sold beforehand amounted to £8 15s, making a total of £16 3s 8d. Though the kindness of several interested parties the small expense entailed in the arrangements is borne privately and the whole of the gross proceeds have been handed over in equal shares as intended to the Shipley Town’s Comforts Fund, the Shipley District Nursing Association, and the Y.M.C.A. Huts Fund.
Councillor Thomas Hill was the chairman at the concert.

(Colin’s note - £16 is worth c£850 in 2018.)

A Gift from U.S.A.

Messrs. John Baistow, late of Shipley, and now living at Camden, New Jersey, U.S.A has sent through Mrs Ellis, of Albert Road, Saltaire, £5 12s to the Comforts Fund for wounded soldiers at the Salt’s Auxiliary Military Hospital. This sum represents the money that would, under happier circumstances have been spent upon Christmas presents to the family. This is the second contribution sent from Mr Baistow to Shipley for War charity.

Saltaire Institute Society

A highly interesting lecture on “Waves and Ripples” was delivered at the Institute, Saltaire, on Wednesday evening, by Mr W P Winter, B.Sc., chief science master at Salt Schools. Mr W Popplestone (Director of Education, Shipley) presided and there was a good attendance. The lecture was amply illustrated throughout by experiments in wave motion and by lantern slides, mostly original, a few, however, having been taken from the negatives of some of the finest experimenters in the subject.
At the close a hearty vote of thanks was accorded to Mr Winter on the motion of Mr W K Plunkett, seconded by Mr Walter Scott.


The funeral took place on Saturday, at Nab Wood Cemetery, of Mr C W Brown, of George Street, Saltaire, who passed away on the previous Wednesday, at the age of 57 years. The deceased who had been in ill health for about a year, was a member of the West Ward Liberal Club, and of the Liberal Two Hundred.
He leaves behind a wife and a family of seven – three sons and four daughters. The youngest son, Sergeant Arthur John Brown, was one of the first Shipley lads to join up. He went through the Dardanelles campaign, and later was awarded the Military Medal, for gallantry in France.
The minister who officiated at the funeral was the Rev P Drummond Pringle. There were several floral tokens.

Saltaire War Diary: 11 January 1918

Sample advertisement

Saltaire War Diary, January 1918

GRAND Charity Concert
SUNDAY JANUARY 13TH, 1918, At 8 p.m.
MR. W. CANNON DALBY, Elocutionist.
Proceeds for Shipley Soldiers' and Sailors' Comforts Fund. Y.M.C.A. Huts Funds, and the Shipley District Nursing Association.
Admission by Programmes.
On Sale: 1s. 6d, 1s., and 6d.

Saltaire Times Friday 11th January 1918

Soldier Killed

Private Lawrence Emmott, second son of Mr Charlie Emmott, of 8 Ostler Road, Shipley, has been killed in action. He joined the Grenadier Guards in August 1915, when 19 years of age, and went to France eleven months ago. Recently he married a young lady from Spalding, who resides at Shipley. Previous to donning khaki, he was a jobbing gardener. 
Private Jas. Emmott, elder brother of the deceased hero, has been serving with the Northumberland Fusiliers for two years, and has been in Salonica about eighteen months. In civil life he was a warp twister.

Shipley Military Tribunal

At a meeting on Friday evening decisions of those residing in Saltaire, were as follows:-
John C Berry, 26, married, C3, percher, Sir T Salt and Co., relegated to the Reserve.
Levi Firth, 18, single, A4, cramper, Sir T Salt and Co., refused, but not to be called up before February 28th.   
H Rawnsley, 18, single, cloth finisher, Sir T Salt and Co., refused, but not to be called up before February 28th.


The concert kindly given at Saltaire Institute by Miss Clay and Miss Brown in aid of the St John Ambulance men from the Shipley division who are on active service was a great success, nearly £20 being realised.

Salt’s War Hospital

The wounded soldiers were entertained by the ladies of the St. John’s Ambulance Committee at the concert given at the Victoria Hall, on January 2nd. On January 3rd the wounded soldiers had a Christmas Party and sent out invitations to the members of the Wounded Soldiers’ Comforts Fund Committee. The evening passed away very pleasantly. On January 7th, the soldiers attended the matinee at the Princes Theatre, Bradford, and enjoyed it very much. On January 9th, the weekly whist drive was held at the hospital.
The result of the dance, concert and whist drive held on Boxing Day at the Victoria Hall, for the Handicrafts Club for Shell Shock Military Patients was very good. The gross takings were £42 16s 10d and the expenses £5 19s 1d. The amount paid to the treasure of the club was £36 17s 9d.  


10 January 1918 St Peters Shipley
Joseph Hainsworth, 54, widower, yarn scourer of 9 Fanny Street, Saltaire married Elizabeth Bennett, 46, widower (nee Ponder) of 12 Fanny Street, Saltaire.

In Memoriam

Trotter – In loving memory of Harold, the beloved son of Sarah Elizabeth and the late Stephenson Trotter, who departed this life January 11th, 1917.
“We miss him most who love him best”   
From Mother, Brothers and Uncle – 33 Ada Street, Saltaire.

(Colin’s note – Stephenson Trotter died 5 February 1907, aged just 34, and was buried in Nab Wood Cemetery, Shipley. Harold, who died when he was aged just 13, was buried alongside him. Sarah Elizabeth joined them when she died 11 May 1953, aged 81.)

Saltaire War Diary: 4 January 1918

Sample advertisement

Saltaire War Diary, January 2018

Transcription: THE TANK! THE TANK!
Obtains for YOU the best value on earth.
Suits, Trousers, Blankets, Sheets, Ticks, Shirts.
Jewellery, Ornaments, Clocks, &c.
43, Briggate, SHIPLEY.
J. B., B., B.B., M., E.A. Blackwood & H.A. Lodge.

Saltaire Times Friday 4th January 1918

Military Medal

Corporal Greenwood Bradley, of 42 Rhodes Street, has been awarded the Military Medal for digging out men under heavy shell fire on December 6th. He is attached to C Company of the Bradford Territorials.


The following comforts have been received for wounded soldiers at the Salt’s Hospital:-
Mr Crabtree – 7 rabbits
Mrs Halliday – cakes
Mrs Halliday, The Grove, - tinned fruit
Mrs Coulter – sausages
Mr Shepherd – brawn
Mrs Jennings – cigarettes
Mr Cox and customers, Royal Oak Hotel – cigarettes


Mr W Ingham, 71 Victoria Road Saltaire, wishes to thank all friends who subscribed to the Fund for the Relief of the Sick of Saltaire, to say that the amount realised was £18 12s 7d. Any further subscriptions will be thankfully received.

[Colin's note: W Ingham - is the father of Fred & Harold Ingham.]

Job Advert

Sir Titus Salt’s Hospital – Wanted, a Cook; good wages given; apply by letter stating qualifications to the Matron, The Hospital, Saltaire. The envelopes should be marked “Applications.”

In Memoriam

Lambert – In loving memory of our dear mother, who died January 5th, 1914.
“Too dearly loved to be forgotten”
- From her Daughter’s Sons, on Active Service, and Miss B Lambert, 7 Mawson Street, Saltaire.

[Colin’s note – Catherine Elizabeth Burton was born 1853 in Ripon. She married William Lambert, a labourer, 25 February 1872 at St Stephens in Burmantofts. Catherine was the mother of Arthur, Fred and John George Lambert .]


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