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Image: The Illustrated London News
Mill Workers who lived in Saltaire
Researched by Colin Coates

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Kaye, Joseph
5 December 1836 – 1893

Joseph Kaye was the son of Christopher Kaye. Christopher was born c1799 in Leeds. He married Margaret (date of marriage and maiden name unknown).

Joseph, the second youngest of seven children was born 5 December 1836. He was baptised 22 February 1837 at St Andrew’s, Keighley. His mother, Margaret, died in 1847. In 1851 widower Christopher was living with his children in Keighley. He was a shoemaker and Joseph was a heald maker. Christopher died in 1852.

Joseph married Martha Wilby 26 September 1857 at Bradford Cathedral. They had at least seven children. In 1861 they were living in Bowling. By 1871 they were living at 4 Harold Place in Saltaire, where they remained the rest of their lives. In February 1873 Joseph was a reed and slay maker employed at Saltaire Mills when he was attacked by a woman named Hannah Mellor.

Joseph died in 1893; Martha died in 1902.


Keighley, Charles

Keighley, Charles - WW1 Roll of Honour


King, Esther (nee Llewellyn)
2 May 1915 – 2001

Esther Llewellyn was the daughter of James Llewellyn. James was born 26 March 1880 in Millom, Cumberland. He married Esther Steele 13 October 1901 at Holy Trinity church in Millom. James & Esther had seven children all born in Millom, who would all eventually work in Saltaire Mill.

John Charles (1902-1957) 3 Lapstone Road
Olive (1903-1970) 3 Lapstone Road
Frank (1905-1963) 20 Devonshire Road
James (1906-1984) 17 Lapstone Road
Amy (1907-1985) 17 Lapstone Road
Esther (1915-2001) 17 Lapstone Road
Dorothy (1917-1991) 17 Lapstone Road

In 1911 the family were living at 17 Lapstone Road in Millom, where James was an iron ore miner.

Esther, their sixth child, was born 12 December 1907 at 17 Lapstone Road.

Click to magnify

Image: The Llewellyn children

In 1919 Esther moved with her family to Saltaire. In 1919 she lived with her parents at 2 Edward Street, (originally 7 Bath Buildings). From 1920 they were at 26 George Street.

Esther attended the Central Girls’ School, Saltaire Road, Shipley.

In November 1928 she was awarded a free pass for one year to the Shipley Swimming Baths for passing an exam scoring 48 marks out of a possible 60. With her younger sister, Dorothy, Esther was a soloist in a Missionary Play produced by the members of the Shipley Methodist Churches in December 1933. Along with her siblings, Esther worked at Saltaire Mills and was a member of Saltaire Mills Gymnastic Club.

Esther married Ellis King (born 25 January 1915) at Saltaire Methodist Church 26 June 1937.

Report from the Shipley Times 3 July 1937: -

The marriage took place at the Saltaire Methodist Church, on Saturday of Mr Ellis King, only son of Mr. and Mrs. Andrew King, of 12 Rosebery Av, Carr Lane, Windhill, and Miss Esther Llewellyn, third daughter of Mrs. and the late Mr James Llewellyn, of 15 Titus Street, Saltaire.

Click to magnify

Image: Ellis King (right, who married Esther Llewellyn) with brother-in-law, Ronald Dickenson (who married Amy Llewellyn).

The bridegroom is a member of the Bingley Harriers, while the bride is a primary teacher at Saltaire Methodist Chapel.

The ceremony was conducted by the Rev. C.H. Pitt, and the bride, who was given away by her brother (Mr J.C. Llewellyn), wore a dress of heavy mauve satin in the tunic style, decorated with a spray of white roses, with a straw hat to match.

The bridesmaid, in purple silk marocain, was Miss Dorothy Llewellyn (sister of the bride).

Mr Ronnie Dickinson (friend) was best man, and the groomsman was Mr J. Frecke.

Esther & Ellis lived all their lives at 8 Titus Street, Saltaire. In the 1939 Register, Ellis was working as an engineer’s labourer. They had four children: Wendy born in 1938, Ian 1943, Sandra 1944, and Rita 1946. Ellis died in 2000; Esther in 2001.

Wendy lives with her husband, Don, at Skelton in Cleveland. Ian lives with his wife, Barbara, at Locust Valley, Long Island, New York, USA. Sandra lives with her husband, Paul, in East Barnet. Rita lives her husband, Chris, near Huddersfield.

(Compiled with the help of John Rolfe-Dickinson, a grandson son of James & Esther.)


Klos, Stanislaw
c1907 – 1975

Stanislaw Klos married Stanislawa Koziol in 1948 in the Worth Valley district.

Report from the Shipley Times 11 June 1952 as follows:-

An accident at the Shipley works of Salts (Saltaire) Ltd. had a sequel when the firm was summoned for not having machinery securely fenced. Mr. J. R. Phillips, defending, entered a plea of “not guilty” on behalf of the firm, but later changed the plea to one of “guilty.”
Inspector of Factories, Miss N. Curry, said that a Polish operative sustained severe injuries while oiling gear wheels of a backwashing machine, used for washing wool. His right arm had to be amputated. There was no fencing provided for the gear wheels, but there was a wooden barrier enclosing an area around the transmission machinery. It was impossible to oil while outside the barrier, and the worker had to go inside the barrier.
Miss Curry said it was the duty of the Polish workman to look after 15 machines in the combing department. Included in his duties was that of oiling the machines twice a day.
On 1 April he went to a backwashing machine which was not in motion. He went inside the barrier to oil the gears, but the machine was set in motion, and the man's arm was injured, being caught in the spokes of the gears.
The injured man was Stanislaw Klos, aged 45, of  Union Street, Charlestown, Baildon.
Mr. Phillips said there was a substantial wooden guard for the machine, and it was. he suggested, a “proper and regular” guard. The machine had been in operation for about 30 years, and there had been no complaints from factory inspectors or anybody else. On the day in question Mr. Klos had seen that the machine was not in motion, and had gone to oil it. He assumed that the machine operator had seen him. and would not restart the machine. But the operator, who had been awav for new supplies, restarted the machine not knowing Mr. Klos was there.
Mr. Phillips suggested that the company had been let down by the men on the machine.
The firm had been pioneers in providing welfare services for employees.
The company was fined £5 with £2 4s costs.

Report in the Yorkshire Post 27 February 1954 as follows: -

Mr. Justice Donovan awarded damages of £2,686 to Stanislaw Klos, a Pole, of Union Stree, Charlestown, Baildcn, for the loss of his right arm after an accident while employed by the defendants. Salts (Saltaire) Ltd.
Mr. B. Withers Payne, for Klos. said he was employed as general handyman by the firm.. He was oiling a machine in  the combing department when, without warning, the operator started the machine and Klos’s right arm was caught. It had to be amputated later.
Before coming to this country Kios was deported from Poland to Russia and after spending a considerable time in concentration camps he fought for various armies in the Far East.
Klos had become progressively neurotic, and his previously cheerful character had completely changed.

Stanislaw died in Bradford in 1975. His wife Stanislawa died in Bradford in 1981.


Kolosowkyj, Alexander
????  – ????

Report from Shipley Times 11 November 1953 as follows: -

An incident at Salts Mill, Saltaire, between two foreign workers had a sequel Bradford County Court on Tuesday. A Ukrainian, Alexander Kolosowkyj, of Picton Street, Bradford, alleging he was assaulted by workmate, Wasily Ruchtin, of Spring Gardens, Bradford, claimed £l00 damages from him, following injuries he had received. He was awarded £75 damages, plus £4 17s. 3d. for loss of wages.
 Judge Myles Archibald said it was a disgraceful and cowardly attack and dismissed the counter claim of Ruchtin for £l7 6s. for loss of wages following his dismissal from work.
Mr D S Forrestor-Paton, for Kolosowkyj, said the two men were in charge of three combing machines in the mill and they operated one and a half each. On July 24 one machine was under repair and the men should have operated one each but there was a disagreement and Ruchtin, it was alleged, hit Kolosowkyj on the face, knocking him to the ground, where he hit him with a can and kicked him.
As a result of his injuries Kolosowkyj was off work for a week and had since complained of headaches and had difficulty breathing through his nose. He was troubled with deafness for a week after the incident. Ruchtin was dismissed from his job.
Ruchtin. in evidence, claimed that Kolosowkyj used an offensive word and all he (Ruchtin) did was to push him. and he (Kolosowkyj) fell over. Ruchtin denied kicking or striking the other man.





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