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Mill Workers who lived in Saltaire
Researched by Colin Coates

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Paley, Ralph

Paley, Ralph - Mill Worker / WW1 Roll of Honour


Palmer, Alice (nee Tatham)
26 August 1900 – 1991

Alice Tatham was the daughter of John Tatham. John was born c1857 in Bentham. He married Sarah Ann Hollingworth in Bentham in 1881. They had seven children. Sarah died in 1894. Widowed John married Kate Mashiter 1898 in Bentham. They had four children, but two died in infancy.

Alice was born 26 August 1900 in Saltaire. In 1901 & 1911 the family lived at 33 Dove Street in Saltaire with John working as a stone mason. John died, 6 November 1918, and was buried in Hirst Wood Cemetery in Shipley.

Extract from a report in the Shipley Times 20 June 1919 as follows: -

An examination of the employees of Sir Titus Salt, Bart., Sons, and Co., Ltd., Saltaire Mills, who recently attended a course of ambulance instruction at the Cafe, Saltaire, has resulted as follows: —Passed for First Aid Certificate): — Alice Tatham.

Extract from a report in the Shipley Times 20 January 1922, referring to the monthly meeting of the North Bierley Guardians, as follows: -

It was reported that the two probationary nurse, Miss Gladys of Idle, and Miss Alice Tatham, of Saltaire, had completed their period of trial satisfactorily, and were recommended for acceptance for training. This was adopted.

Alice, a nurse living in Bradford, married William Henry Palmer, 25 February 1933, at St Columba’s Bradford. William was a widower 28 years older than Alice. He worked as a master baker & confectioner. In 1939 they were living in Watford. Alice died in 1991 in Huddersfield.


Parker, Edgar
4 June 1877 – 4 January 1948

Edgar Parker was the son of John Parker. John was born c1843 in Addingham. He married Mary Ann Wooler 2 August 1975 at Bradford Cathedral.

Edgar, the eldest of five children, was born 4 June 1877 in Baildon. In 1881 the family were living at 23 Barrett Street in Shipley with John working as a labourer.

Edgar married Mary Elizabeth Hartley in 1906. She was born 24 December 1878 in Shipley.

In 1911 they were both employed as mill hands, living at 15 Dove Street, Saltaire with no children.

In 1921 they remained at 15 Dove Street. Edgar was a check weigh man in the spinning dept. at Saltaire Mills.

Around 1936 they moved to 33 Moorhead Crescent in Shipley. In 1939 Edgar was working as a warehouseman.

The Shipley Times (12 March 1941) reported that Edgar had completed 50 years’ service at Saltaire Mill, and he had been presented with gifts and a framed certificate.

In November 1942, Edgar, of 56 Titus Street, was fined 10s for a black-out offence.

Mary died 7 December 1942 and was buried at Nab Wood Cemetery Shipley.

Edgar died 4 January 1948 and was buried alongside his wife.

In his will he left £794 0s 8d to John Parker.


Pitchforth, James
15 March 1868 – 21 January 1949

James Pitchforth was the son of Solomon Pitchforth. Solomon was born, 1 April 1845, in Elland. He married Elizabeth Wadsworth, 8 March 1864, in Huddersfield Parish Church.

James, the third of eight children, was born, 15 March 1868, in Longwood, Huddersfield. In 1871 & 1881 the family were living in Longwood with Solomon working as a weaver. In 1881 James was working as a piecer.

James married Sarah Ann North, 1 June 1889, at Emmanuel Church, Lockwood, Huddersfield. They had nine children, two of them dying as infants. In 1891 they were living in Lindley, Huddersfield with James employed as a wool washer. By 1901 they had moved to 2 Fanny Street in Saltaire where James was a labourer.

Report from Shipley Times Friday 22 January 1904 as follows: -

Saltaire Man Charged with Perjury.

At the Bradford City Court, on Wednesday, James Pitchforth, cloth washer, 21 Shirley Street, Saltaire, until recently employed at Saltaire Mill, was brought up in custody on a charge of perjury.

It is stated that in October last the prisoner applied for an administration order in the Bradford County Court in respect of certain liabilities which he could not meet. He made certain statements regarding his debts in his affidavit before the Registrar’s clerk. It is alleged that in this affidavit made a false statement, concerning wages Saltaire. He stated that he was in receipt of only 24s. per week, when, as a matter of fact, he was receiving 30s.

The case came in due course for hearing at the County Court, where the man's affidavit and a statement from his employers were retained and subsequently sent to London to the Director of Public Prosecutions, who ordered proceedings to be instituted. This was done, and Detective Sergeant Thornton apprehended Pitchforth his home at Saltaire on Wednesday morning.

The prisoner was remanded.

Report from Shipley Times Friday 29 January 1904 as follows: -

The Saltaire Perjury Case.

At the Bradford City Police Court on Tuesday James Pitchforth (35), cloth-washer, 21, Shirley Street, Saltaire. was charged on remand with having committed wilful and corrupt perjury in an affidavit.

It was stated that on the 26th of October last the prisoner made application at the Bradford County Court for an administration order. In the document he signed he stated that his wages were 24s. per week, whereas subsequent inquiries showed that he had actually been in receipt of 30s. per week for the past four years.

Evidence was given by Mr Samuel Hammond, clerk to the Bradford Registrar, and by Mr C. H. Briggs, cashier and secretary to the firm of Sir Titus Salt, Bart., Sons & Co., Limited, whom the prisoner is employed, and the prisoner, on being asked if he had anything to say, remarked, “I am very sorry. I have had a hard time of it; I have had a lot of sickness and have a lot of little children.”

He was admitted to the next Assizes for trial, and on Mr Briggs giving him an excellent character, was again admitted to bail, the Stipendiary Magistrate expressing the hope that these representations as to character would be placed before the learned Judge at the Assizes.

Report from Leeds Mercury Tuesday 16 March 1904 as follows: -

The criminal business of the Winter Assizes was resumed yesterday in the Crown Court, before Mr. Commissioner Bray, K.C.

James Pitchforth, labourer, was indicted for unlawfully and knowingly committing wilful and corrupt perjury at Bradford on 26 October. He was found guilty and sentenced to six weeks imprisonment in the second division.

In 1911 James was a cloth scourer living with his family at 21 Shirley Street in Saltaire. By 1918 they were living at 10 Park Street in Shipley. Around 1936 they moved to 3 Titus Street in Saltaire.

Image: James Pitchforth, cira 1946, courtesy Gail Dagleish, great granddaughter of James.

Sarah, James’s wife, died, 28 February 1936. James died, 21 January 1949.


Pouncey, Raistrick (known as Bob)
6 May 1892 – 1966

Raistrick Pouncey was the son of Alma Pouncey. Alma was born 1852 in Bradford. He married Evangeline Raistrick in 1874. In 1881 & 1891 they lived in Calverley near Leeds.

Bob , the second youngest of nine children, was born 6 May 1892 in Farsley. By 1898 the family had moved to 2 William Henry Street in Saltaire, where they remained until around 1918. Alma worked as a painter’s labourer until his death in 1916. In 1911 Bob was working as a gardener.

Advert in the Shipley Times 30 April 1915: -

CHOICE Hardy PERENNIALS and ROCKERY PLANTS in good variety for Sale – RAISTRICK POUNCEY, 2 William Henry St, Saltaire .

Bob , working as a munitions worker, married Jane Proffitt 19 August 1916 at Sion Jubilee Baptist Church in Bradford. In the 1939 Register Bob was a nurseryman & seedsman living at 6 Mitchell Lane in Idle.

In March 1956 Bob presided at a meeting in Victoria Hall, Saltaire organised by the Bradford Branch of the British Peace Committee.

By 1958 Bob and his wife had moved to 8 Springhurst Road in Shipley.

Article in the Shipley Times 5 August 1959: -


It may seem paradoxical not to be able to potter about in your own garden and yet still to call yourself a gardener. Yet Mr. Raistrick Pouncey, better known to his Bradford friends as “Bob,” of 8 Springhurst Road, Shipley, does still call himself a gardener, although since April1957, he has been in poor health and now spends most of his time confined to bed. He started his long gardening career at the age of 15 and since then, up to his retirement, it was only broken once or twice due to the war years.

The situation in which Mr. Pouncey now finds himself has not altered his love for nature but now, naturally, he has a different approach it. That is, instead of planting and picking nature’s fruits he now writes intimately and intelligently of the beauty they hold for him. This is for his own amusement. As a teenager he attended botany classes at Belle Vue Grammar School during the evenings and also Bradford Technical College.

Mr. Pouncey was born in Farsley 67 years ago but came to live in Saltaire with his parents at a very early age. He recalled that a school garden enclosed on the south side of the Albert Road, Saltaire Infants' department, then under the headship of Miss Studley, must have whetted his appetite for this early type of work. With his age group moving through the big school under Miss Baldwin as head, he was plant monitor and, in afterschool hours from 8 ½ years of age, he did odd jobs in the allotments of the village and sold flowers on the bridge in the summer evenings and Saturdays to augment his meagre pocket-pence. In a Caroline Street allotment, acquired from savings, he budded his first dozen roses for practice, and later inserted three sorts on each of two briar stocks for indoor blooming. When he was 12 he started work at Salts Mill as a half-time doffer, and when was a year older he worked full-time. His workmates at that time were Edgar Drake (overlooker), Ethel Crabtree, Martha Cromack, Edith Wright, Harry Sutcliffe Ramsden, Thomas William Olsen, Margaret Walburge Dawson Hanson and Jessie Waite nee Patterson. A couple of years later he switched to gardening and began with the Saltaire firm of Kershaw’s. Even before this he knew he had greenfingers.

The local herbalists used to see quite a lot of him and it was by selling herbs he collected along the Coach Road and ether parts of Saltaire he made a few pence for himself. He was given 1s. a stone for Groundsell and Chickweed; 2s. 6d. for Parsley-piert; 2s. for Sweet Cicely; 2s. for Skullcup; 2s. for Meadow Sweet; and 2s. 6d. for Marsh Marigold. During the early 1920’s to early 1930’s he gardened at Fagley where he had a partner for a time. Here he had a wonderful field of lupins. He showed me some coloured slides of one of his lupin fields and very beautiful it was.

During this period he removed to Idle and by now also had his own stall in Bradford Market. Included in his stocks was Wormwood, which be sold exclusively, at something like 3d. a bunch. Nearly all the big Bradford Wool warehouses stocked quantities to keep down the moths and such like.

One day a woman came to his stall and said, “Have you got any of that stuff left?” meaning wormwood. Mr. Pouncey said he had. Without delay she said: “I’ll ’a some then – I scalded it last time and supped it!” On another occasion a man bought some rhubarb seedlings which he intended to plant in his window box. Flowers, especially roses, were Mr. Pouncey’s life work and they were also his hobby. He told me how he used to go out into the surrounding districts collecting plants and taking them to evening classes for study under a microscope.

He soon dismissed my theory that there could not be very many rare types of moss or flowers in this district or in the Dales for that matter.

On studying the Saltaire district he discovered that 60 different types of grass grew in the area. He would return home with his vasculum containing his day's collection and then one by one he would make a detailed examination of them, noting all their characteristics and when that was done write thesis about them. At the moment Mr. Pouncey is writing about parks and flowers of the 1920’s, again just for his own satisfaction.

He has not done a great deal of showing except from some trade shows but the fact that he liked to grow flowers on large scale can be seen when I tell you that he once had three acres of michaelmas daisies under his care.

Vegetable plants for sale have also interested Mr. Pouncey and at the moment is carrying out investigations into the origin of a certain type of cabbage.

He also puts pen to paper quite frequently to keep in contact with many old acquaintances, some of them now overseas. He once wrote a letter to a certain young man telling him who his relations and grandfathers and great grandfathers were. The young man’s mother was thrilled by the way Mr. Pouncey’s letter had arrived containing true facts. His capacity as a letter writer is quite amazing. His literary efforts also turn in the direction of poetry and he has composed several short verses. Mr. Pouncey was married at Zion Baptist Church. Bradford, in 1916, he and his wife are living with their son-in-law, Mr. and Mrs. Raymond Hinchliffe.

Bob was living in Shipley when he died in 1966. Jane died in 1979.

Their daughter, Joyce, was born in 1923. She married Raymond Hinchliffe in 1943. Sadly, Joyce died in 1963 aged just 39.


Power, Robert
20 November 1841 – 14 February 1925

Robert Power was the son of Edward Power. Edward was born c1814 in Ireland. He married Rosinah Taylor 27 April 1833 at St Paul’s Shipley.

Robert, the second youngest of five surviving children, was born 20 November 1841 in Bradford. In 1851 the family were living in Bradford with Edward working as a woolcomber. Edward was a Chartist, and he served the movement in a clerical capacity; he suffered imprisonment in York Castle for his beliefs.

In 1854, bereft of both parents, Robert and his four siblings went to Saltaire to work in the mill. Robert, residing at 21 Fanny Street and working as a warp twister, married Ann Rushworth, a weaver residing at 11 Titus Street, at Saltaire Congregational Church 29 January 1864. (Note – there is a query on this date – it may have been 29 December 1863.) Robert and Ann had four children who survived beyond infancy; Alice (16 April 1867 – 20 May 1931), Thomas Edward (21 September1869 – 2 September 1934), Fred (b1871), and Herbert (b 1874).

Robert’s passion was books and by 1871 he was a bookseller living in Briggate, Shipley with his family. He was also an assistant teacher at the Clarendon Academy in Bowland Street, Bradford. When the new Market Hall opened in Kirkgate Bradford on 31 October 1872, Robert was one of the first tenants with a bookstall. In addition, he was a travelling salesman for W Nicholson and Sons, publishers and printers. He held this post for thirty-six years. From 1881 the family lived in the Moorhead Lane area of Shipley.

Politically, Robert was a radical, he was a member of the Reform League, being the secretary of the Shipley and Saltaire branch. In the days of the early resistance to the Vaccination Act Robert was one of the six Shipley men who became notorious by their repeated appearances before the West Riding Magistrates at Bradford. Robert was a man of religious convictions, being at first associated with the Congregationalists, but for many years after he identified with the Swedenborg faith, and he attended the New Church at Saltaire. He was for many years the President of the Saltaire Society.

Robert retired from his business in Kirkgate Market in 1911, when his son Fred took over the running of it. Robert died 14 February 1925 at 1 Ivy Grove, Moorhead, Shipley. He was buried in Nab Wood Cemetery alongside his wife Ann, who died 8 May 1923. In his will Robert left £1862 9s 10d (worth c£110,000 in 2019) to his sons Thomas and Fred.


Power, Thomas Edward
21September 1869 – 2 September 1934

Thomas Edward Power was the son of Robert Power. Robert was born 20 November 1841 in Bradford. He married Ann Rushworth 29 January 1964 at Saltaire Congregational Church.

Thomas, the second eldest of four surviving children, was born 21 September 1869. In 1871 the family were living in Briggate Shipley with Robert working as a book seller. By 1881 they had moved to 28 Moorhead Villas in Shipley. By 1891 Thomas was working at Saltaire Mills as a clerk. He was the secretary of the Saltaire Cycling Club and of the Sports Committee of the Shipley and District Friendly and Trade Societies.

Thomas emigrated to the USA in 1891 when his employee, Sir Titus Salt, Bart, Sons, and Co., decided to open a plush department in Bridgeport, Connecticut. He sailed from Liverpool 25 April 1891 aboard the City of Chester.

Thomas married Hannah Ruth Rushworth (born Bramley c1871) in 1894. They had two sons; Harry Rushworth (b October 1898) and Frederick Rogers (b May 1900). In 1900 the family were living in Bridgeport, Connecticut. They returned to England in 1905 with Thomas working for the Saltaire Company as a yarn agent.

Whilst living and working in Vienna, Austria, Thomas was made a citizen of the USA 16 April 1910. In 1911 he was living with his family at 20 Moorhead Terrace in Shipley. By 1914 they had moved to 31 Victoria Park in Shipley.
Thomas died 2 September 1934 at 31Victoria Park. He was buried in Nab Wood alongside his parents and his son Frederick, who had died 24 September 1917, aged just 17.

In his will Thomas left £3181 5s 8d (worth c£220,000 in 2019) to his wife Hannah. She died in Morecambe 20 September 1945, in Morecambe, and was buried alongside Thomas. Hannah left £3652 8s 6d (worth c£150,000 in 2019) to son Harry. Harry died in Burnley 6 October 1960 and he was buried alongside his parents.


Priestley, Thomas
27 March 1889 - 1970

Thomas was the son of William Edward Priestley. William was born 1848 in Greetland (near Halifax). He married Elizabeth Tatham in 1876 in the district of Settle. In 1881 & 1891 they were living at Burton in Lonsdale with William working as a labourer.

Thomas, the second youngest of ten children, was born 27 March 1889 in Burton in Lonsdale. From around 1901 to 1915 the family lived at 71 Victoria Road in Saltaire; by 1918 they were at 25 Albert Road (renumbered 49) in Saltaire.

Thomas worked as a yarn packer at Saltaire Mill and in 1917 his employers represented him at the Shipley Military Tribunal. (We know he was exempt from serving up to 30 September 1917).

Thomas married Edith Mary Dibb 8 March 1922 at St Paul’s. Shipley. In 1939 they were living in Bingley. Thomas died 2nd Qtr. 1970 in Sheffield, Edith died 14 November 1970 in Sheffield.

Thomas had two brothers Rowland and Henry, who served in World War One.


Priestley, William Edward
1848 – 19 August 1938

William Edward Priestley was the son of Christopher Priestley. Christopher was born, 25 December 1811, in Greetland (near Halifax). He married Mary Ann Kitchen 7 July 1833 at St John’s Halifax.

William, the fifth of seven children was born 1848 in Greetland. He married Elizabeth Tatham 15 April 1876 at All Saints, Burton in Lonsdale. They had eleven children with one dying as an infant. In 1881 & 1891 they were living at Burton in Lonsdale with William working as a labourer.

From around 1901 to 1915 the family lived at 71 Victoria Road in Saltaire; by 1918 they were at 25 Albert Road (renumbered 49) in Saltaire.

Report from the Shipley Times 18 April 1936: -


Congratulations were showered upon Mr. and Mrs. William Edward Priestley of 49 Albert Road, Saltaire, on Wednesday (15 April), the occasion of the diamond celebration of their wedding.

Married at All Saints’ Church. Burton in Lonsdale. Mr. Priestley, who is a native of Greetland, near Halifax, is eighty-eight years of age, and Mrs. Priestley who was born at Westhouse, near Ingleton, is six years his junior.

Mr. Priestley followed various occupations until 37 years ago he was brought to Saltaire by the late Sir James Roberts to work at Saltaire Mills. He retired a short time after his seventieth birthday.

Both Mr. and Mrs. Priestley enjoy good health considering their advanced years apart from the fact that following attack of influenza, his first serious illness, during the heavy snowfall about three years ago, Mr. Priestley gradually went blind. Previously he had been aide to read without strain although not using spectacles. However, he is very patient and still retains a great interest in public affairs.

Mrs. Priestley is extremely active and takes a great delight in assisting her daughter, Mrs. Chapman, with the household duties.

During the time they have resided at Saltaire Mr. and Mrs. Priestley and their family have attended the Saltaire Methodist Church.

Of their eleven children, five sons and five daughters survive, two residing in Canada and one at Torquay. There are also seven grandchildren and one great grandchild. Those members of the family who reside in the district attended a celebration on Wednesday.

It is interesting to note that the Rev Thomas who performed the wedding ceremony. also christened each of their eleven children.

In a letter received by a friend of the family, Canon H. Stowell. who is the present vicar, writes that the other day he was attending a sick parishioner, a Mr. Adam Wallbank, who remembered “Ted Priestley” and “Elisabeth Tatham” and recalled many interesting memories about them.

William died 19 August 1938. Report from the Shipley Times 27 August as follows: -

BLIND MAN'S TRAGIC DEATH A verdict that "death was due to ' shock following fracture of the left leg from an accidental fall at his home.” was recorded by the District Coroner (Mr. E. W. Norris), on Saturday, William Edward Priestley. aged 90, of 49 Albert Road Saltaire.

Mrs. Chapman (daughter) stated that Priestley, who was blind, had been reaching for his pipe from a rack the previous Saturday morning when had slipped off the edge of the couch and had fallen to the floor. He had complained that he had hurt his leg. He had died on Friday. Mr. Priestley, who was one the oldest residents of the Shipley district, was for many years employed at Saltaire Mills. The funeral took place at Nab Wood Cemetery, Shipley, on Tuesday, conducted by the Rev. C. H. Pitt.

William was buried in Nab Wood Cemetery Shipley. His widow, Elizabeth, joined him when she died less than three weeks later on 3 September.

William had two sons, Rowland and Henry, who served in World War One, and a son, Thomas, who worked in Saltaire Mill.







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