The Saltaire Village Website, World Heritage Site
Colin Coates
Reel Lives
Mill Workers
House Histories
Extra Biographies
News: 100 years ago
Second Boer War
WW1: Saltaire Story
WW2: Saltaire Story
Social History
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Colin Coates

Colin Coates writes: After working for 46 years and living in Saltaire for twelve years, I retired at the end of 2018 and relocated to Hervey Bay in Queensland, Australia, with my wife, Maree, who is Australian. As my research is done online there is no reason why I cannot continue researching Saltaire's fascinating history.

With the help of Flinty Maguire, my work is published on the Saltaire Village website. The WW1 Saltaire Story was my first project. Research continues on Saltaire life after WW1; the WW2 Roll of Honour; Reel Lives - the women who worked in local mills; and the Second Boer War Roll of Honour.

I would like to thank Flinty for publishing my work on the Saltaire Village website. It is a website all those interested in Saltaire should be proud of. I intend adding to its content for many years to come.

Should you have any queries, comments or information to offer please do not hesitate to contact me by email.


Saltaire History Club

NEW! The BIG LIST of all biographies with links

Over 1200 names appear on our BIG LIST arranged in alphabetical order for easy searching. Each name has a link to the information about that person and the list includes ALL BIOGRAPHIES researched by Colin Coates on this website. Colin's research is ongoing and the list will be regularly updated as more biographies are added.

Colin's biographies are grouped into sections:



All the names Colin Coates has researched, in alphabetical order with links to biographies. >


Reel Lives

Colin Coates: In August 2013, I visited the Cloth & Memory exhibition in Salts Mill, where I saw an interesting exhibit by a British artist named Caren Garfen. She had researched the 1891 census for women born and living in Saltaire who worked in the mill. Caren had recorded the details of these women on tiny plaques on the end of cotton reels, representing the bobbins at the mill. Each reel had a ribbon extending from it, detailing their addresses. The piece was very thought provoking. I began to research the lives of these women.

There is now a permanant exhibition in Salts Mill called “People and Process” featuring Caren’s exhibit. I have now researched the biographies of 108 of the Reel Lives women. That information is available in Salts Mill, and here on the Saltaire Village Website.

Reel Lives >


Mill Workers

Colin Coates: Saltaire Mill operated from 1853 until 1986, and in that time it was home to thousands of workers. The censuses from 1861 to 1911 show the workers' occupations but they do not show where they worked. However, the 1921 census does show where each person worked. In 1921 there were over 2,000 people working in Salts Mills. Biographies of those who worked in Saltaire Mills will be added to this list of names as my research progresses.

Mill Workers >


Saltaire House Histories

Colin Coates, May 2020: The houses that belong to Saltaire were built in seven phases between1853 and 1875. In the 1881 census 4325 people occupied 825 dwellings. Taking information from the censuses 1861 to 1911, the Electoral Registers and reports found in the British Newspaper Archives we can create a history of every house in Saltaire from when it was built up to 1960. The histories will be listed alphabetically using house numbers as they are today. House number changes will be detailed in the house histories.

Did you know Victoria Road was originally named Victoria Street, and several houses in Victoria Road have had three numbers? Gordon Terrace was built in two phases before becoming part of Bingley Road; and Edward Street starts at Number Six. Did you ever wonder where the railway station master lived?

When complete these house histories will reveal all and give us further insight into Saltaire's fascinating history.

House Histories >


Additional Biographies

Research uncovers the names of people connected with Saltaire who didn't serve in wars or work in mills. Here are their mini-biographies.

Additional biographies >


News: 100 years ago

Follow what was happening in Saltaire 100 years ago. This news is post WW1 and is updated monthly. The primary source of this information is the Shipley Times newspaper which was published every Friday.

Where possible, I have used the exact wording from the newspaper. There are also links to biographies.

News: 100 years ago >


Second Boer War Roll of Honour

Colin Coates: During my research of WWI soldiers, I found out Gordon O'Donnell had two brothers, John and Herbert, who both lost their lives in the Second Boer War, 11 October 1899 to 31 May 1902. Accordingly, are the biographies of John and Herbert O'Donnell. Research continues and the biographies will be added as new information surfaces. [August 2017.]

Second Boer War Roll of Honour >


WW1 - The Saltaire Story

Colin Coates: It all began when I relocated to Saltaire in 2011 and became interested in the fascinating history of the village and its people. Following a meeting of the Saltaire History Club, I was inspired to research the story of Saltaire during World War One.

Using information from local Rolls of Honour, online resources such as Ancestry and CWGC, and newspaper cuttings from the Shipley Times, The Roll of Honour links to information about each soldier. The WW1 Diary help us understand what it was like to live in Saltaire during and after the Great War. It has weekly entries from 1914 - 1918. From 1919 onwards, it is updated monthly. There are also extra biographies of Saltaire characters, and snippets of information pertinent to that time.

WW1 Roll of Honour | WW1 Diary | Extra biographies | Snippets


WW2 Roll of Honour

Colin Coates: This section is to honour the men and women who lived in Saltaire and served their country in World War Two. There are fewer entries here than in World War One, but each and every one of them should be remembered with pride. Each name on the WW2 Roll of Honour is linked to a biography.

In addition, there is a WW2 Saltaire War Diary helps us understand what it was like to live in Saltaire during WW2. It begins in January 1939 and is updated monthly.

WW2 Roll of Honour >
WW2 Saltaire War Diary >


The Saltaire Sentinel

Colin Coates wrote a regular column for The Saltaire Sentinel, a local monthly newsheet, edited by its esteemed founder, James Duncan. Quirky and characterful, it celebrated the unique flavour of Saltaire, World Heritage site, and its history and people. The paper ceased when James died in January 2018.

Copies of the archived Saltaire Sentinel are available on this website.

The Saltaire Sentinel >



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Colin Coates

The Saltaire Journal, Nemine Juvante Publications


Editor: Flinty Maguire

Reseacher: Colin Coates

Saltaire Social History


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