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Colin Coates, historian
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Colin Coates writes: The diary shows events in Saltaire from 100 years ago . 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 extra information in the snippets and extra biographies sections.

About Colin Coates

After seven happy years living in Saltaire, during which Colin's groundbreaking research recovered countless Saltaire stories, Colin and his wife, Maree, left the UK in February 2018 for Hervey Bay, Queensland, Australia, the homeland of Maree. Colin's collaboration with Saltaire continues, and his research can be followed via the navigation links on the left of this page.

More about Colin Coates >

Please feel free to contact with any comments or queries.

Saltaire Times January 1920

Saltaire Park

Last Of Saltaire Park
Gift To Bradford Under A New Name.
Sir James Roberts’s Memorial To His Son.

The surprise which, followed the announcement last Friday (10 January) that Sir James Roberts. Bart., had made a gift Saltaire Park to the Bradford Corporation has turned to appreciation in many quarters since it became known that the park is continue for the use of "the public”, though naturally enough the affair has aroused some feeling at Shipley, as had all along been considered that in view of Sir James's business and family associations with the district the offer of the park on the same terms as have been stipulated to Bradford might reasonably have been made to Shipley.
These conditions are: -
1. That a suitable tablet be placed by the Corporation at the entrance to the park stating that the park is gift from Sir James Roberts the Bradford Corporation memorial his late son, Bertram Foster Roberto.
2. That the Corporation are to maintain the park for the benefit of the public at all times.
3. The park is to be named “Roberts Park, Saltaire and that all documents referring to the gift of the park or in which the park is referred to in public notices and the like the park shall always be referred to the “Roberts Park, Saltaire.”
The Corporation accepted the gift at their meeting on Tuesday, following a commendation to that effect at the General Purposes Committee meeting some days earlier.
In his letter on the subject to the Lord Mayor of Bradford, Sir James Roberts said: — '‘Referring to our recent interview I am writing to confirm the offer which I then made with respect to Saltaire Park. I will convey Saltaire Park in fee simple to the Bradford Corporation with everything therein and thereon, including the Park Lodge, the cricket pavilion, the Sir Titus Salt statue. all garden tools and requisites which are in use in the park.
I may say that in acceding to your request to make this offer I am actuated to an appreciable extent by the personal regard with which I hold you, and it would afford me added pleasure to see this matter carried through to completion during your year of office as Lord Mayor of Bradford.
On learning that the Bradford City Council accept I write to my solicitors and instruct them to communicate at once with the Town Clerk of Bradford with a view to the necessary conveyance being executed forthwith.”

Adult School

The Saltaire Adult School is meeting the New Church Rooms opposite the Saltaire Wesleyan Chapel, at nine o’clock every Sunday morning, when the proceedings include an open discussion
Memorial Obelisk

A Tribute From Saltaire Congregationalists

At a recent congregational meeting of the Saltaire Congregational Church to decide upon the form of a war memorial to be erected to the memory of the men connected with the church and Sunday School who fell in the war. it was unanimously resolved erect an obelisk, cenotaph, designed Mr. R. G. Phillip. A.R.C.A., London, a plaster of Paris model of which was on view. The obelisk will of the same stone as the church building. It will be 15ft. 6in. height, and the base will be 9ft. square. On the topmost stone there will be a bronze tablet. 4ft. 6in., about 2ft., surmounted a cross and laurel wreath, and this will bear the following inscription in raised letters “To the Glory God and the unfading memory the men whose names are hereon inscribed, who, in the great war, 1914-1918.”

Henry Mason Ltd.

A pleasing function took place at the Institute, Saltaire, Tuesday evening, (13 January) when Mr. Francis Willey and Lieut.--Col. Vernon Willey, M.P., the proprietors of Henry Mason .Shipley), Ltd., Victoria Works, Shipley, entertained to a tea, concert, whist drive, and dance the whole of their employees. Mr. Francis Willey was on the platform, and was supported by Messrs. Arthur Saville, B. Wooller, H. B. Dean, A. Hall, A. Dickson, S. Humphries, H. Saynor, J. E. Rowe, H. Newall, J. Shackleton, and Miss E. F. Warren.
For the occasion work ceased at the mill at quarter five, and the proceedings commenced at the Institute at 6.30 p.m.., when from 700 to 800 persons sat down to a sumptuous tea in the reading room and gymnasium, which had both been tastefully arranged as tea rooms. After tea an enjoyable concert, which lasted until 9 o’clock, was given in the Victoria Hall. Following this, dancing took place the same room until 11.30, while for those who were not devotees of the terpsichorean art a whist drive had been arranged in the social rooms upstairs.

The Late Mr S Broadbent

The interment of the late Mr. Sam Broadbent, whose death occurred last Friday (9 January) at his residence, 12 Bromley Road, Nab Wood, Shipley, took place at Nab Wood Cemetery Monday afternoon.
The deceased, who was 60 years of age, was for many years the only monumental mason in Shipley and carried on his business at Nab Wood. He was a prominent member of the original Saltaire Wesleyan Prise Choir when it was at its best.
He did a lot of ornamental work on some of the largest buildings the district, including the Prudential Assurance Company’s Office, and he made the bases which were presented to Saltaire Park by the Company’s Office, and he made the bases for the two vases which were presented to Saltaire Park by the Shipley Trades Societies. He leaves wife, a son, and two daughters to mourn their loss.

No Heating

A breakdown in the heating apparatus at the Saltaire Congregational Church has necessitated the services being held in the assembly hall of the school.
It proposed to hold a bazaar in connection with the church in March, to defray the cost of a new boiler, raise funds for the carrying out of school building repairs, and clear off an accumulated deficit on the church and school accounts.
Saltaire Congregationalism

The annual congregational tea and meeting in connection with the Saltaire Congregational Church took place in the schoolroom on Tuesday evening. (20 January). The meeting was presided over by the Rev. Drummond Pringle (pastor), who reviewed the year’s work. Mr. J. W. gave the financial statement, while the reports of the various organisations were given by Mr. O. A. Thornton, Mrs. C. H. Briggs, and Mr. H. Hall. The Rev. J. W. Chisholm and Mr. Henry Williamson also spoke. During the evening musical items were rendered the choir, while solos were contributed Miss Casson and Mr. O. A- Thornton. Mr. W. Sutcliffe was the accompanist.

Saltaire Mills Fire Brigade

The annual supper of the members of the Saltaire Mills Fire Brigade was served at the Royal Cafe. Saltaire, on Saturday (17 January) evening, when the event was given a social emphasis by the presence of the wives and children of the men, while fraternal greetings to the brigade were, brought from the Shipley Brigade by Supt Wilkes. the Whetley Mills Brigade Supt. Firth, Mason’s Brigade Supt F Hall and the Britannia Mills Brigade by Supt. Mitchell.
Altogether it was very pleasant evening, the concert which followed the ample spread, which comprised roast beef and mutton, rabbit pie, sprouts and potatoes, apple tart and custard, mince pies. and biscuits, tea and coffee, being a capital affair.
Mr. Wm. Raistrick was at the piano, and songs were sung Cr. H. Alderson, Messrs. Dewhirst. L. Bateson, and F. Dracup, and Miss Raistrick, while Yorkshire dialect recitation was given by Mr. Craven. There were also duets.
The chair was occupied Supt. George Hall, the popular chief of the Saltaire Mills Brigade, and was supported by Mr. H. L. Searle (Secretary Saltaire Mills). Mr. H. Stolworthy former supt. of the Saltaire Mills Brigade, and a member the North Bierley Board of Guardians, Mr. W. Eccles (cashier at Saltaire Mills), and the other gentlemen previously mentioned.


Sunday night's gale (11 January) worked considerable havoc. A large advertisement hoarding at the top of Victoria Road, Saltaire. was blown down. A henhouse behind the hoarding shared the same fate, while the poultry were pinned beneath the wreckage. All but one. which could not get free all the night through, escaped.

George Hodgson Ltd.

The employees of Messrs. George Hodgson, Limited, Frizinghall, power-loom makers, were entertained to a whist drive, dance, and supper at the Victoria Hall, Saltaire, on Tuesday evening. There were about 200 employees and friends present. Dancing commenced at 7.30 pm and was kept up until 1 a.m.

Victoria Hall

The Victoria Hall at Saltaire is to be re-seated with 550 tip-up chairs to be provided by Messrs. Archer & Tempest of Halifax.

Saltaire Mills Male Voice Choir

The annual Meeting the Saltaire Mills’ Male Voice was held at the Prince of Wales Hotel, Saltaire Road, last Thursday (15 January) night. Coun. T. F. Doyle was in the chair, and a vote of thanks was given to the retiring officers and Mr. Bradshaw (conductor).
The balance sheet, which was read and passed, showed an income of £127 7s. 3d., and expenditure of £l10 8s. 9d., leaving a balance in hand of £l1 18s. 6d.

Shipley Liberal Conversazione

Previously one of the most important local functions, the Shipley Liberal Conversazione was revived with conspicuous success last Friday and Saturday (23 & 24 January) at the Institute, Saltaire.
The Victoria Hall has been transformed into a charming ballroom and was a blaze of colour. Under the balcony there was a lounge with settees and easy chairs. The colour scheme of the room was yellow and white, and the pillars of the balcony and the sides of the balcony were draped with art muslin, and the stage presented a striking relief in its mass greenery. The decorations were carried out by a number of gentlemen of the Liberal Club, by several ladies of the Women's Liberal Association, and by Mr. George Nettleton. A tea-room upstairs was under the charge of ladies of the same Association, and light refreshments were provided in the ballroom.

Saltaire Mills Ambulance and Nursing Division

Last Friday (23 January) evening the members of the Saltaire Mills Ambulance and Nursing Division were entertained at the Royal Cafe, Saltaire. by Sir Titus Salt, Bart., Sons, and Co. Ltd., to a concert, supper, and dance. Mr H. L. Searle (Secretary of the Company) presided and an enjoyable time was spent. T
The Division was inaugurated in October 1918. Mrs J. H. Potter (assisted by the Misses C. Packett and E. Parker) have instructed the women, while the men have been in charge of Messrs. E. Sutcliffe, H. Carr, and A. Lambert. Classes have been held weekly, and last year over 30 members obtained first aid certificates.   

Saltaire Cricket Club

Th« annual dinner and prize distribution of Saltaire Cricket Club was held at the Prince of Wales Hotel, on Saturday (24 January) evening. Mr. G. Birbeck (President) was in the chair, supported by Councillors H. Hirst and T. F. Doyle, and Messrs. J. J. Booth (President of the Bradford Cricket league), J. Farmer, W. Lockwood. H. Hutton, C. S. Barnes, and W. Holmes. Nearly 80 people partook of dinner, and the toast list was interspersed with musical items by Messrs. Goodere (violinist), W. Shackleton (tenor). Jack Edwards (humourist), and T. Dinnett (accompanist).


An interesting story was told to the Express" this week by Mr. Alphonso Bagshaw, a Windhill man, who went out to Victoria in 1911 with his wife, and both of whom are now spending a short holiday at 63 Mountain Street, Windfall. Mr. Bagshaw, who was hairdresser in Bradford, is well known in the district, and especially at Saltaire, as he lived there for 30 years.
Landing at Melbourne. Mr. Bagshaw set up in his old line of business, did well, and when the war broke out, he volunteered for the Australian Expeditionary Force, but was rejected on account of his eyesight. He then joined the “Work or Fight” Association and raised money for comforts for the troops abroad. In addition, he made no less than 2,000 cigarettes for the members of the A.I.F. who were on active service. In recognition of his valuable work Mr Bagshaw. received a congratulatory letter from the Mayor of Brighton (Victoria) and from the medical practitioners, dentists, and nurses connected with the association.
A nephew of Mr. Bagshaw, Mr. Albert Bagshaw, went out to Australia from Saltaire towards 1913, and joined the A.I.F. and served in the war for four years. He recently returned to Australia with a Saltaire lady as his bride.
Mr. and Mrs. Alphonso Bagshaw came " home " on the Orient Line R.M.S. Osterley," and had a most enjoyable trip. There were numerous concerts and fancy dress tell during the voyage, and when entering the Suez Canal the vessel ran quite close to a sunken Italian warship, which Mr. Bagshaw promptly "snapped” with his camera. Asked his opinion of Australia, Mr. Bagshaw said: "It is the best place on earth, and I am looking forward to my return in the middle of next month.”  He also has a good opinion of the Australian as a citizen and a man. At first, he was impressed the big dust storms of the country, but he now regards them as matter of course. When in Melbourne Mr Bagshaw. met an old friend, Mr. Barker, who at one time was prominent member of the Windhill Co-op. Society.

Saltaire Funeral – 3 January 1920

The funeral of Mr. Harold Baker, of 2 Myrtle PlacePlace, Saltaire, whose death occurred on Dec. 30th, took place at Nab Wood Cemetery on Saturday. The deceased, who was only 29 years of age, was an assistant in the Surveyor’s Department of the Shipley Urban District Council. He was married, and leaves wife and two children to mourn their loss. In addition to the family mourners there were a large number of friends of the deceased present at the funeral. The staff at Somerset House were represented Dr. W. Foster (Medical Officer) and Messrs. A. H. Dawson. H. Daw son, H. Barnes. A. Smith A. England J. Chadwick. A. Tetley, L. Clough, The numerous floral tributes included a from the staff at Somerset House and a spray from Mr. J. Chadwick.


Hirst Wood Cemetery – 27 January 1920 – John Edward Spencer aged 39 of 34 Ada Street.


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