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Back button | Home | Colin Coates research | WW2 | Saltaire WW2 Diary, 1941
Image: Clementine and Winston Church. Photographer unknown
WW2: 1941
Researched by Colin Coates
Colin Coates writes:

Twenty-one years after the end of WW1, we were again at war with Germany when war was declared, 1 September 1939. This monthly diary will show events in Saltaire throughout the war from January 1939 to the end of 1945.

The primary source of the information is the Shipley Times, which was published weekly
throughout the war. Where possible I have used the exact wording from the newspaper. Where appropriate there are links to biographies on the website.

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Life in WW2 Saltaire: 1939 | 1940 | 1941

This page: Life in Saltaire, WW2: 1941

Updated monthly

1941 January | February | March

Saltaire Times, January 1941


Shipley & Baildon Joint War Weapons Week begins on Saturday 18 January. The aim is to raise £250,000, representing the cost of nine motor torpedo boats, and plans for the joint effort are well advanced.

Events include a dance by Shipley Traders’ Association in Victoria Hall, Saltaire on Wednesday (22 January) evening.

Proceeds will be converted into war savings and handed to Saltaire Hospital new building fund.


W ake up! Wake up! This is War Weapons Week.
A id all you can, for we must reach the peak.
R oll out the £ s. d., make a big pile.

W ar Weapons Week will have then been worthwhile.
E verything’s running quite smoothly, tis true
A ided by Baildon, we’re sure to pull through
P rocession, displays, inaugural lunch,
O ver the top, to give Hitler a punch
N ine Motor T. Boats to launch will be fine
S core on the Fuhrer, the bus catch, in time.

W ar scarred our cities, and those who defend
E ngland expects – yes! The whole world depends
E merging from war (please God) we shall rise
K eeping our fathers’ faith – love never dies

Miss Alice Mawson
39 Dove Street, Saltaire.


Shipley's new "Fitness for Service movement,” for which Mr. Fred Blakeborough is the boxing instructor, made a successful debut at a boxing tournament held in the Saltaire Institute last night (23 January) in connection with the Baildon- Shipley War Weapons Week.

Jim Richmond defeated Driver Bell in the best bout of the evening: R. Kershaw easily overcame Driver Hobson with a whirlwind attack in the first round, and Colin Rosbrook and W. Rhodes, two members of the Shipley Youth Centre, who recently joined the "Fitness for Service" movement, fought an excellent bout in which former won by a narrow margin.

Other results: A. Brown beat W. Horne. G. Sheldon beat Carne. Bryant beat H Binks. Sergeant Uphill beat Harrison. Lance-Corporal Parley beat Brown. Waterfield beat Davis. W. Pow beat R. Jones. Peacock beat Elliott. Gough beat R. Miller. Ormsley beat Thurston.

The tournament was organised by Police Sergeant Beanland.


A highly successful film concert was held at the Saltaire Picture House on Sunday night (26 January) in aid of the Shipley Services Comforts Fund. The effort was organised by Mr. Harry Waite (chairman of the Finance Committee), and among those present were the Lord Mayor of Bradford (Alderman William Illingworth), and Mr. A. K. Horne (chairman of the Shipley Council).

The artists were Margaret Nowell (soprano), Olive Leedham (elocutionist), Tom Culvert (tenor), Norman Dracup (baritone), Rudolph Kohner (violinist), Donnie Collinson (compere) and W. Lupton Brooks (pianist).

The film shown was “Mannequin,” featuring Joan Crawford anti Spencer Tracy.


An interesting experiment took place at Shipley last night (7 January), when officers, instructors, and members of the Shipley Fitness-For-Service movement paid a visit to the Shipley Youth Centre.

The Fitness-For-Service movement, which holds classes every Monday and Thursday in the Saltaire Institute, had been invited by officers of the Youth Centre to stage a demonstration for the benefit of the boys at the centre.

Major Graystone (organiser) accepted the invitation, and last night Mr. Fred Blakebrough gave an interesting display of boxing with the aid of members of the movement. while Mr P W. Fidle organised keep-fit games, which were greatly enjoyed.


A platoon of Shipley Home Guards held a successful supper and social in the Salts (Saltaire) sports pavilion last night (9 January).

Mr. D. H. Marchmont, presided, and among those present were Captain Jackson, Captain Lynn. Major Stansfield, and Captain Brigg.

An entertainment was provided by Mr. T. Culbert, Mr. Arthur Day, and Mr. J. Robbins, with Mr. Fred Longbottom at the piano.

The arrangements were carried out by the social committee with Mr. S. Riley as chairman.


The third annual ordinary general meeting of Salts (Ireland), Ltd., was held at the offices of Messrs. Kennedy, Crowley and Co., Westmoreland Street, Dublin, on Wednesday 8 January.

The company’s nett profit on trading was £50,184. They had an overdraft with the bank of £76,136.


The death occurred at his home, St Michaels, Slyne Road. Lancaster last night (15 January) of Councillor Ernest Varley (73), a member of a local laundry firm, who was elected to the City Council for Skerton West Ward in January 1936.

Mr. Varley was a native of Saltaire but moved to Lancaster many years ago.


The Librarian reported that 10 members (four of whom were ladies) of the staff at the Saltaire Institute and the Carnegie Library had offered to give voluntary service in connection with the arrangements to be made for fire watchers at the Saltaire Institute and the Carnegie Library.

The Clerk reported briefly on the obligations of the Council in this matter.

It was resolved that the Librarian authorised to make arrangements for the operation of a scheme of voluntary fire watches, and that the Chairman authorised to purchase of suitable equipment, i.e., bunks, etc., for the use of the persons undertaking the duties.

Shipley boy's sudden death

"Death from natural causes" was the verdict at an inquest held at Shipley yesterday (28 January) on Kenneth Yeadon, aged 7, of 13 Carlton Walk, Shipley, who died suddenly on 9 January.

Mrs. Yeadon stated that her son was in the playground of the Albert Road School, Saltaire, about a week before the Christmas holidays, when he fell and bumped his head. He went home but after she had bathed his head he returned to school.

On Wednesday 8 January, he was taken ill, and on the following day Dr. McClelland ordered his removal to the Bradford Children's Hospital. When the ambulance arrived to take him there, however. he had collapsed, and he was taken to Saltaire Hospital, where it was found that he was dead.

Dr. J. D. McClelland said a post-mortem examination revealed that death was caused by meningitis, due to some organism of a virulent type which had not been identified. Nothing could have saved him, and death was not due in any way to the fall in the school playground.


2 January – My Favourite Wife
5 – The House Across The Bay
9 – Grapes Of Wrath
12 – Saloon Bar
16 – My Two Husbands
19 – Curtain Call & Gaslight
23 – Turnabout
26 – The Westerner
30 – My Son My Son


Hall – 7 January – John Robert aged 54 of 50 George Street, Saltaire.

Metcalfe – 10 January – Phyllis aged 73, of 43 Mary Street, Saltaire.

Saltaire Times, February 1941


A profit of on the past season of £20 was reported by Mr. W. L. Smith (secretary) at the annual meeting Salts (Saltaire) Cricket Club on Saturday (1 February). Mr. Smith said that in view of heavier expenditure, which included the engagement of Leonard Hutton, this result was gratifying.

A further application had been made to join the Bradford League, but this had been unsuccessful. The committee felt their rightful place was in the Bradford League, and they would persist in their efforts. In the meantime, they had re-entered the Yorkshire Council.

Captain S. B. Brearley (chairman) presided, and all the officers were re-elected.


Driver Albert Metcalfe, R.A.S.C., only son of Mr. and Mrs. J. T. Metcalfe, of Lockwood Street, Saltaire, and Miss Joan Close, elder daughter of Mr. D. Close and the late Mrs. Close, of Field Street, Shipley, were married at Bethel Baptist Church, Shipley, by the Rev. W. T. Carling.

The bride wore a dress of ivory lace over crepe Chine and embroidered tulle veil held in place with headdress of orange blossom and tiny ospreys. She carried a bouquet of pink carnations. The bridesmaids, Miss Margaret Close (sister of the bride) and Miss Margaret Illingworth, were dressed in lime green taffeta and carried daffodils.

Mr. Edmund Gibson was best man.


A whist drive and dance organised by the social committee of Shipley A.U P. Casualty Service, held at the Victoria Hall, Saltaire, was attended by about 300 members and friends, including the chairman of Shipley Council, Mr. A. K. Horne.

Shipley Casualty Service includes the first-aid post, first-aid party depots, and the ambulance transport service. Manned jointly by whole-time and part time workers, the service is in need of more volunteer drivers (men or women), first-aid party men and messengers. Inquiries should made to Shipley Casualty Service, Dale Street, Shipley.


THE death has occurred of Mr. William Knight Plunkett, of Sunnymede. Nab Lane. Shipley. a well-known Freemason and prominent figure in the social life of the Shipley district for many years.

Mr. Plunkett had been associated with the Prince of Wales Lodge of Freemasons since 1906 and was Worshipful Master in 1917-18. He was P.P.G D. of West Yorkshire Past Z. of the Ionic Chapter, and a member of the Faith Preceptory of Knight Templars.

He was also widely esteemed in local golfing circles, being one of the oldest members of Bradford Golf Club at Hawksworth, a member and past president of the Shipley (Beckfoot) Golf Club, and one of the founders of the Northcliffe (Shipley) Golf Club.

He was one of the leaders of the old Saltaire Rose Show for many years. and very successful as an exhibitor, first with violas and later with roses. He was also associated with the Heaton Show.

He took an active interest in the work of the St. Peter's Church. Shipley, and was vestry clerk for over 20 years.

The cultural activities which were carried on at the Saltaire Institute many years ago found in him an ardent supporter, and he was associated with the development of the Saltaire Conversazioni, as one of the leading functions of the social calendar in the West Riding.

In business he was estate agent for the Musgrave Trustees for 40 years. He leaves a widow and one son.

(Colin’s note – William Knight Plunkett – born 14 July 1870, died 4 February 1941.)


There was large gathering at the Victoria Hall, Saltaire, last night (5 February) the occasion of the annual dance of the Shipley section of the Bradford West Riding Constabulary.


The proposed Shipley-Baildon unit of the Air Training Corps has been registered as the Airedale (Shipley-Baldon) Squadron. The headquarters will be the Royal Cafe, Saltaire and the Salts (Saltaire) playing fields will be used for drill and physical training. Several applications for commissions and offers to assist In training the new unit have been received.


The Committee considered an application from the military authorities for free use of the Victoria Hall on Thursday afternoons in connection with educational lectures for the troops, and it was resolved that the application was granted.


The death occurred at the Duke of York Home, Bradford, yesterday, 11 February, after a short illness, of Mr Cecil Bardsley Mellor, for many years a member of the Bradford Exchange. and well known throughout the textile industry of the West Riding.

Mr. Mellor, who was 58, was chief representative in Bradford and colour manager for the Globe Worsted Co., Ltd., spinners, and combers, Slaithwaite.

Of a genial disposition, his home at Hillsborough, Slaithwaite, was visited by many friends, and as a keen lover of cricket he occupied various official posts in connection with the Slaithwaite Cricket Club.

He is survived by his widow and only son. Mr. Rex Bardsley Mellor who is a colour matcher at Salts, Saltaire.


News has been received from the United Slates of the death, on 10 January of Mrs. Polly (Trotter) Mason, aged 70, wife of Mr. Isaac Mason, of 725 Third Avenue, Woonsocket, Rhode Island, U.S.A.

Mrs. Mason was born at Saltaire in 1870, being a daughter of John and Mary (Stephenson) Trotter, and the news her death will interest many of her old friends. She was married 3 October 1891, and would have celebrated her golden wedding anniversary this year.

Mr. and Mrs. Mason emigrated to America 35 years ago and have been living at Woonsocket for 30 years.


Frances Emma Farnsworth, aged 74, of 71 Union Street, Shipley, was knocked down and fatally injured in the Market Place by a G.P. O. motor van driven by Albany Burke, 21 Shirley Street, Saltaire.

At the inquest the Coroner (Mr. E. Norris) recorded a verdict “That she was accidentally knocked down in the black-out, and by misadventure was killed.”


Write, Feather, 19 Gordon Terrace, Saltaire.

(Colin’s note – 19 Gordon Terrace was re-numbered 87 Bingley Road)

Death Notice

Briggs - 7 February at 15 Mary Street, Saltaire, Carrie, eldest daughter of the late Jonathan and Sarah Ann Briggs.

Saltaire Times, March 1941


Presentations have been made to employees Saltaire Mills who have a record of 50 years' service with the firm.

Mr. R. W. Guild, managing director Salts (Saltaire) Ltd., made the presentations in the board room, on behalf of the directors, and Mr. H. J. Guild (director), the departmental managers, and members of the administrative staff were present.

Mr. Guild said that during recent years 44 workers had completed half century there.

In addition to the gifts, framed presentation certificates were handed to the employees concerned, who were: Mrs. Mary Hannah Glenn, Miss Ruth Wood, Miss Mildred Souster, Miss Florence E. Carr, Miss Minnie E. Bickel, and Messrs. James Sykes, Silvester Law, John Excell, Jowett Iredale, Edgar Parker, Frank Dracup, Arthur Featherstone and Jonathan Holmes.


To have been on one firm's pay roll for 80 years is the record of Mr. Fred Ellis. of 81 Kirkgate. Shipley, who celebrates his 88th birthday to-day (19 March).

Mr. Ellis started work at Salts (Saltaire) Ltd., on 19 March 1861, and retired when he was aged 75. Since then, however, he has been on the firm's list of pensioners.

In his younger days he kept wicket for, and for some years captained the Saltaire team in the great days of Ted Peate. Richard Barlow. Harry Mosley and other celebrities. He has played at Lord's for the Colts of England against the M.C.C.

Mr. Ellis has a son and daughter living, four grandchildren and two great grandchildren.


The following minutes of a sub-committee appointed to formulate a scheme for the establishment of community kitchens and feeding centres were submitted at the meeting of Shipley Urban Council on Tuesday (25 March).

The Clerk reported that since the last meeting of the sub-committee, the Local Authorities (Community Kitchens and Sale of Food in Public Air Raid Shelters) Order 1941, has been issued by the Minister of Food.

The Clerk stated that the order required every local authority to perform of setting or supplying food at any time within any public air raid shelter situate within that area.

The Clerk reported that the establishment of a community feeding centre at the Saltaire Institute had been amended, and that the scheme, the estimated cost of which was £1,360, had been approved by the Ministry.

The sub-committee then considered the question of arrangements to be made for staffing the community feeding centre.

It was resolved that the Chief Librarian and Manager at the Saltaire Institute, Mr. Christopher Snailham, be invited to take administrative charge of the feeding centre at the Institute; that the Medical Officer of Health be consulted with regard to the preparation of the meals at the centre; that the Treasurer and Accountant be instructed to prepare a scheme lor the financial administration of the centre; that the arrangements providing lor the engagement of a cook and two kitchen assistants be approved, and advertisement be issued inviting applications for the position of cook at a wage of £3 per week.


In recognition of allocations amounting to £539 from the “Yorkshire Observer,” Hospital Foursomes Fund, a "Golfers' Bed" was formally dedicated at the Saltaire Hospital on Saturday (1 March).

The ceremony took place at the hospital, and was attended by a large gathering, which included representatives of the local golf clubs. The prayer of dedication was offered by Professor E. J. Price (Principal of the Yorkshire United College). and a tablet commemorating the occasion was unveiled by Mr. F. Fearnley Rhodes. chairman of the board of governors of the hospital.

After the ceremony tea was provided at Shipley Town Hall by the directors of the “Yorkshire Observer.”


Saltaire Cricket Club, members of the Bradford League, who last season had the regular assistance of A. V. Pope (Derbyshire) and the occasional assistance of W. E. Bowes (Yorkshire), yesterday (3 March) completed the signing of four professionals for the coming season.

Three are Derbyshire County players – W. L. Copson, the fast bowler, with England connections, L. Townsend. the all-rounder, and A. V. Pope.

In addition. they have signed A. Spencer, the wicketkeeper, who has played for Windhill during the past few seasons.


The Shipley Red Cross Hospital Supply and Comforts Depot are doing some remarkably good work, led by the president, Mrs F. H. Rhodes.

I (Susan Butler) spent an interesting time with the members one afternoon this week in their centre at the Victoria Hall, where about 60 of them were busily occupied in making garments and bandages.

The full number of workers is 170, and Mr. Rhodes tells me they could still do with more. They work from 10 until 4.30 on Tuesdays and Thursdays, and devote Wednesdays to cutting out, but some time on Wednesdays is now being given to first aid classes, which are taken by Mrs. White, of the St. John Ambulance Brigade, many of the members feeling that a ‘refresher,’ is necessary.


AIR TRAINING CORPS No. 387 (Airedale) Squadron
ENROLMENT DAY – 15 March 1941

Youths, between the ages of 16 and 18, residing in the Shipley and Baildon Districts who wish to join the Air Training Corps are invited to attend at the Headquarters of the Unit (Royal Café, Saltaire Mills), along with their parents, on SATURDAY NEXT, 15 March, at 3.30 p.m.

A Film, “Out of the Blues,” will be shown, followed by an address by WING COMMANDER T. I. ALCOCK.

46 Church Lane, J. SHEARD, SHIPLEY, Secretary.


The officers of the newly formed Airedale (Shipley & Baildon) Squadron of the Air Training Corps are not entirely satisfied with the number of applications for membership so far received from local youths between the ages of 16 and 18 years.

When the unit was launched on Saturday (15 March), the attendance was considerably below the figure which might have been expected from two towns with a total population of about 40,000.

It has, therefore, been arranged that officers of the unit will be in attendance at their headquarters (the Royal Cafe, Saltaire) every night this week from 7 to 9 o’clock to give information and enrol members.


The first of two table tennis exhibitions by world champions and English internationals was given last night (17 March) to an audience of about 500 people at Connaught Rooms. Bradford.

The second will take place this evening (18 March) at Victoria Hall. Saltaire. The proceeds are in aid of the Duke of Gloucester's Red Cross and St. John Ambulance Fund.


Sergeant-instructor Leonard Hutton. the England and Yorkshire cricketer, has broken his left arm during Army duties, and will miss the early part of the coming season. Hutton was doing handsprings in the gymnasium of his camp when a mat slipped, and he broke his left arm. He is now in hospital.

Last season he played as a professional with Salts (Saltaire) in the Yorkshire Council, but has not entered into any engagement for next summer.


Albany Burke, postman, Shirley Street, Saltaire; desertion by Lily Burke, Idle Road. Bradford. Discretion exercised.


Newman – On 1 March, at the residence of his daughter (Mrs. Williams), 14 Fernbank Street, Green Lane, Baildon, Henry in his sixty-second year, husband of the late Elizabeth Ann Newman (of George Street, Saltaire).

Hall – On 4 March at 2 Harold Place, Saltaire, Beatrice Annie, wife of the late Herbert George Hall.

Abrams – On 19 March at 40 Titus Street, Thomas, in his 73 rd year, husband of Susannah Abrams.


3 March – When The Daltons Rode
10 – Millionaires In Prison & You’re Not So Tough
13 – Our Town
17 – Crooks Tour & Lone Wolf Meets A Lady
20 – Gas Bags
24 – Pop Always Pays
27 – Lucky Partners
31 – Foreign Correspondant





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