The Saltaire Village Website, World Heritage Site
Saltaire Village World Heritage Site
Social history
Colin Coates' Research
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Please feel free to contribute your research, memories and stories of Saltaire.

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House histories

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Researched by Colin Coates

Who lived in Saltaire houses? Colin Coates discovers the people and families who made their home in Saltaire. First street: Ada St.

Reel Lives: Women who worked in the mills

WW1 The Saltaire Story

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Researched by Colin Coates and inspired by the Cloth & Memory exhibition in Salts Mill, by British artist, Caren Garfen.Biographies of the 108 women connected with Saltaire who worked in mills. More >

News: 100 years ago

WW1 The Saltaire StoryQuick link:

Life and reportage, but not as we know it. Saltaire stories that hit the news.

Researched by Colin Coates

Saltaire Journal

The Saltaire Journals are researched articles relating to Saltaire and its history. They are available to download on a world-wide basis to non-commercial parties such as local historians and research and educational bodies, courtesy of the publisher, Nemine Juvante (Saltaire). More >

Mill Workers

WW1 The Saltaire StoryQuick links:

Researched by Colin Coates

Saltaire Mill operated from 1853 until 1986, and gave employment to thousands of workers. Few records survived. Mill workers appear on census information from 1861 to 1911. Here we find out who they were.
More >

WW1 - The Saltaire Story

WW1 The Saltaire StoryQuick links:

Researched by Colin Coates

WW2 - The Roll of Honour

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Researched by Colin Coates

Honouring the men and women who lived in Saltaire and served their country in World War Two, and documenting what life was like in Saltaire during WW2.

Extra biographies

WW1 The Saltaire StoryQuick links:

The people connected to Saltaire who didn't work in the Mill, or serve in a war. We discover their lives in Saltaire.

Researched by Colin Coates

Second Boer War Roll of Honour

WW1 The Saltaire StoryQuick link:

Researched by Colin Coates

Biographies of those connected with Saltaire who served in the Second Boer War.

SALTAIRE PEOPLE: Lots of stories shared by you

Shared social history of the people who live, or have lived in, Saltaire. We welcome your stories. Please get in touch. Email:

Explore Saltaire People >

Latest: Mitchell, Julia (nee Spalding)

Two years at Albert Road Infants’ School 1946 - 1948
A very enlightened education

I was born in March 1942 at the Norman-Rae Nursing Home at the junction of Bingley Road and Kirkgate next to the Ring of Bells pub. Life, during and for a few years after the Second World War, was spartan. I spent my first few nights of life in an air raid shelter as planes flew nightly over Bradford on their way to bomb Liverpool. Coal rationing meant that at home my family and I lived in the only heated room in the house which had a rolled-up mattress in one corner ready for emergencies and where my brother and I were bathed in a sink in another. When my mother ventured into the kitchen in the winter she donned her fur coat and gloves and every night, upstairs we were tucked very quickly into cot or bed warmed by hot water bottles, wearing thick woolly vests under and fleecy ‘siren suits’ over our night clothes. More >

The Dewhirst family

Rhoda was born in 1874 and went on to work as a spinner at Salts Mill. Sarah (Sally) was born 1876 and went on to work as a wool twister at Salts for 51 years. She was presented with a clock which my sister now has. I remember as a child being taken to see “the little Aunties” Rhoda and Sally who lived at 1 Edward Street. They were both under 5 feet tall and always wore a hat... More >

Debunking two myths concerning the life of Sir Titus Salt

Researched by David King

Robert Balgarnie wrote a biography of his late friend, Sir Titus Salt. Did he get some things wrong? More >

FREE DOWNLOAD: Sir Titus Salt, Baronet: His Life and its Lessons by Rev. R. Balgarnie


This biography, written by Sir Titus Salt's contemporary and friend, Reverend Robert Balgarnie, is made freely available courtesy of Nemine Juvante (Saltaire) Publications.

You can also buy the a republished hardback edition of the Balgarnie's biography with valuable Commentary and Additions by local historians, Dave Shaw and Philip Barlo.

Download free text (Acrobat file), or buy the book with Commentary and Additions >

The Saltaire Sentinel Archive, January 2006 - December 2017

Go to the Sentinel Archive >

Saltaire Sentinel, last issueCreated and edited by James Duncan, The Saltaire Sentinel was a part of Saltaire life for 15 years. The first edition was published on 1 January 2003; the last on 1st December 2017. Two issues are missing, April 2013, and June 2017, due to circumstance and ill health. Overall, 178 Sentinels were published, each one archived in Shipley College. Since January 2006, the Sentinel has also been available on this website, [] sought out far and wide for its character and quirkiness. In total, 89,650 copies have been printed.

James Duncan died on the 6 January 2018. A Tribute Edition was published in February to celebrate James and his unique contribution to Saltaire, our World Heritage Site village, and mourn the loss of a dear friend.

For future generations, The Saltaire Sentinel gives an authetic view of life in Saltaire in these years.


Jack Robinson recalls his childhood in and around Saltaire

Many thanks to Jack Robinson for sharing these memories, evocative of childhood in the 1940s.

I was born in Shipley in the West Riding of Yorkshire on December 7th 1937, I presume it was at home as it was the norm in those days, in  Regent  Street number 24 (no longer there). My first memories don’t start till I was about 3 years old and they are rather  disjointed but never the less are very clear in my 80 year old mind. ...

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Rifle presented by Titus Salt in 1861 is now owned by American, Eugene Tucceri.

1 July 2017. Saltaire Historian, Colin Coates, writes: I have been contacted recently (through the Saltaire Village website) by Eugene Tucceri, a gentleman from small town in central Massachusetts, USA. Eugene owns a rifle that was presented by Titus Salt in 1861 to the winner of a rifle shooting competition for the Bradford Volunteer Corps. Eugene had been looking for years for the name of the person who won the rifle and I was able to provide this information for him. Many thanks to Eugene for taking the trouble to contact us and share these photographs. It is greatly appreciated.

Read Article >

This Wonderful Creation, 1976
A tour of Saltaire and an account of Saltaire's history and purpose, filmed Eric Hall in 1976.

Yorkshire Film Archive

This Wonderful Creation, 1976, by Eric Hall, is a film curated by the Yorkshire Film Archive. The YFA collects and preserves non-fiction film since the 1890s, which show Yorkshire's rich and varied lifestyles, industries and culture. Many of the films are available to watch, free of charge via the YFA's website.

Link to the film, more information and images >

Yorkshire Film Archive films of Saltaire:

Yorkshire Film Archive


Bradford and Saltaire covered in snow.  It includes a horse drawn snow plough.
7mins | 35MM | Black and white | Silent


Early images of the fairground entertainment on Shipley Glen in 1912. Shows scenes of a wooden roller coaster and a broken down Helter Skelter.
4mins 33seconds | 16MM | Black and white | Silent


The employees' trip to the seaside resort of Blackpool, undertaken in celebration of the centenary of Salts Mill, known as Salts (Saltaire) Ltd. 1853 - 1953.
20mins | 16MM | Black and white | Silent


A brief history of the Jowett Company and the Jowett Car Club's annual rally held at Saltaire. Shows many fine vintage cars.
15mins | Super 8 | Colour | Combined magnetic sound

MYTH: Saltaire streets had a strict hierarchy

Historian, Colin Coates writes: One myth that I come across when I speak to people is that in Saltaire “the workers streets had strict hierarchy.” Those who peddled this myth will tell you the houses in Albert Road, were occupied exclusively by managers and “professional” people.

Read article >
THOMAS MILNES, c1810-1888

Written and researched by Chris Bell
Copyright, Chris Bell, 2016

First published in The Telamon, the Magazine of The Friends of Kensal Green Cemetery.

[Thomas Milnes carved the lions, War, Peace, Determination and Vigilance which adorn Victoria Road, Saltaire.]

Chris Bell writes: My Milnes connection comes through my grandfather’s mother Ellen Sarah Milnes, who was born in Snettisham, Norfolk in 1871. My grandfather, Fred Wagstaffe, was an avid family historian who wrote monographs on every branch of the family...

Read article >

Peace, the lion, Saltaire

The Wedding of the Briggs: A play by Boguslawa Sieroszewska

Introduction by Dr Sarah Dietz, July, 2016: The renewed interest in the shared history of Marki and Bradford is certainly a credit to the enthusiasm of the Marki-Pustelnik-Struga History Group, although the romantic portrayal in Bogusława Sieroszewska’s play is very far from historical fact. In 1883 the Briggs brothers, formerly of Briggella Mills in Bradford, established a large worsted factory and workers’ community in Poland. To cement their position in Warsaw society, the Yorkshiremen both married daughters of local industrialists. These “arranged” marriages were consecrated with minimal ceremony, not in church but in the offices of the British Consul at Warsaw and it should be accepted that the brides were less of a prize for the young men than the strengthened business relationships with their newly-acquired fathers-in-law. Indeed the Briggs spoke no Polish so communication with their new wives would have been somewhat challenging!

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Abraham Holroyd's descendant, Lincoln Holroyd, Cornet Soloist

Lincoln Holroyd, cornet soloistIn 1892, Abraham Holroyd's grandson, Lincoln, emigrated with his family from Saltaire, England to Bordentown, New Jersey. His father Edwin is credited with giving Lincoln his first lessons on cornet and is referred to in one source as a “well known band man”. By 1900 Linc had established himself as a cornet soloist with Winkler’s 2nd Regimental Band of Trenton, New Jersey.  His first professional teacher was Carl F. Koenig of Leipzig. Both Linc and Carl  performed with Winkler’s Band. In 1901, Linc moved to Camden NJ, home of Victor Records. As assistant cornet soloist, Lincoln recorded for Patrick Conway's band and played with Arthur Pryor's band as well. In 1905 he accepted a position as Brass Instructor at the Utica Conservatory, and remained an active performer and educator in that city until his passing in 1961.

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The Purchase Deed of 25 Mary Street, Saltaire, on 19 May 1938 by Mr & Mrs Elsworth

25 Mary Street, Saltaire

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The family bible of Sir Titus Salt's parents, Daniel and Grace Salt

An amazing and profoundly touching piece of social history. The family bible of Daniel and Grace Salt was salvaged from an unknown house clearance in Oxted, Surrey. It is now in the possession of Colin Waghorn, an avid collector of ephemera.

Sir Titus Salt's parents, Daniel and Grace Salt, took care to memorialise their family. In the middle of the bible Daniel's father's death date is inscribed, so too Daniel and Grace's birth dates and marriage, their children's birth and christening dates, and for three of their children, their death dates. The information is pictured and transcribed. Read article >

The Rules of Saltaire Village: genuine and fake

The genuine rules of Saltaire

So far, it's been established there are two sets of Rules of Saltaire Village from Sir Titus Salt's time that are genuine . Local historian, Colin Coates, confirms there are also genuine rules for Sir Titus Salt Hospital, written in 1910 and revised in 1922.

Fake rules of Saltaire, as sold by the Visitor Information Centre

The "rules for living in Saltaire Village 1853 - 1876", below, and "rules for working in Salts Mill, 1853 - 1876" are sold as a souvenir, but no source has been found by local historians and researchers. Please don't cite them in your essays!

More about these unsourced rules >

Saltaire myths and fake facts

Those interested in facts, please take note: unless stories are sourced, please don't assume they're part of Saltaire's history.

Have you heard of any of these myths that are touted around Saltaire?

  • Saltaire streets had a strict hierarchy.
  • Rules of the Village and the Mill: unsourced and evidence of being faked.
  • Daisy Place, Fern and Myrtle Place were named after Sir Titus Salt's maids.
  • Sir Titus Salt had illegitimate children.
  • Streets were to be named after Titus Salt's parents, Daniel and Grace, until he quarrelled with them.
  • The church chandelier was placed to obstruct Lady Caroline's view.
  • The bust in the church was placed to aggrandise Sir Titus Salt in his lifetime.
  • The urine of red-headed girls was collected separately.
  • Titus Salt destroyed the records of Salts Mill.
  • The blocked up windows of Saltaire were due to the glass tax.

Myths - more info
See the list and more detail >

The fake rules of Saltaire

Students and academics, beware. These rules are fake. More >

Victoria Hall, Saltaire: the addition of the side galleries

Victoria Hall, Saltaire

Local historian, Colin Coates writes: Today (20 July 1915) I managed to visit the West Yorkshire Archives in Bradford and I found two items that suggest there were indeed side galleries in Victoria Hall.

I attach these two finds plus a newspaper cutting I found previously:-

1. Newspaper cutting from September 1877 which mentions  "erection of a gallery".
2.  A gallery plan (undated) showing seats on three sides of the hall.
3. A list (dated 1886) of the all the rooms in the hall. Note there are two sets of dimensions for the gallery.

Although its not conclusive - I think it is possible there were indeed side galleries in the Hall which, sadly, no longer exist. Read article >





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