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Helen Street, Saltaire

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Helen was the second youngest of the 11 children of Titus and Caroline Salt, being born on 19th June 1852.

Little is known of Helen’s childhood, but a recently discovered poem, written by the 18 year old Helen in praise of her baby nephew Harold, son of Titus Jr, is touching in its affection. When her elder sister Amelia married in 1873, Helen succeeded her as Sir Titus’ confidential secretary.

When Sir Titus died in late 1876, Helen and her younger sister Ada were the only offspring remaining in the family home of Crow Nest with the Dowager Lady Caroline. The trio moved south in July 1878, taking up residence in Broadoak, a mansion overlooking fashionable Clapham Common, London. For the next twenty years this part of London was to be Helen’s home. She never married; rather she remained with her mother until the latter’s death in 1893, later moving to the spa town of Tunbridge Wells. At the turn of the century, not only Helen but also her two sisters Amelia and Ada were living in this same Kent town, where the trio - remaining true to their parents’ religious following - attended the same Congregational church.

As the spinster Helen moved into older age, the sisterly group shrank, as first Ada moved back to London, and then Amelia died. Helen had outlived all her brothers and sisters apart from Ada. Her final few years were spent in Eastbourne, where she died in 1924, aged 71. She was cremated at Golders Green Crematorium, North London, her ashes being scattered in its Garden of Rest.

© Barlo & Shaw

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