The Saltaire Village Website, World Heritage Site
Saltaire Village World Heritage Site
Social history
Colin Coates' Research
Back button | Home | Social History | This Wonderful Creation, 1976 - A film about Saltaire by Eric Hall
Image: Michael de Greasley Added to website: 24 October 2016
This Wonderful Creation, 1976
A tour of Saltaire and an account of Saltaire's history and purpose, filmed by 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.

This Wonderful Creation, a film made by Eric Hall in 1976 features Melanie Hall and Nancy Brearley who walk around the village to Eric Hall's commentary and comments. The Yorkshire Film Archive describes the film as follows:

A beautifully made homage to Titus Salt and his model village of Saltaire, with a highly informative commentary, and filmed in the gentle pace typical of its maker, Eric Hall. Although made in the mid-1970s, Saltaire appears here as idyllic as it must have seemed upon its creation. Despite the control of paternal elitism, the Victorian philanthropist illustrated here makes for an interesting comparison to the view of employees taken by the typical entrepreneur of today.

Eric Hall began making films on the local customs, people and places of Yorkshire in 1929. He was at one time Chairman of the North East Region of the Institute of Amateur Cinematographers and President of Bradford Cine Circle. For a major capitalist, Titus Salt was certainly progressive for his time, but the paean of praise given by Eric Hall needs to be tempered by Salt’s employment of child labour and his big brother style of policing his workers. There are conflicting accounts given why he wouldn’t have pubs in Saltaire as he wasn’t opposed to alcohol. Some say it was because of a fear of debauchery, others that he didn’t want his workers plotting in them. Salts Mill closed in 1986, and the hospital in 1979.

This Wonderful Creation, 1976. A film by Eric Hall.


Saltaire in 1976: images from the film: A Wonderful Creation, by Eric Hall

Above: Gordon Terrace, Saltaire, 1976: Playtime - Toys, Games Sports.
Proprietors L & M Priestley.

Above: Victoria Road, Saltaire, 1976, showing young trees.

Above: Victoria Road, Saltaire, 1976, showing Grimley Chemist on the west junction of
Caroline Street.

Above: bottom of Victoria Road next to the bridge across the Leeds to Liverpool canal,
showing The Llama Shop.

Image of old shop front on Gordon Terrace

Above: Renovation work on this Saltaire shop on Gordon Terrace, exposed this sign: Bill's Butchers - Highest Quality Fresh Meat. Prop. W F & V Harrison.
The photograph was taken on 23 October 2016.
Image courtesy of Trevor Hart, 2016


Search the Yorkshire Film Archive for Saltaire related films

Search the Yorkshire Film Archive for Saltaire related films >

Yorkshire Film Archive films of Saltaire:


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



Our friends

Salts Mill
David Hockney
Saltaire History Club
Saltaire United Reformed Church
Saltaire Inspired
Saltaire Festival
Saltaire Collection, Shipley College
Saltaire Daily Photo


Content copyright of individual contributors.
Please contact the editor.


This website

Colin Coates

The Saltaire Journal, Nemine Juvante Publications


Editor: Flinty Maguire

Reseacher: Colin Coates

Saltaire Social History


This website is unfunded and run by volunteers. We do our best! The information may be inaccurate or out of date.