Saltaire Village, World Heritage Site




The Saltaire Sentinel
Saltaire Village World Heritage Site
Saltaire Sentinel
Back button | The Saltaire Sentinel | July 06


Number three Victoria Road was thronged with eager guests on the evening of June 29th for the Grand Opening of the aptly named Magic Number Three – and none were disappointed or had reason to question the advertising which had enticed them to "the surprising new store at the heart of Saltaire village." Both inside and out, the appearance of the venue is a credit to its World Heritage location and is sure to be appreciated by residents and visitors alike.

A large part of the surprise is the versatility of the venture, for the place is like two shops in one: An Aladdin's cave of arts and craft goods accessed by way of a delightful 'deli'.
It is certainly a place created by and for people with taste; including a taste for Fair Trade goods and generally 'wholesome' things. Of the arts and crafts, many of the goods are local (like the original paintings by Amrik Varkalis), most are British and all the suppliers are known to the proprietors.

Norah McWilliam, who is responsible for the beautiful glassware on sale  and is one of the three women behind the business, explained how the thoughtful planning and hard work which has (obviously) gone into it (we all know that such things don't really materialise by magic) was aimed at an establishment which would be suitable to its surroundings and welcomed as part of the community. To this end, Magic Number Three will welcome suggestions, regarding the goods to be stocked, from customers – and will be pleased to offer a sales outlet to suitable local artists and craftworkers.  

The history of No. 3
Number 3 was a chemist's in 1861, but by 1871 had become a joiner and cabinet maker's. It remained in the furniture trade until the 1930s. In 1938 it was home to Gresswell Estate Agents. [This was the firm which bought the Village in 1933.] In the 1950s it was a stationer's shop and by 1962 it had become a Commission Agents.  Malcolm Gray, who took over the property in 1995 for ten years with Carlton Antiques (now trading in the Mill), recalls that there was a ladies' hairdressing shop which leased the ground floor. We don't know how long it had been there. Do you? Clearly, what we see so far is not all we are going to get: "It's going to be a happening place" Norah's colleague Georgia Woollard enthused; "events" being a key word – both artistic and tasting events.

Meanwhile, Faiza Shaikh will be supervising the edible end of things, with speciality cakes and puddings on the take-away menu; as well as Fairtrade organic teas and coffees, plenty in the way of preserves,soft drinks, etc.

Last Words
Organic Corn Flakes and duck eggs – now that's magic!


[By 'Sentinel  Shopper']

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