Saltaire Village, World Heritage Site




The Saltaire Sentinel
Saltaire Village World Heritage Site
Saltaire Sentinel
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It is twenty years since   Jonathan Silver bought Salts Mill. Anne Davies, now the Gallery Bookshop Manager, recalls  the early days:

Under Jonathan’s leadership, Anne tells us, everyone did whatever was necessary.  He was a workaholic and expected everyone else to give the same commitment.  He could be conducting a critical negotiation one minute and sweeping the floor the next.  Similarly, staff could be busy with a job and then called away to park his car or walk Freda, the dog. [Both the Silvers and David Hockney owned dachshunds, as did their great hero, Picasso.- Roger]
 When Jonathan opened the Diner in 1993, Anne worked 27 consecutive days without a break, and was then allowed 2 days off.  If you lasted a month, she says,  you did well. 

The work pressure on everyone from Jonathan was intense.  He quite simply wore people out.   He lived and breathed work, and found it difficult to take holidays.  He would phone into work when on holiday or when ill for whispered conversations about work without Maggie hearing him.  On one occasion he persuaded Anne to miss her holidays because she wasn’t going away and he argued that she might as well be at work! The only hierarchy was that Jonathan was in charge and was the star of the show.  Everyone else was supporting cast.  He made all the decisions, with his brilliantly agile mind and his attention to detail.  The advantage to this was that you always got an immediate answer to any query, provided you could pin him down and were prepared to share his attention with several other people.  Jonathan had an endearing quality of showing an unexpected touch of humour, kindness or thoughtfulness, which meant that any disagreements were quickly forgotten.    

To be continued...



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