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Hidden History in Albert Terrace, Saltaire

Ever wondered what was inside number 4 Albert Terrace in 1854? In the year after Titus Salt officially opened the mill, this was where he provided the first library for his tenants and workers. Eventually, the Institute opened in 1871 and housed the lending library and a large reference section.

If reading wasn’t your preference, there was a gym, rifle drill room and a billiards room. Now known as Victoria Hall, the building is Grade II* Listed.

Although Titus professed to have little if any time for reading, he was a member of the Leeds Philosophical & Literary Society and clearly valued it, as evidenced by this benevolence.

The Saltaire Library closed in 1993.

#LibrariesWeek2019

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Pictures

1. The site of Saltaire’s first library - 4 Albert Terrace
2. Saltaire Lending Library, The Institute
3. Gents browsing
4. Saltaire Library Reference Section
5. Victoria Hall, from the 1919 Shipley Town Guide
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Such memories. As a child I couldn't walk far so mum & dad would sit me in a corner for hours whilst I read & read particularly Cat in a hat series, Enid Blyton & Famous Five ❤️

I remember the library being like that in the early 1970s. My dad used to take me to renew "Noggin The Nog and the Moon Mouse".

Find memories if going to the library, not in Albert terrace though lol

Crazed Son-in Law Stabs Titus Salt’s Father

Daniel Salt, respectable and retired wool stapler, businessman and politician, was attacked in his home in on this day 1840 by his daughter Grace’s husband.

Grace, aged 28 at the time of the incident, had married Charles Smithies just three years earlier in St Peter’s, Bradford, now Bradford Cathedral. Charles was a worsted spinner who declared bankruptcy in 1840. Grace left him and went back to live with her parents. Subsequent events were to vindicate the Salts’ decision to support their daughter abandoning the marital home with her children.

On 1st October 1840, Charles Smithies attempted to stab Daniel several times with the intention of maiming him. He left Daniel with injuries to his left ear, was arrested and committed to the Assizes at York for trial.

It would appear that Grace did not reconcile with her husband who died in Wolverhampton aged 54 in 1867. Grace lived to 1873 when her worldly goods amounted to less than £300, under £1,500 at today’s rates.

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Pictures

1. Daniel Salt
2. Manningham Lane Bradford, oozing elegance and wealth
3. York Assizes
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Crazed Son-in Law Stabs Titus Salt’s Father

Daniel Salt, respectable and retired wool stapler, businessman and politician, was attacked in his home in on this day 1840 by his daughter Grace’s husband.

Grace, aged 28 at the time of the incident, had married Charles Smithies just three years earlier in St Peter’s, Bradford, now Bradford Cathedral.  Charles was a worsted spinner who declared bankruptcy in 1840.  Grace left him and went back to live with her parents.  Subsequent events were to vindicate the Salts’ decision to support their daughter abandoning the marital home with her children.

On 1st October 1840, Charles Smithies attempted to stab Daniel several times with the intention of maiming him.  He left Daniel with injuries to his left ear, was arrested and committed to the Assizes at York for trial.

It would appear that Grace did not reconcile with her husband who died in Wolverhampton aged 54 in 1867.  Grace lived to 1873 when her worldly goods amounted to less than £300, under £1,500 at today’s rates.

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Pictures

1. Daniel Salt
2. Manningham Lane Bradford, oozing elegance and wealth
3. York AssizesImage attachmentImage attachment

Rabies Death in Saltaire

As vaccination rates plunge it’s timely to reflect on the fatal consequences of being unprotected from horrible diseases. 1870s Saltaire was one of the best places to live for working people but was not immune to tragedy. In December 1870 the 7-year-old daughter of a millhand was bitten by a sick terrier; it would be her last Christmas.

Rabies was a scourge throughout West Yorkshire, claiming lives as there was negligible chance of survival. In January 1886, a terrier bit 20 people as it ran amok in Great Horton. Rabies takes a time for the symptoms to show but when a victim in his 30s died of the disease, Bradford Council decided it had to try to save the children involved. It was decided to use public funds to send them to Dr Louis Pasteur in Paris.

Among the first to be treated, a week long course of injections from a monstrous needle was not fun but saved all five youngsters’ lives. No wonder they became local celebrities. And well done Bradford!

Sadly for four-year-old Alice Schofield of Shipley there would be no happy ending. Bitten by a setter, she died “in great agony” a few months later in May 1886.

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Pictures

1. The Bradford children treated by the great Louis Pasteur
2. Report of rabies death in Saltaire
3. Great Horton, Bradford
4. Alice Schofield of Shipley, 8 May 1886
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Very interesting. Did the cholera outbreak affect Saltaire much?

Interesting

On This Day in 1803…..

…Titus Salt was born in the 16th century Manor House, Morley. As if we could forget! Titus marked his birthday with huge celebrations, no expense spared. Not only were they reported in the press, they were recorded in the Rev Balgarnie’s 1877 biography and nowadays the annual Saltaire Festival is held over the weekend closest to 20th September.

There was an unusual treat for his workers in 1857, four years after the massive birthday bash for the official opening of Saltaire. 2,600 millhands went by three specially commissioned trains to the Art Treasures Exhibition in Manchester, the largest art show ever in Britain with upwards of 16,000 exhibits and 1.3m visitors.

With more than £1 million passing through his personal bank account every year (worth £119m now), Sir Titus could easily afford such generosity, assuming that he paid and not the firm of Titus Salt & Sons.

It’s the finale weekend of the Saltaire Festival and with a favourable weather forecast it’s a fantastic opportunity to party in the grand tradition started by the man who had it all. Happy Birthday Titus!

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Pictures

1. The Manor House, Morley, Titus Salt’s birthplace long since demolished. A blue plaque unveiled in 2018 marks the spot. Why hasn’t he got one in Saltaire?
2. The 1857 Art Treasures Exhibition building, Manchester.
3. Central Station, Manchester.
4. Titus Salt’s wealth revealed in an 1865 newspaper article.
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Saltaire Mill Owner’s Daughter Elopes

Alice Roberts was a beauty who was courted by dashing Norman “Frank” Rutherford, the son of a respected but not wealthy Shipley GP. The summer of 1902 was dull, cool and wet, whilst the hot passion between this socially mis-matched couple would lead to scandal.

Somehow, the daring duo successfully gave their families the slip and travelled nearly 300 miles to marry in secret on 27 August 1902 in Ferry-Port on Craig, Tayport, in Scotland.

Sir James Roberts, the “Second Lord of Saltaire”, had already failed to persuade his headstrong daughter to marry a Polish officer in the Russian army. Now he had to come to terms with her choice of a penniless student doctor.

It was the beginning of an alternative lifestyle for Alice and would result in a tragic murder that gripped the nation one hundred years ago in 1919.

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Pictures

1. Alice Maud Roberts
2. Ferry-Port on Craig, Tayport
3. Norman Cecil “Frank” Rutherford
4. Dr J Rutherford’s family home, Shipley
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Oooh what happened next?!

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