All our guides have been and are still involved in not just preserving the history, but making history in Saltaire. We fully support the UNESCO world heritage site and contribute to projects, like the restoration of the Prussian blue and white street signs. We make a regular monthly contribution to the preservation and restoration of the Saltaire United Reformed Church. Our contributions have recently been used towards the restoration of the mausoleum where Sir Titus Salt is interred and the cleaning of the statues .We also provide resources for the education market, for example education packs for primary schools.
All our guides are individuals and have their unique style, opinions and character. They interact with each other, just like in real life. That’s what makes our tours so special.
Maria actually lives in Saltaire and has worked in the tourist industry for many years and is famous for being appointed Bradford District’s first Tourism Officer in 1980. She was instrumental in training the first Blue Badge Guides in Yorkshire. Not only is she a long term resident of Saltaire and an enthusiastic local historian, she is a member of Saltaire History Direct the fabulous Saltaire WI, the Saltaire Traders and supports the Saltaire Village Society, Saltaire Festival and Saltaire Inspired Her collection of fascinating facts and anecdotes bring Saltaire history to life. Her guided walks, talks and after dinner speeches are legendary and refreshingly different.
Maria’s costumed character, Mrs Ellin Dooley, is as common as muck, lives in an ordinary worker’s house on Amelia Street with her husband Henry, 12 children and another on the way.
A former journalist, Sally gave up work to raise her two sons and used her spare time to learn foreign languages. She now speaks French, German, Spanish and Italian as well as a little Greek and Catalan. She then trained as a guide at Harewood House, Leeds, hoping to use her language skills, before joining Salts Walks in the spring of 2009. Sally is also secretary to Bradford Circle for Foreign Languages, a group that coincidentally meets in Eldon Place, a building once owned by Sir Titus Salt.
Mrs Caroline Hill is the wife of Saltaire’s security chief, Colonel Thomas Henry Hill. They live in the second biggest house in the village at 47 Titus Street. A mother of four children, she nevertheless leads a very lonely existence as her husband spends much of his time in the watchtower above their home, looking out for anyone who breaks the strict rules of Saltaire. She longs for her former life in India, where she was born and brought up.
Sheila is an actor and singer; a member of West Riding Opera and the Glen Singers. She appeared in ‘After the War is Over’ in 2012, playing a First World War nursing sister for Saltaire UNESCO World Heritage Site and most recently she played Sister Milton in ‘Not About Heroes’.
She is currently guiding for Salts Walks, playing the character of Matron Sarah Turner, a trained ‘Nightingale Nurse’. The first matron to be appointed at Salt’s Hospital, her mantra in life is ‘to purge, or not to purge?’ Sheila’s specialism is 19th Century medicine.
is Mrs Pollie Toothill wife of Sylvestor Toothill
Joanne Crother (AKA Lucienne de Ville) is a singer specialising in French Chansons, jazz and swing. She sings under the name of Lucienne de Ville in restaurants, private parties and corporate events. In 2015 she was flown out to perform at a private birthday party on the banks of the river Limmat in Zurich Switzerland. She also works in schools promoting science and engineering via a range of exciting and fun hands on projects, some of which have recieved national and international regognition, her team J & J Projects also works with the British Council in Parisand had delivered projects at schools in over 10 regions of France.
Pollie Toothill, born plain old Mary Ackroyd in Bradford Moor changed her name and married Sylvester, who turns out to be quite a rum character…(!) Joanne has unearthed some interesting information about Silvester, which had Pollie known about, in hindsight, she might not have married him..! Yet he does have one advantage… his father Edward, is the Curator at The Saltaire Institute, now known as The Victoria Hall, where they live in the Curator’s basement apartment with her in-laws. Legend has it, that Pollie was a bit of a chanteuse and that she used to entertain the villagers during performances at The Institute…
Sylvester featured in the local press on numerous occasions and it seems he led Pollie a merry dance living in different locations and several scrapes with the law…!
Jenny started out at Wilson’s School of Speech and Drama in Shipley at the age of 13, having found her passion she then went onto study a Btec in Performing Arts and Drama at Halifax School of Integrated Arts. Having joined the Priestley Centre in Bradford at age 18 she performed in many productions there and with the Hebden Bridge Little Theatre where she scooped Best Supporting Actress Award in 2011 for her role as Linda in ‘Ladies’ Day’. She then played the lead role Jo in ‘Jo’s War’ with ACT where they toured around the UK. Then to mark 500 years since the great fire of London she performed extracts from Samual Pepy’s diary with six live doves at Spinks in Bloomsbury.
In 2017 Jenny moved into Mary St with her family and started to take a great interest in the history of Saltaire. Jenny although originally from Yorkshire spent 5 years in London where she worked for Kew Gardens and trained at Capel Manor College in Garden Design/Maintenance. In summer 2018 she was involved in Saltaire Inspired’s annual Open Gardens project. It was then she heard about Martha Brown faithful servant to the Brontes coming to live in Saltaire for 9 years with her sister Ann Binns on Victoria Road. She had a light bulb moment and thought it would be wonderful to bring her character back to life, and so marry the history of Haworth and Saltaire in an interesting way.
Her costumed character, Martha Brown the Brontes live in servant for 23 years from age 11. In 1868 she moved to 16/17 Victoria Road Saltaire a tailors shop run by her brother in law Benjamin Binns. She helps her sister Ann out with her 9 children, and often intriques an audience when she relating stories about the Brontes.