Tourism in Saltaire
For over one hundred and sixty years the village and its environs was a holiday destination for people working in the mills of Bradford. Every weekend droves of people would stroll down Victoria Rd, heading for Shipley Glen and the open moors where there were holiday homes. In 1879 a ‘Victorian Fairground was built at the top of the glen: The Shipley Glenn Tramway was built in1895 and in the early 1900’s the country’s largest aerial glide was constructed –the ‘Cape to Cairo Railway.’
The late 1960’s and 70’s saw a notable decline of visitors to Saltaire and the Glen. Tastes were changing with the advent of cheap package holidays and the mass use of cars, suddenly people stopped coming to Saltaire.
Revival of Interest in Saltaire & Key Dates in it’s recent History.
1971 28th July Saltaire declared a Conservation area.
1978 Apollo Canal Cruises, running boat trips and dinner cruises along the Leeds & Liverpool Canal. (David Lowe)
1979 Bradford Council, created the Economic Development Unit, (EDU) Maria Glot appointed as the districts first ever Tourism Officer. Part of their remit being to develop the tourism industry in the district.
Saltaire was identified as a key site of tourism potential.
1980 Shipley Glen Tramway re-furbished and re-opened.
1981 Industrial Heritage packages were produced guided tours of the working mill and village were established By EDU. First Blue Badge Guides in Yorkshire were trained by Maria Glot, the Yorkshire Tourist Board and the Guild of Guide lectureres.
1982 Over 10,000 tourists shown around the working mill & village. A Mill Museum was opened. The Mill shop expanded its taking s by 300%.
1986 Nov Salts Mill closed for Textile production
1987 June local entrepreneur Jonathan Sliver buys Salts Mill & begins to breath lifeinto the village by regenerating the local shops
1987 Nov 1853 David Hockney Gallery established by Joanathan Silver.
1987 Saltaire nominated for World Heritage Site Status Owing to the work of the village society led by Clive Wood.
How developments in the Mill have affected the village.
Salts mill is and always has been key to the development of Saltaire. Over £300 million has been invested in the village over the last 20 years.
1992 & ongoing Refurbishment and re-occupation of shops in Victoria Road to cater for visitors, and changing tastes.
1994 New toilet block in Caroline St. cost £67,000. Refurbished again in 2006.
1994 Saltaire declared as the fastest growing tourist destination by the Yorkshire tourist Board.
1994 Private commercial Visitor Centre Opens in Victoria Rd.Run by Anne & Roger Heald. Weekend guided tours established (SaltsWalks)
1994 Saltaire Trader’s Association formed to promote the village. 62 members working together with Jonathan Silver as President. Malcolm Gray as chair & Anne Heald as Information & Events co-ordinator. Street events ‘Victorian Christmas’ and Easter Eggstravaganza organised.
1995 April Bradford Council ceases all tourism promotional activities.
1995 April Saltaire Studies Centre established at Shipley College, with support of Sir Titus Salts decendents.
1995 1st July Saltaire Tourist Information Centre opened and Nationally networked. Run by Anne & Roger Heald.
1995 The Victoria Antiques Centre Opens. Run by Malcolm Gray.
1996 Civic Trust Centre Vision Award. Saltaire selected because “it is a remarkable example of conservation– led economic regeneration.”
1995 Europa Nostra Medal for projects which make a distinguished contribution to the conservation and enhancement of Europe’s architectural and Natural heritage.
1997 Sept The death of Salts Mill owner and entrepreneur Jonathan Silver.
2001 Dec 14th Saltaire inscribed as a ‘World Heritage Site’ by UNESO
Factors which have contributed to the development
Of Saltaire as a World Heritage Site and Major Tourist Destination 1984-2013
1984 Saltaire Village Society established. One of it’s many aims to collect Saltaire artefacts and memorabilia. Clive Woods a key contributor.
1984 Re-opening of the Saltaire Railway Station.
1985 Building’s in Saltaire Listed, by English Heritage.
1985 The unique Reed Organ & Harmonium Museum established in the Institute by Phil & Pam Fluke. (Closed Nov 2011)
1985 Saltaire United Reformed Church commenced guided tours of the church. (Bert Thornton) Now organised by Len Morris
1987 Jonathan Silver, buys Salts Mill and opens the ‘1853’ David Hockney Gallery. Many other attractions followed & continue to be developed in the mill. 2007 sees the opening of an old worlde’ music shop. New developments in the mill ongoing continued today by Maggie and Robin Silver
1987 Saltaire Village Society under the leadership of Clive Woods bids for and wins a nomination for World Heritage Status for Saltaire
1993 The refurbishment of New Mill into Offices and 73 luxury apartments.
1995 -2006 Saltaire Tourist Information Centre Networked Nationally made a major contribution and literally put Saltaire on the OS Map.
2003 The Saltaire Festival Established. A major & extremely successful event held for two weeks in September each year
2004 Saltaire History Group established
2004 The Friends of Roberts Park formed. Instrumental for the major refurbishment of ‘Roberts Park’.
2011 Saltaire Visitor Centre opens in Salts Mill, run by Bradford Council
2007 First Saltaire Art Trail established by David Worsley
1995 –2015 Salts walks & Talks plus new Drama walks Professional Local Guides, Maria Glot, Roger Clarke, Sally Clegg, Sheila Lansdell ,Viv Swaine & Helen Broadhead continue to attract people of all ages and from all walks of life to get the most out of Saltaire World Heritage Site. Over these years many other people in Saltaire have been involved in the guided walks including Clive Wood and local playwright Hattie Townsend. A tribute to all for helping make Salts Walks so unique and successfull.
2013 Oct Saltairevillageexperience.co.uk website established to be fully inclusive, and help promote and advertise all Saltaire businesses and provide a link to all local tourist attractions, for groups and individuals to enable them to get the best out of a visit to Saltaire.