Saltaire World Heritage Site is not a museum. It is a living, breathing, exciting and vibrant place to visit, live in and work in.
It has a lifeblood coursing through it, consisting of its industry, commerce, educational establishments, shops, housing and the desire of its residents to develop a sense of community here.
Other model villages are preserved in the fromaldehyde of grants and subsidies. Saltaire has to work hard at staying alive, adapting and developing in the modern age. Roger Clarke Front piece for his book “Penny for going”
The Salts Walks guides have been supporting Saltaire since 1996. Firstly, in providing educational material and a resource for the groups market and also in raising thousands of pounds each year to help with projects like the restoration of the blue and white street signs and the grade one Saltaire United Reformed Church.
Saltaire village, now part of the Bradford Metropolitan District and just four miles from Bradford took 20 years to build. It is one of the finest examples of a Victorian model community in the world. Built by the indomnitable Victorian Sir Tius Salt, he provided every facility his workers would need, but no pubs, no pawn shops and no police stations!
Salts Mill, which opened in 1853, once produced 30,000 yards of cloth a day. Today it is better know for the 1853 Gallery, the world’s largest collection of artwork by Bradford born artist, David Hockney. Paintings, photographss, even fax art hang from the heating pipes in superbly refurbished spinning rooms.
Today visitors stroll around the village, following one of the Salts Walks guides, marvelling at the neat rows of streets named after Sir Titus Salt’s family expressing amazement at the facilities he provided. Starting at the ornate United Reformed Church, housing the carved Salt Family mausoleum, then moving past the elegant shops on Victoria Road and into the superb Grade 2* Victoria Hall to listen to the magnificent Wurlizter organ, bringing a great “glad to be alive” sound to the village. Visitors take riverside walks through the wonderfully refurbished Roberts Park up to the Shipley Glen Tramway, riding on the funicular to the moors and beyond
Visitors then walk along the tow path of the Leeds and Liverpool canal to the Five Rise Locks at Bingley, which is a magnificent feat of engineering that raises the canal 60 feet.