|Salt's Mill on the River Aire|
The best place to start a tour of Saltaire is at the mill. This colossal building, across the road from the railway station, looks more like a palace than an industrial building. It is 545 feet long and six stories high and is now home to vast open plan galleries, shops and restaurants. It also houses the largest collection of, local boy, David Hockney paintings in the world. You can pick up a good quality print for 20 pounds.....or, if you're feeling flush, a 3000 pound Charles and R Eames chair from the Home Design Store. If shopping is not your thing you can stop for a bite at the hugely popular Salt's Diner, (interior design by David Hockney) for bangers and mash, pizza or something a little more upmarket. The Mill is a weekend destination of choice for the people of Leeds, York and Manchester so I suggest visiting on a weekday to avoid crowds. It would be easy to spend the whole day in the mill but don't. Watch the short informative film in the Saltaire history gallery then head out into the town to see first hand the fruition of Titus Salt's vision.
|Boarding houses provided for single workers|
|The alms houses for the aged or infirm|
|Saltaire Club and Training Institute|
I loved my stroll around Saltaire with its views across the Yorkshire countryside. I ended my day at the local bakery for a cup of yorkshire tea and the local curd tart before catching the train back to Leeds. Saltaire is a little known gem providing a fascinating insight into a, thankfully, bygone time when an employer could completely control his workers. The people of Saltaire were just fortunate that their boss was Titus Salt.
Left: The manger's watchtower so he could make sure the locals were behaving