Sewing, stitching, baking, cooking, gardening, shopping and general homemaking.

Monday, 9 August 2010

Yorkshire Pictures - Saltaire

One of the reasons for our recent trip to Yorkshire, in fact probably the main reason, is because both Graham and myself are fascinated with the industrial revolution and the effects it had on ordinary people at the time.  Though there were great advances I'm glad I didn't live then.  Before Titus Salt built his factory with it's workers' village the workers would have lived and worked in Bradford.  Bradford was disgustingly polluted by all the industry and when the powers that be wouldn't do anything about it Titus decided to move.  The average life-span in Bradford was 20 years.  At Saltaire their life-span improved to 70 years.
This is the factory he built and manufactured the cloth Alpaca, which he developed and that made him very rich.
These are some of the skilled workers houses.  There were different styles of houses depending on your status as a worker.  You can tell these are for the skilled workers because of the four panels in the front doors and the arched, sunburst style windows.  The unskilled workers had three panel doors and squared off windows.  The overseers and, what I suppose would be called managers these days, had much bigger, more elaborate houses.
He also built schools; a hospital; a workers dining hall, where workers could get a cheap, nutritious meal; an 'institute', I'm not sure what we'd call this these days, it housed the library, held adult education classes, was used for meetings and social gatherings; a church; but no pubs!!!  The lion in the above picture is one of four.  Originally they were going to be used in Trafalgar Square but were deemed too small so Titus bought them cheap and installed them in his village!  He could seem generous but his generosity to his workers also ensured he got the best out of them, they were healthier due to good food, fresh air and good housing.
Today the factory at Saltaire is a sort of art gallery and has shops and a restaurant.  The whole village is a world heritage site.


Gillie said...

I do hope you are feeling MUCH better, Ann! What an interesting place, definitely a must on my next visit home. I hope he treated his workers better than Pullman over here - they had to shop in the company store and the rents were outrageous!

Laurie said...

What a great weekend it is so interesting when you go on a tour as they give you lots of snippits of info... I notice the houses all have one window blocked off due to the window tax all those years ago.
It is amazing that so many people did not unblock them when the tax finished to make the houses lighter..
hugs Laurie

Peggy said...

Hi Ann, great post with lots of historical info.I saw oneof these workers villages near Liverpool some years ago I think it had something to do with sunlight soap?!Did'nt Cadbury's do something similiar?
I hope the bug has left and you are feeling much better.