Saltaire Village, World Heritage Site
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Added to website: 18 February 2014
Community Hero nomination for the Saltaire History Club

History Club, June 2012

Saltaire resident and local historian, Maggie Smith, has nominated the Saltaire History Club for a Community Hero award. The history club was founded by Dave Shaw and the first meeting took place at Shipley College, September 2007. It meets four times a year at various locations in Saltaire and attracts a wide audience who enjoy well researched and presented talks. Its informal structure is welcoming and friendly, and the club is self funding. Shipley College has been very supportive of the venture and college staff, including Julie Woodward and Sandi Moore, who is now retired, are active in the organisational flow of the meetings.

The Saltaire History Club also supports and produces the Saltaire Journal - researched articles on Saltaire which are lodged with the British Library and published online. The next meeting of the History Club is on the 6th March. Information will be released closer to the date.

Members of the History Club have been invited to attend the Community Hero Awards Ceremony on 20 March in Victoria Hall. Maggie Smith's nomination follows:


Nomination for
Shipley Community Heroes Award 2014
Saltaire History Club

Saltaire History Club, established in 2008, has encouraged many local residents of Saltaire and Shipley to undertake research into aspects of Saltaire’s history and present their findings to the regular meetings of members. The topics that have been investigated have included personal memories (oral histories) of childhood in Saltaire, working at Salts Mill, the legacy of Sir James Roberts, the American investment of Titus Salt Junior, the uses of Victoria Hall during WW1 and the experiences of displaced European people coming to work in the mill after WW2, amongst many other topics. Current work is being undertaken into WW1 and residents of Saltaire who fought, who returned and who were killed in action and the great drama at Salts Mill in 1981 when Pamela Mason tried to sack the Yorkshire directors of Illingworth Morris whose HQ was Salts Mill.

The research is purely voluntary but is well supported during its process by experienced club members. As such research adds more documents and artefacts to the Saltaire Archive and adds to the visitor experienced during the Heritage Weekend and for two weeks each summer.

The challenge has been to keep the group informal, operate without financial support and place no pressure on members to conduct research but to aid those who want to do this by passing on background materials and expertise. The resulting presentations are enjoyed by audiences of 60 or more during the regular History Club meetings and many are published to be available online.

History Club members provide events for other organisations such as Saltaire Festival and engender in the resident community a lively interest in the history of the village. Their work is helping to preserve and develop the Archive as well as encouraging community ownership of the valuable heritage of Saltaire.

The innovation and creativity is easily evidenced by the significant increase and variety of materials and artefacts in the Archive since the Club was founded.

The impact the Club has had on the community is enabling skills development within residents, ensuring older residents have their memories and stories recorded and enabling all to gain a deeper understanding of the historical heritage around them.




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