Monday, 7 March 2011

Salts Mill

Last week I had to attend a work event in Sheffield. Instead of staying the week in a hotel on my own I decided to save my employers some money and stay with my parents who live about an hour from Sheffield in Leeds.

It was lovely to spend some time with my parents, even if I did miss O (it has been a long time since we've been apart for that long). My course ended on Thursday and I decided to spend the day with my parents and travel back north on Friday evening.

We spent Friday at Salts Mill, a place we went to several times some years ago but had fallen off our radar more recently for some reason. 

Yorkshire and the surrounding area is full of huge textile mills but Salts Mill was special. Titus Salt opened Salts Mill in 1853, building a whole village (Saltaire) for his workers.The village included a church, school, park and an adult learning centre. Most mill workers lived in absolute poverty, the mill owners having little thought or concern for the welfare of their workers or the workers' families.

Salts Mill was lucky enough to fall into the hands of another forward thinking, community driven business man. Jonathan Silver, bought the Mill in 1987 and transformed it into a wonderful place of art, good food and shopping! Until he sadly passed away in 1997 Jonathan was an ever present supporter of the mill. I remember sitting in the diner having lunch while Jonathan chatted with his staff or came for a drink. The Silver family continues their support of Salts Mill in Jonathan's memory.

The third man that completes the Salts Mill story is David Hockney, who's art collection along with the works of other talented individuals lines the walls of the Mill. Currently on display on the top floor of the Mill is David Hockney's Fresh Flowers - the latest works of David Hockney created on his iPhone or iPad and emailed to the Mill.
We had a lovely lunch at the Diner, slowly strolled through the art galleries, the shops and spent and really long time in the book shop.

A most enjoyable way to spend a lazy afternoon. I would thoroughly recommend a visit. 

pictures from Saltaire Village


  1. sounds like a very cool trip!

  2. Ooh it sounds wonderful! I've so rarely explored the North of England and really must do so. Something to add to the list for when we move back in however many years...

  3. One day you must take me to Salts Mill. I love when old buildings are re purposed but still have their old 'spirit'. And I love Hockney!

  4. Looks lovely & glad you got to spend time with your parents.

    It reminds me of New Lanark, a restored 18th century cotton mill village, nr Lanark in South Lanarkshire, have you ever been there?

    Makes me want to visit again or go to Beamish!


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