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On a drizzly day in July a coachload of members and friends, together with four brave husbands, set off for Saltaire, near Bradford, to spend a day at the Victorian mill and ‘model’ village, built by Titus Salt in the Italianate style between 1851 and 1876. Most of the village is just as it was when Sir Titus died (yes, he made his money and was knighted by Queen Victoria).

A warm welcome and refreshments served by the members of the United Reformed Church greeted us on arrival and we each received a bookmark giving our Victorian name and address. This helped to divide us into two groups for the village tour.

Our guides were two local ladies dressed in Victorian costume, one as a manager’s wife and the other as a broad speaking ‘local lass’. First stop was the huge high ceilinged United Reformed Church. No money had been spared on the decoration of the pews, pillars, ceiling etc. This point was repeated in other areas of the village such as the Village Institute, though a worker could only join if they could afford 1s 3d each for a period of 4 months!!

Our one hour tour of the streets with the ‘Local Lass’ and her long suffering husband, who had given her 11children and another on the way, - ably played by Michael Priestley - was a delight. So much information (given in drizzly rain!) made the trip so much more interesting. Thanks are due to Maria Glot, our guide.

After the tours there was time for lunch in a local café followed by a visit to the mill with its shops, David Hockney Exhibition, Home Museum etc., a quick visit to the river and park or a quiet time listening to the organ in the church, before the return journey home.

A ‘Great Day Out’ and many thanks to Margaret Greenwood for organising it. (If you visit Saltaire it is well worth having a guided tour - for individuals no booking is needed, everyone welcome - subject to 4 people turning up. Walks depart all year Saturday and Sunday at 2pm from Magic Number Three, 2 Victoria Road, Saltaire.)

Our programme is now finished for the summer. The winter programme starts on 3 September with a talk by Gordon Greenwood, entitled ‘Toronto, Niagara and The Fall’. No need to join, no fees, just come along to any meeting and £2 will give you a good night out. That’s a promise!

Sybil Handley
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