Wednesday, 8 July 2009
The Saltaire Club and Institute
Back to Saltaire and the third major building in the village, after Salts Mill and the church...
Now known as The Victoria Hall, this imposing Italianate building was completed in 1871. It was both a social club for the village and an educational institute. Sir Titus Salt wanted to provide both the village children and his adult workers with the means to improve themselves. He had already built schools for boys and girls, and now he complemented these buildings on the west side of Victoria Road with the Institute opposite. Its extensive facilities included a reading room, library, science laboratory, two lecture halls, a gymnasium, various games rooms, classrooms and a rifle drill room!
The Victoria Hall still provides a valuable social focus for Saltaire, regularly hosting antiques fairs, craft fairs, keep fit sessions, concerts, dances, wedding receptions and private parties. It also houses the Victorian Reed Organ Museum. A number of local clubs and societies use the Hall for their meetings. The tradition of having a Grand Ball has recently been revived as part of the annual Saltaire Festival.