Tuesday, 25 August 2009
Here's another piece of history - and another piece that is getting worn away by thousands of feet marching over it. It's the huge (though getting smaller!) doormat at the entrance to Salts Mill.
Within 16 years of Sir Titus Salt's death in 1876, his business was bankrupt. Markets for the kind of textiles the Mill produced had collapsed, and only one of Sir Titus's sons, Edward, was by that stage still involved in the business. In 1893 the company was taken over by four Bradford businessmen, John Maddocks, John Rhodes, James Roberts and Isaac Smith. They modernised the factory and again it thrived, eventually becoming known as Salt's (Saltaire) Ltd. Its fortunes (and ownership) ebbed and flowed, production surviving through the two World Wars. The business finally became part of the Illingworth Morris Group, who closed the Mill in 1986.
Three of the four businessmen are commemorated in the village (Maddocks Street, Rhodes Street and Roberts Park) but as far as I know only this mat remains (at least in the publicly accessible areas) to remind us of the Illingworth Morris name.