Sunday, 1 November 2009

The Backs

Even the backyards of Saltaire's houses can provide an attractive photo, with the colour of the drainpipes and the flowers providing a nice contrast with the stonework. This is one of the streets in the oldest part of the village; cottages built for the ordinary millworkers of Salts Mill. You will notice the stone slabs covering what appear to be small storage sheds in each yard. When the houses were first built, these were an innovative feature that made the houses far, far superior to the slums of the city of Bradford... each house in Saltaire had its own private lavatory (the 'privy') in the backyard. Bathrooms have now been squeezed inside even the smallest cottages so, in most cases, the outside cubicles have been reduced in height and the plumbing removed. I keep the recycling bin in mine now, along with a few empty plant pots!


  1. Hi Jenny,

    Very interesting story.
    When I got my first flat in Copenhagen many, many years ago, our privy was shared with a neighboor and placed in the stairway leading from the yeard to the kitchen. It was in the house, but you needed to go out-:) And it was not very nice to share with strangers-:)

    Best regards

  2. We lived in a two-up two-down miner's cottage in Llanelli around 1980 - previously the home of a family of twelve.
    They knocked them down for a carpark and gave us a council house.
    It would be a crime to knock your example down.


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