Wednesday, 29 September 2010
A shady seat
A shady seat in Alexandra Square, Saltaire. This attractive little square is surrounded by Saltaire's 45 almshouses, built by Sir Titus Salt in 1868 to provide accommodation for the elderly and infirm. It was originally enclosed by cast iron railings (on top of the little wall). These were no doubt removed and melted down for munitions in WWII. In providing these houses for the elderly poor, Salt was copying other local industrialists like Francis Crossley in Halifax, taking on a role which had previously been played by landed gentry. He offered not only rent-free housing but also a small weekly pension to the residents, who were personally selected by him during his lifetime and then by a board of trustees. The houses are still occupied, some in private ownership and some managed by a housing trust for Bradford Council and still providing homes for older people.