Friday, 23 September 2011

The shed's story


A number of events connected with the Festival took place in the Pace Canteen in Salts Mill.  (Pace plc is one of the big companies that now inhabits the bulk of Salts Mill's buildings.)  It's not an area that is generally open to the public so, in the interests of research (in other words, being nosey!) I went in for a look round.  Very nice it is too - very light, modern and airy.

This space has an incredible story to tell.  It was built as the combing shed of Sir Titus Salt's amazing new mill, and would have housed row upon row of machines, something like the one on the picture here.  When the Mill was first opened, on Salt's fiftieth birthday, 20 September 1853, the combing shed, all decorated with garlands around its pillars (the very same ones you see here!), welcomed over 3500 invited guests to a lavish banquet.  It must have seen many changes since then...  Isn't it strange that it once again welcomes people in to enjoy food?

In my photo you can see a screen to the left, showing film of Salts Mill's centenary trip to Blackpool in 1953.  (You can watch it here - it's wonderful, especially the first few minutes which give a very good idea of what the Mill and Saltaire were like at that time.)  There were several different films showing on a loop in the Canteen, part of the Yorkshire Film Archive that I have mentioned before, a fascinating resource.

9 comments:

  1. What a great light and airy place to work.

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  2. Nice tour, and I appreciated the links to more information. Jim

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  3. I have clicked on the links and am now off to watch the film. Sir Titus Salt would be well-pleased to know his beloved mill and Saltaire are being so well preserved, and shown all over the world, courtesy of your wonderful blog, Jenny!

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  4. This is a well-designed room, very appealing with all those windows to give light and sense of spaciousness. I tried to watch the movie, but with my slow internet connection, I didn't get very far. Looks like a nice resource.

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  5. I like when events allow us to visit and to discover such places! Thank you for your very nice comment yesterday, I share the same feelings!

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  6. Great Post. Unfortunately the old movie didn't play well and kept stopping.... Will try again later.

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  7. I think Sir Titus is smiling down on you, Jenny. He would be thrilled that his facilities are still serving the town he built and loved, even if the uses are different.

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  8. Mmm, the old film does jam up sometimes but it seems to start again if you click the arrow (for me anyway).

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  9. Sometimes it's good to be nosey! That is very cool to know the original columns are still in use and I just love all the open airiness of all that glass. ~Lili

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