Sunday, 27 November 2011
The Park Lodge
Saltaire Park was opened in 1871, laid out with a large cricket field, the Half Moon Pavilion, the bandstand and a number of walks and avenues around a central promenade, surrounded by shrubs, trees and formal planting. In those days Victoria Road, the main thoroughfare through Saltaire, crossed the River Aire by a bridge and ended at the Lodge you see here, with the entrance to the park on the left. To the right and through metal gates, a long private carriageway led up to Milner Field, the grand house built by Titus Salt Junior and later lived in by Sir James Roberts' family.
The Park was renamed Roberts Park in 1920, when it was given to Bradford Corporation by Sir James Roberts (who in 1918 had sold Salts Mill and Saltaire to a consortium of businessmen). Sir James was another remarkable man, who had revived the fortunes of Salts Mill after it went into liquidation in 1892 and who contributed much to Saltaire's history. (He later bought Haworth's Brontë Parsonage and bequeathed it to the nation.) He outlived his four sons and the park is dedicated to one of them, Bertram Foster Roberts, who I believe died in 1912.