Tuesday, 15 November 2011

A Penny for Going


I don't remember if I mentioned it at the time but a few weeks ago I went to a meeting of the Saltaire History Club, at which two new books related to Saltaire were introduced.  I (of course) bought them both and have started reading this one: 'A Penny for Going' by Roger Clarke.  It recounts Saltaire's history through its shops and shopkeepers, and reflects on how changes in society since the mid 1800s have been mirrored in the changes to the number and type of shops in and around the village.  There used to be many more shops than there are now and at one time Saltaire could supply pretty much everything a family needed from within the village.  Not so now, when we go further afield to supermarkets, the city centres and retail parks for life's basic necessities - and the village's shops are by and large supplying the needs of visitors and tourists for snacks, gifts and luxury products.

The author, Roger Clarke, is a well-respected local historian, tour guide and writer who makes a huge contribution to Saltaire through his knowledge of its past and his enthusiasm for its present.  All proceeds from the sale of the book are being donated to Saltaire United Reformed Church.

9 comments:

  1. I love the header for the blurb!

    I'll bet this makes for an interesting read.

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  2. Sounds like an interesting book. I like the cover illustration too!

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  3. The book sounds interesting for those of us who are interested in social history, regardless of its tie to Saltaire. I suspect Mr. Clarke's observations have applicability well beyond Yorkshire. Also, Amazon hasn't heard of it yet. Jim

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  4. I was in the Cotswolds one year ago for a few days, and I had the same impression. However pretty these small villages were, it seemed that the Main Street shops' focus was entirely on bric-a-brac for tourists, and I found myself wondering where the locals get what they need.

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  5. sounds like a very interesting book. I like in a little village. We have a tiny grocery..more like a little convenience store but things are very expensive there. I've always thought it would be so nice to be able to get everything we needed within walking distance. It was a simpler time when that was possible!

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  6. What an interesting idea, to recount a town's past "through its shops and shopkeepers." It makes sense on a lot of levels but I have never heard of a book taking that approach before.

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  7. What a good idea recalling the history of a place through folks's memories of the various shops and buisinesess in the village.
    I remember facilitating a remenicences session with a group of folk in their "golden years". It was called, "A walk down Manchester Road", (Bradford), whereby people took an imaginary walk down the road as it would have been is say their youth or during the war years for example. Long forgotten cinemas and pubs brought back memories, many happy ones, and a few sad ones. I wish I had made a recording of the sessions as I am sure it would be a valuable resourse for local historians, just as this book will no doubt will prove to be. . . . Although i fear there will be no recolections of pubs in the village. Incidentally when was the first license to sell alcohol first granted in Saltaire?

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  8. A creative idea and sounds like a fun read. I hope all those shops now catering to tourists are offering it!

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  9. I love the title of the book, it sounds like some more interesting history to learn about Saltaire. ~Lili

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