Saturday, 11 February 2012
This is another of the cowls that decorate the roof of the Shipley College building, formerly Saltaire's Factory Schools, that I showed yesterday. It's the kind of detail that you only tend to notice after a while but which, to my mind, adds to the charm and interest of our historic village. I am not sure but I assume this was a chimney for a fire or boiler in the school. When they were built in 1868, the school's facilities were advanced, with central heating, gas lighting, fitted cupboards and playgrounds to the rear. It is another demonstration of Sir Titus Salt's determination not only to provide for his workers but to do so handsomely. Cynics often point out that within his altruism was a thread of self-interest, as a happy, healthy workforce tends to be more productive. That's true but it doesn't really explain why he was so keen to see his workers and their children become well-educated, nor why he spent such a lot of money making Saltaire so attractive.
(Picture first posted in September 2009)