Saturday, 11 February 2012

Cowl


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)

7 comments:

  1. You have such a good eye for photography. This one is really beautiful.

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  2. Incredible detail, and a sharp, crisp photo, too. Is there a biography of Sir Titus available? He sounds like an interesting person.

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  3. What an extraordinarily handsome cowl!
    The Romans had central heating, so Sir Titus was not that advanced, but I think he was very open-handedly generous to all and sundry, resulting in benefits to the community lasting well after his lifetime.

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  4. I didn't know the word "cowl" before. It is a charming enhancement, isn't it?

    Sir Titus was a century ahead of his time in seeking to provide a happy working (and living) environment. Cynics who criticize it should think about the great many employers of that day who did NOT provide for their workers before they criticize Sir Titus.

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  5. that is just beautiful...very charming indeed!

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  6. I've always thought that Sir Titus and some of his contempories were firm believers that if a jobs worth doing....and as they had the money to do things well that's how everything had to be done, whether it was building houses or educating the workforce.

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  7. This is such a beautiful feature, love it! ~Lili

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