Tuesday, 4 August 2020
I haven't shown a photo of this place very recently. It is of course the Victoria Hall (affectionately known locally as Vicky Hall) in the centre of Saltaire. Formerly known as the Saltaire Club and Institute, it was opened in 1871. Like so much of Saltaire, it was designed by architects Lockwood and Mawson. Sited opposite the Factory Schools (see HERE) these public buildings and their landscaped gardens make an imposing centrepiece for the village. Sir Titus Salt, the mill owner and village founder, was keen for children to be educated and also wanted to provide a place for recreation, culture and learning for adults. It held a reading room, library, laboratory, chess and draughts room, smoking room, billiard room, a lecture hall seating 800, classrooms, a gym and a rifle drill-room. It is still a focal point for activities, exhibitions, classes and celebrations.
Of course, it is currently closed due to the coronavirus outbreak. I've no idea when it will reopen. It all feels a bit desolate but at least the floodlights still come on at night, showing what a significant building it is.