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Clive Woods Collection

Items from a local historian and heritage campaigner

Clive Woods was a bookshop owner, tour guide, local historian, and leading campaigner for the preservation of Saltaire and its heritage. He sadly died in 2007, but his wide range of Saltaire-related items are part of the Saltaire Collection.

Clive's large collection reflects his interests in everything to do with Saltaire. There are research notes; historical and modern photographs; documents concerning the history of the Salt Family, the textiles business of Salts Mill, leisure activities, and the preservation of Saltaire's heritage. And lots more besides.

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Salts Mill and the textile industry

Clive collected items covering wide aspects of the textile industry and the history of Salts Mill.

Titus Salt's fortune was built on the use of alpaca wool, and the collection contains a reprint of a famous article by Charles Dickens of how Titus allegedly found the original samples of wool. Also from early days, there are items on William Fairbairn a leading British engineer who designed important parts of Salts Mill; and research notes on the 1871 census providing information on occupations in Saltaire and the Mill.

There are newspaper cuttings and notes on members of the business consortium, which included James Roberts, that bought Saltaire and the textile business from the Salt family in 1893. The new owners kept the business name so the collection includes bills from 1900 headed Sir Titus Salt Bart. Sons and Company Ltd.

Another consortium bought the business in 1918 and in 1923 the company was renamed Salts (Saltaire) Ltd and floated on the stock market. We have a smart brochure for the new company produced shortly afterwards, a not-so-smart copy of the company superannuation scheme handbook, and labels and other items bearing the new name.

There are also a few items related to the Mill from more recent, post-industrial times, including the script of a play written by poet Tony Harrison and produced in the Mill in 1993.

View items related to textiles and Salts Mill in the Clive Woods Collection

Leisure activities

As well as work and industry, Clive's collection has plenty of examples of entertainment and relaxation in Saltaire. The collection contains records of events at the magnificent Victoria Hall in Saltaire, from musical productions by the Saltaire Philharmonic Society and a concert in aid of the Sir Titus Salt's Hospital in the 1920s up to more recent activities such as the Bradford Beer Festival.

Shipley Glen is a short walk north from Saltaire, an open green space up the side of the Aire Valley. From the late nineteenth century it was the site of the 'Pleasure Grounds' an early theme park with major attractions, including rollercoaster rides and the Japanese Garden which had originally been part of the Royal Yorkshire Jubilee Exhibition (see below). Clive collected postcards, photographs. booklets and souvenirs about Shipley Glen, and similar items for Roberts Park, the other major open space for Saltaireans' leisure.

View all leisure-related items in the Clive Woods Collection

Royal visits and celebrations

Clive's collection contains items related to several royal visits to Saltaire.

Queen Victoria's youngest daughter Princess Beatrice visited in 1887 to open the new School of Art and Science and the Royal Yorkshire Jubilee Exhibition organised by Titus Salt Junior. Over 800,000 people visited the exhibition and could take away branded mementos.

There are photographs and booklets recording the visit of King George VI to Salts Mill and Saltaire in 1937. Princess Anne visited Saltaire in 1996 for the reopening of the refurbished Exhibition Building, now part of Shipley College, but the very same buiding her great-great aunt Beatrice had opened in 1887.

View items related to Royal visits in the Clive Woods Collection

Salt family history

Clive's collection contains several biographical items related to the Salt family.

Items related to Sir Titus Salt include press articles, research notes, photographs, legal documents and even a personal letter seal.

There are also newspaper cuttings, photographs and other items featuring Titus Junior, the youngest son of Sir Titus, and other members of the Salt family down to more recent times.

View items related to the Salt family in the Clive Woods Collection

Saltaire and its heritage

Clive's love of Saltaire is reflected in the many photographs in his collection, showing the village from over 100 years ago up to the turn of the twenty first century.

He also had an interest in the history of the construction and buildings of Saltaire, from items on Lockwood and Mawson, the main architects of the village, and their chief contractor William Moulson, through plans of the Bath and Wash House - one of the few original buildings in Saltaire that have been demolished - up to more recent concerns with the state of the village and its preservation.

Clive was very active in the promotion and preservation of Saltaire's heritage. There are items from the activities of the Saltaire Village Society, in which he played a prominent role, documents about the proposed major road development that threatened to destroy Saltaire in the 1980s, and leaflets, letters and other documents related to the (successful) campaign for Saltaire to become a UNESCO World Heritage Site. There are photographs of Clive leading visitors on a heritage tour as part of the campaign.

View items related to the Saltaire and its heritage in the Clive Woods Collection

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