Today we went to one of our fave indoor places in Yorkshire. Salts Mill, Saltaire in Shipley. Titus Salt who built the place in the middle of the 1800s was quite an amazing fella. Whilst a lot of his contemporaries were building sweat shop setups, he was putting a lot of effort into building a nice place to work. He was a trend setting employer – one of the first who considered his employers position. By today’s standards, a lot of what he did was good practice HR but back in his day was quite revolutionary. Not only did he create a state-of-the-art factory, he created an attractive ‘lifestyle choice’ town for his employees to live in. An all round good egg of a Yorkshire fella.
The old mill building is now home to the largest public collections of another Yorkshireman, the artist, David Hockney. I am a fan of Hockney’s work. His photo montages and his swimming pool paintings are perhaps his most recognised pieces, but he’s ammassed a fine body of art, over the years. A lot of which is on display at the mill. As well as that, there’s the lilly and classical music infused ground floor with it’s world class art books collection and unusual artists supplies. I usually zoom into the photography books section but today (for instance) I found great delight in the Banksy books on offer.
A floor up houses another book shop set up. Literature at it’s finest, as well as a very comprehensive reference section – travel, sports, dogs, food, gardening, you name it. Well curated. There’s the cafe, and the homeware section on that floor as well selling everything from gorgeous tableware to onion goggles.
We were gutted that we missed the cut off time for Hockney’s new exhibition, boasting huge painting of trees painted on his iPad… we arrived too late. Never mind, gives us a great
excuse to go back sooner rather than later.
If you’re ever in the area, I’d wholeheartedly reccomend this as a great ‘rainy day’ activity – with something for everyone.