Do Tell Titus

Last update: 23.04.17 First posted: 23.04.17 by in

I regularly take international visitors and friends to explore the UNESCO World Heritage site that is Saltaire in Bradford, the West Yorkshire model village built by Titus Salt in the latter half of the Nineteenth Century to house his mill workers. This purpose built community was home to more than 4,000 souls, most of whom, young children included, worked in his mill producing fashionable cloth from the wool of lamas. Then as now Saltaire was a place of pilgrimage for visitors from across the world and is credited with inspiring the ‘Garden Village’ movement.
On my recent visits it was heartening to see a series of growing beds, one set in the corner of a car park on the high street and another within a patch of greenery alongside one of the platforms of the railway station. Although not badged or labelled as Incredible Edible it is clear that this is what these raised beds are and, as can be seen from these photos, they sit easily within the townscape of a place that is accredited global significance on a par with the Great wall of China and the Pyramids.
incredible beds at Saltaire
It was then not surprising to hear that Mary Clear from IET visited Saltaire to give one of her inspiring talks some time ago. So, if you have some visitors and want something cultural to do for an afternoon, or are passing nearby, then go to Saltaire – it is a short ten minutes on the train from Bradford’s Foster Square Station. Whilst calling in at the wonderfully refurbished Salt’s Mill, with its amazing collection of David Hockney’s paintings (has there ever been a modern English/Yorkshire artist who celebrates nature in such a colourful and exuberant way?), walk around the well-preserved streets of the village and take some time to spot the lovely, sensitively placed and attractive incredible edible growing beds.
IE Saltaire
They are proof that even in the most precious and regulated places there is room for growing food for free. The jury is out as to exactly how philanthropic the immensely wealthy Titus Salt actually was. One of few the things that Salt did not include in his model village was a place to drink beverages of an alcoholic kind. This is why a new bar recently opened on Victoria Road is ironically called “Don’t Tell Titus”. The members of Saltaire’s community who have set up these incredible edible spaces are adding to Salt’s legacy and place in the best way possible, and are doing so in a manner that would meet with his approval. So, do tell Titus.

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