1848: Titus Salt elected as the second Mayor of Bradford
Following Bradford’s incorporation in 1847, its Council was permitted to elect a mayor.
Salt succeeded his close friend and fellow Congregationalist Robert Milligan, who had the honour of being the first in an illustrious line of Bradford civic leaders.
During his tenure Salt introduced attempted to introduce smoke emission controls in local mills using a device called a Rodda Smoke Burner. Salt also commissioned a moral survey of the town.
1849: Cholera outbreak in Bradford
Whilst Bradford had been developing its industry and had seen huge growth in the preceding fourty years, this growth was not matched by improvements in sanitation and street cleaning. The result was a city literally festering in filth, the perfect breeding ground for illness and disease. The outbreak claimed 420 lives outright but many more people were infected. Bradford did not obtain any main drainage until 1863.
1850: Salt acquires land by the River Aire and starts planning a mill and village
By the late 1840’s Salt was eager to consolidate his five Bradford mills and put into practice his well laid plans for a state of the art production facility.
Perhaps mindful of the recent Bradford Cholera epidemic he was also keen to provide a decent environment for his workers, far from the squalor and filth of Bradford.
He had chosen the site carefully, with both the water and rail facilities proving critical factors. Salt chose the local firm of architects Lockwood and Mawson and the leading engineer of the day William Fairburn to design and build his immense palace of industry.
Discussions with Salt led to the christening of the new development as “Saltaire”.