Wednesday, 28 November 2012

Its getting colder!


The weather is getting colder don’t you think? But the Living Advent Calendar crew have donned their thermals to go out and distribute the newly printed leaflet around the area so thank you to all who took part in ‘Operation Spreading Word’.

We’ve also been posting on Facebook and Twitter as well so if you haven’t signed up already then do it now so you see all the windows as they are lit up throughout the month of December.

The first window will be unveiled on Saturday so watch out for details being posted and take a walk past the windows if you are in the area. Some of the SAT team will be at the Christmas Lights Switch On taking place on Sunday night so watch out for us there as well.

Plans for the Arts Trail are going well, we’re currently talking to a number of potential sponsors and advertisers so we’ll have news for you soon on this front. And the call for artists in Open Houses and the Makers Fair will be going out around the 16th December so we’re gearing up for a busy time.

What would you like to see on the Arts Trail weekend? Or what has been your favourite from Arts Trails gone by? Let us know as we’re always keen to get peoples input and opinions as we want the Arts Trail to keep improving.

Keep warm!

Wednesday, 21 November 2012

An interview with Martin Priestley, Saltaire resident, professional photographer and Saltaire Arts Trail regular.

Martin lives in one of the mill workers terrace cottages that make up the streets of Saltaire, whilst at first glance so similar to a multitude of other streets across the greater Bradford area, on closer inspection the little period details that Titus Salt - the Victorian philanthropist that built this village for the workers in his textile mill - used to embellish even the smallest of dwellings are what makes Saltaire such an uniquely captivating place.

Tree Above Ribbleshead Viaduct - Martin Priestley

Q. Why do you open your house as part of the Saltaire Arts Trail?

Well, above all I think that being part of the wider event, with it’s connections to the whole Saltaire community, is why I have opened my doors for the last 5 years. Of course, as a professional photographer I love the opportunity to bring my work to a fresh audience each year, but I think the over-riding reason I do this time and again is to be part of this fantastic event, and perhaps put something back into my local community in the process..

Q. Community spirit seems quite strong in Saltaire, do you think this is due in part to the Arts Trail and Makers Fair?

I certainly do, you hear of communities where neighbours are at war with each other over this and that, Saltaire certainly isn’t like that, and during the weekend of the Arts Trail it’s positively buzzing with neighbourly love. Coming together to collaborate on the event, with all the pre-planning and actual activities during the event really seems to bond the community.

Q. How does it feel having your doors open to the public?

Great, although I will admit to it being weird on occasion too. Creating a temporary boutique gallery in my living room, putting nails in the walls, blue-tacking signs all over the place, and then inviting strangers in through the front door can be a little overwhelming.  Having said that, you soon get over that when the first inquisitive visitors come through the door. The organisers of the event are brilliant, and are always there to help with tricky things like hanging work on the walls, moving furniture and taking money. I’m also provided with an assistant for the weekend, so I can go and rest upstairs or explore some of the other houses that are open up along my street, safe in the knowledge my house is in good hands in my absence.

Q. You provide wall space for other artists too, how does that work out?

The artists are chosen by the organising committee, they do a great job of selecting a couple of artists who will best fit into my tiny space, it is only my living room I open up, and also compliment my own work. The group of artists then work together to best utilise the space, creating an intimate mini-experience within the larger Arts Trail is all part of the fun. All the signage is provided by the organisers, along with Health & Safety checks and payment facilities.. The finished installation always looks so great, and makes me very proud as a home-owner and artist.

Q. What would you say to homeowners in Saltaire who are considering opening their homes for the 2013 Arts Trail?

I would recommend people think about it seriously, the feeling of being involved with something this big really makes you walk tall. The comradery between artists and homeowners is fantastic, with everyone chipping in to make the event a success. Yes, having so many people (6,000 in 2012) passing through your private space can be a little unnerving, but the opportunity provided to meet and chat with people, acting as a kind of unofficial Saltaire tour guide in the process, makes for great experience. People can be so nice, it really reaffirms my faith in the human race.

Martin Priestley is a professional landscape and wedding photographer, with his work regularly appearing in the national media. He also offers practical photography courses to the public, based in Saltaire as well as out in the wilds of the Yorkshire Dales.  Further info can be found at

If you are interested in opening your home as part of the Saltaire Arts Trail 2013 event, May 24 - 27th, then please drop us a line at

Monday, 12 November 2012

All things festive

It's been all things festive for me in this past week! Now don’t be thinking I’ve been ultra-organised and bought all my Christmas presents as this will never happen in November as for me it's always last minute.

Myself and the Living Advent Calendar Team have been working away and putting the last minute touches to the leaflet for this year's event. It's going to be great! We have 24 windows around the village that will be lit up as the month of December progresses and gets nearer to Christmas. Find us on Facebook to take a look at past windows and to get a flavour of what's in store for this year (Saltaire Living Advent Calendar). The LAC event is another great event organised by Saltaire Inspired.

In addition to that we’ve also started work on next years Saltaire Arts Trail with the aid of our fab volunteers without whom this event just would not take place. If you would like to get involved have a look at the volunteer page on our website - and then get in touch via email addressed to and I’ll be in touch with you shortly after.

Also we’d like to hear from artists, arts and other organisations that have existing projects they might like to bring to SAT 2013. We’re at the planning stage at the moment so it's an ideal time to come and talk to us! Again email me at

And some of the SAT team will be at the Saltaire Connected event at the Caroline St Social Club tomorrow night so if you’re passing call in to say hello.

Pam - Events Coordinator

Tuesday, 6 November 2012

Say Hi to Pam

Pam Lonsdale is our new Event Co-ordinator.  Pam's remit is to knock us all into shape to ensure we continue the success of Arts Trail events through into 2013.

Pam has been kind enough to pen a few words as way of an introduction.

Hello everybody

My name is Pam Lonsdale and I’ve been lucky enough to be appointed the new Event Co-ordinator for The Saltaire Arts Trail.

I joined the organisation just over a month ago now and have been busy from day one meeting with our fantastic volunteers, linking up with other organisations in the area, and generally getting things going for next years event.

Just to give you a bit of background about myself, I am a jewellery designer/maker, co-organiser of another arts event in West Yorkshire, curate small exhibitions at a bistro in Heckmondwike and am just in the process of moving on from being the Centre Manager at West Yorkshire Print Workshop in Mirfield so life is never boring! But I’m happy to say I love what I do.

We are keen to get more volunteers and other organisations on board for next years event so if you would like to get in touch with me please email


Photo credit: Dawn Robinson Photography