In the early 1990s when the Young British Artists were making waves, Carole Binnie, a mild-mannered, retired, primary-school teacher in West Yorkshire, was making a few waves herself.

Now with more time on her hands and life-long interest in the Arts she was keen to learn more. But the existing Decorative and Fine Arts Societies in Leeds and Harrogate had waiting lists. 

Undeterred she decided to start her own. Her plan on how to make Art, in all its glorious forms, available to a wider general audience, began to take shape.

Through personal contact, mutual acquaintance and a bit of persuasion, she managed to get a small band of volunteers on board.

Two years of dedicated, hard, work followed.

Then on Wednesday 3rd March 1993, The Saltaire Decorative & Fine Arts Society presented its very first lecture ‘Florence - the City of the Renaissance’.

The rest, they say, is history: 250 lectures under our belt (127 given by women and 132 by men) and the numerous other voluntary activities we’ve been involved in were celebrated this March at our Silver Anniversary party. 

A time for us all - old and new members alike - to look back over the last quarter of a century and celebrate what we have achieved.

Music from the Mighty Wurlitzer organ (housed in our lecture venue) added a special touch to the proceedings. The birthday cake and fizz (non-alcoholic!) went down well. But the icing on the cake for us is that Carole Binnie - founder and still a member of our Society - has been invited to attend one of Her Majesty’s Garden Parties this summer celebrating the Arts Society’s 50th Anniversary.

No doubt, if she gets the chance, she’ll mention Saltaire!

Written by: Marion Allinson. Dated 2/4/18. Marion's email address is: