Proud family return to Salford to see grandfather’s legacy
Published by James Allan for Salix Homes in Housing and also in Communities
The family of Arthur Millwood
The descendants of one of Salford’s most influential political figures have paid a visit to the city to witness their ancestor’s legacy for the first time.
The family of former Salford Mayor Arthur Millwood were guests of honour at the unveiling of the new-look Arthur Millwood Court tower block, which has recently undergone a multi-million pound facelift thanks to social housing provider Salix Homes.
Arthur Millwood, who was born in 1875, was the Mayor of Salford from 1937-38 and is known for being a “real man of the people” who was passionate about helping the most deprived members of society.
Arthur Millwood Court was built during the 1960s as part of a project to clear the city’s slums. It opened in 1964, more than 25 years after Arthur Millwood’s death, but was named after him in honour of his contribution to the people of Salford.
Arthur Millwood Court and neighbouring tower block Canon Hussey Court have just undergone a major transformation as part of Salix Homes’ Decent Homes improvement programme.
Arthur Millwood’s grandsons Roy Waring, 76, and Colin Davies, 75, and his great grandson Robert Millwood, 44, were invited by Salix Homes to unveil the new and improved tower block and take a tour of the building, which they’d never been inside of before.
The family, who all now live in Lancashire, said Arthur Millwood would have been thrilled with the transformation.
Grandson Colin Davies said: “I know my granddad would really love to see the changes that have been made to the tower blocks. Arthur was a real man of the people and he would be delighted to know the tower block residents will really benefit from all of the changes that have been made.
"The tower blocks are amazing, they look unrecognisable and they will give the local landscape a real boost. We’re honoured to come along to the official opening; it's a great way for us to take a moment to reflect on our family's roots.”
Arthur Millwood was married to Alice Millwood and the couple had five children. He was said to be a determined social democrat and was a leading light in the Salford branch of the Labour Party. His family describe him as an “iron fist in a velvet glove” and he was dedicated to helping the poor. He sadly died of bowel cancer in 1938 at the age of 62.
Grandson Roy Waring said: “Before he became Mayor of Salford, Arthur was a member of the Institute of Mechanical Engineers and shared a great love of politics.
“We've been told that Arthur was incredibly passionate about helping those who experienced deprivation in society; he was a real man of the people and believed that children should gain a good education, whatever their background. We're really proud of what Arthur stood for.”
Arthur Millwood’s daughter Helen later followed in her father’s footsteps becoming the Mayoress of Salford from 1950-51 alongside her husband Councillor Frank Cowin.
Great grandson Robert Millwood added: “It’s been a pleasure to come along to see how these buildings have been transformed. I think the extensive refurbishments will make residents feel very proud of their homes, and I’m sure this feeling will be reflected in the wider community, as the new-look buildings really improve the surroundings of the local area too.”
As part of the investment programme in Islington more than 300 properties have been fitted with a range of improvements including modern kitchens, bathrooms and new electrics.
Externally the high-rise blocks have also had full rain-screen cladding in striking shades of graphite and orange, totally transforming the Salford skyline as well as new windows and balconies. The roofs of the buildings have also been replaced and energy efficient heating systems have been installed, which will slash the buildings' carbon footprint.
Sue Sutton, interim chief executive at Salix Homes, said: “It’s been a real pleasure for us to meet with the family of Arthur Millwood and show them all the fantastic improvements that we’ve been able to make to these tower blocks as part of our Decent Homes improvement scheme.
“It’s been fascinating for us to find out more about the great man who was Arthur Millwood, who was clearly very passionate about Salford and its people. His memory will live on through Arthur Millwood Court and we hope he would be proud of the transformation of his building.”
Last year Salix Homes was named by Salford Council as the chosen landlord to take ownership of the 8,500 council homes in Salford it currently manages in a proposed stock transfer. The housing provider is promising to invest a further £700 million in homes and communities in Salford over the next 30 years which would not be possible if the transfer does not go ahead.