A Quaker of the people

Graham Taylor writes about the inspiring life and work of Ada Salter

Ada Salter. | Photo: Photo courtesy of the Southwark Library and Archive.

Though renowned for her social work in the slums and for her pacifism, Ada Salter’s life was also a spiritual journey. In the 1920s she and her husband, Alfred, created not just a model of municipal socialism but also a Quaker republic.  The Salters’ socialism was not Marxist or Labourite, driven by central planners or party machines, but was ‘ethical socialism’, based on cooperatives, workers’ representatives and care for the environment. They merely translated, they said, the words of Christ into social and political practice.

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