Lancashire last-mill-standing, Burnley

An interesting film about the last working mill in Burnley.

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State Records Office of Western Australia

I had a very interesting meeting with Lise Summers at the State Records Office of  Western Australia, Perth last week.

They are very interested in supporting artists in their historical research, and she is particularly interested in the Bride ships and the emmigration of the Cotton Mill girls from Lancashire in 1863. This is where the original ship ‘Tartar’ passenger list is held, as well as countless documents I look forward to finding time to research!

We discussed how the Industrial revolution enabled WA immigrants to come to here and settle, how the Charterists and Fenian’s came over as convicts, aswell as many escaping by choice a growing industrial world to a more agricultural one.

There is potential to create work for an exhibition next year in Oct/Nov.


Hall i’the Wood, Bolton

This is where Samuel Crompton developed his spinning machine. Crompton was a specialist weaver of fustians (cloth with a linen warp and a cotton weft) The machine he had invented could produce a avery fine thread. He was so concerned with keeping his invention secret tht he worked by night. Neighbours were curious and nervous about the strange noises which came from his home Hall i’the Wood, and so became the legend it was haunted. The macine was called a Mule, because it was a cross-breed of the spinning jenny and the water frame , and could out-perfrom both. Unfortunately, Crompton never patented his work, and many came to steal his secrets, despite him dismantling and hiding the machine leaving him virtually penniless.

Its all gone Bobbins!

The story of cotton

My husband bought me this wonderful book for my birthday called ‘The World of Wooden Bobbins’ The story of old wooden textile bobbins, their place in history, in the hands of the collector and the in the home’. Its got some fantastic images and text, researched by Pauline Fawcett, published by The Discovery Collection 1995.

Industrial Revolutionaries at the Harris museum, Preston

Fantastic exhibition just opened in Preston at the Harris Museum with a restored Yardworks model and remastered historical footage of the cotton mills and site.  Industrial Revolutionaries is curated by Laura Briggs

Horrockses Mill Workers

Annie Hill

Annie Hill

Annie Hill was a 12 year old half-timer working at Horrockses in 1906. Like many children her age, she worked half a day in the mill before going to school for the rest of the day.
Annie was one of thousands of people who worked in Lancashire’s cotton industry.
But she was unusual in one way – she had her portrait painted. Annie worked at Horrockses famous Yard Works in Preston and was there during the 1913 Royal Visit.

Horrockses Yard Works

Horrockses Yard Works in Preston grew from one factory in 1791 to a huge complex of mills by 1913.
This model, seen in the exhibition, was made by workers at Horrockses for the Royal visit of King George V and Queen Mary on 8 July 1913.

The model is an important record of the site in Preston as none of the buildings have survived.

Model Horrockses mill

Now only a few boundary walls remain of this once famous Yard Works site, which employed thousands and attracted the attention of Royalty.

The Royal couple came to Horrockses because the company was world famous and one of the largest cotton manufacturers in the world.

From Perth, Australia

After a few months off, I am now back to the blog and restarting further research and development of ideas for a bid for a Take Off Project Yardworks event at the Preston Guild in 2012.

Wondering whats here in Australia? i know Horrockses exported cotton yard cloths here, so it will be interesting to see if there are any leads.

Heres a Horrockses Display case in Sydney –,curious

Wireworks Views

Last week, I went for a site visit inside the Wireworks building, down Cotton Court, off Church St.

Its the oldest building left on the site 1812 i think, 6 floors, with two staircases running diagonally across each other inside.

The building is listed and been completely renovated, though vacant at the moment.

The views were fabulous, snowy hills in the distance and as i climbed higher, the whole layout of the Yardworks site was revealed.

More interior buildings have been demolished, the Booths warehouses I think.

I could see the Yardworks wall from inside and finally where the doors  lead to.

Thanks Ruth for the photos.