Friday, 24 July 2015

Callis Mill, Charlestown, West Yorkshire


Much of the original mill has been demolished, but some of the weaving sheds remain. It started out as a cotton mill with spinning and weaving sheds. It was by far the largest Mill in Charlestown.
In 1861 it was owned by the Lacey brothers. The Laceys were famous locally for refusing to pay rates to the Sowerby township, demanding to pay the township of Erringden. In 1876, this resulted in the seizure of goods for constables rates.
In 1926 it became Cords Ltd, owned by Messrs Shepherd and Tattersall. Ted Tattersall had mills at Pecket well, above Hebden Bridge, Rochdale and Staleybridge as well as being a director of the Rochdale canal. He travelled on horseback until the late 1920s when he got a new Bentley every year. Mr Shepherd patented a cotton tyre fabric using the best Egyptian cotton which the mill manufactured.
The process prevented blowouts and allowed the first tubeless tyres to be made. Customers included Dunlop, Pirelli and Avon and tyres for aeroplanes Cotton process started at the top of the mill going down on a slant to eliminate knots. The cotton was cabled to 12 to 16 ply for ordinary tyres and up to 18 for heavy duty tyres (26lb breaking strain). Cotton was later replaced by silk and rayon. Weaving was in the shed using 72" Reed looms .
Jack Buxton seems to have been a hands on manager and the mill employed about 50 people, mainly from Todmorden, Hebden bridge and Blackshawhead. They worked two 12 hour shifts starting at 6.45 am.

The spinning mules were operated by men. The firm introduced different types of worker wearing different coloured overalls. This was to identify workers who had wandered from their own section.

Eventually the owners fell out, and Tattersall brought his own men into the mill some of whom were said to be useless. The business finished in 1971 due to the development of steel tyre innards and the site was bought by John Brights (who reputedly only wanted the order book).
From 1972, the mill was used by Brytmet which made aluminium products. they closed due to "high labour turnover". in 1976, the mill was bought by developers who knocked down the main mill to create a car park. All that remains standing is the weaving sheds that are used by the canal company and the dye house which was recently used by a German owned chemical company called Aquaspersions and is now empty.
There is much more history on Hebden Bridge and its industrial past also featured on the website above.
All photographs available as prints or canvas with or without the border. Message for sizes/ prices.
Esoteric Eric


No comments:

Post a Comment