Sunday, 29 October 2017

Dudfleet Mill, Horbury, West Yorkshire


The mill appears to have been known as Race’s Mill for a time, as it was owned by John Race and Co. A report conducted by the Factory Inquiry Commission on 25th March 1834 was commissioned to examine the employment of children in factories, with the intention of curtailing the hours of their labour. John Race and Co’s responses to the 27 questions asked by the report suggest that their business involved the production of woollen cloths and lambswool yarn. The report outlines the conditions for a number of children working at the factory, revealing at this time that 27 of the 40 strong workforce were boys and girls aged 16 or younger. They conclude that ‘the health of children working in woollen manufactories… is not in the least bit impaired’.
Later, a transcript of the entry of 'professions and trades' for Horbury in White's Directory of 1887 states that the mill owners were Archer, Ritchie and Co., manufacturers of army & police cloths located both at Dudfleet Mill and at Millfield Mills. Amongst those employed were George Audley (Woolen Overlooker) and Joseph Audsley (Mill Overlooker).
At some point in the early 1900s the mill stood empty, after which it was purchased by James Benjamin Sykes and his brother who turned it into ‘a thriving industrial concern’.
The most recent occupiers of the mill seem to be Fur Fabrics limited, who vacated the property around 2005.
Esoteric Eric


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