The reign of cotton mills

COTTON MILLS: A corner of old Barrowford. (S)
COTTON MILLS: A corner of old Barrowford. (S)

This week we travel to the village of Barrowford with an excellent 1930s postcard, which captures so well the Tudor White Bear Inn and Art Deco Manchester and County Bank.

Happily today these two fine buildings are still with us, however the two mills seen behind the White Bear and the bank disappeared many years ago.

To the rear of the White Bear Inn is Sunfield Mills, which was owned by cotton manufacturer John Hilton, and which was demolished in the early 1970s.

Behind the Manchester and County Bank we see the mill chimney of Haighton’s Dye Works where cloth was printed for dress material. It was burned down in 1936.

Barrowford’s once mighty cotton mills have all gone today: Albert Mill, Holmefield Mill, Lower Church Mill, Park Mill and Victoria Mill. Never again will they echo to the clatter and din of shuttle and loom.

My late good friend Albert J. Morris always said this postcard was a true gem.

P.S. The White Bear Inn at 143 Gisburn Road is one of our area’s finest surviving Tudor buildings. Originally known as the “Hargreaves’ Great House”, it became a coaching inn as Barrowford’s local industry flourished.

The village can be proud indeed of its two Tudor structures, for nearby at 2 - 6 Church Street is the imposing Lamb Club.

“Brickbat of the month” – Our Colne Town Hall flag has now been flying at half-mast for six months! Just who I wonder was so important to justify this!