When King Cotton ruled Pendle

MIGHTY CHIMNEYS: The time when King Cotton reigned in Barnoldswick, 1949

MIGHTY CHIMNEYS: The time when King Cotton reigned in Barnoldswick, 1949

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This week our column takes us back to the days when “King Cotton” ruled over the whole of the Pendle area.

Yes, indeed, here we can see so well in a photograph kindly given to me many years ago by the renowned West Craven historian Dennis Cairns, the mill chimneys of yesteryear towering above the round clock weaving sheds.

The year is 1949 and here situated along the Leeds and Liverpool Canal are three of Barnoldswick’s mighty mills of the era.

From left to right, here are Moss Mill, Long Ing Mill and Barnsey Mill, all of which provided full-time employment for hundreds of local workers.

Other Barnoldswick cotton mills of the post-war years include Bancroft’s Mill, Butt’s Mill, Clough Mill, Crow Nest Mill, Fernbank Mill, Westfield Mill, Calfhall Mill and Well House Mill.

Today in the 21st Century, no longer do these weaving mills echo to the deafening clatter of loom and shuttle and gone forever is the once ubiquitous sound of “The Song of Sunrise”, hundreds of the mill workers’ clog-irons ringing out on the flag-stones as they wend their way to work.