Amazing discoveries at demolition of Cloth Hall

It is early 1953 and here we see the sad sight of the tragic demolition of Colne’s once grandiose and indeed aesthetically classic Cloth Hall.

Cloth Hall demolition
Cloth Hall demolition

Built in 1775 in Walton Street as Colne Piece Hall for the town’s woollen trade, by 1810 the proud building, now the Colne Cloth Hall, brought prosperity to the town with the buying and selling of cotton goods for manufacturers from across Lancashire.

I remember this magnificent structure so well. I still have a silver half crown dated 1849 found when exploring the empty building in the late 1940s.

Speaking around 30 years ago on my Bunkers Hill post round to John “Channer” Greenwood, he told me it had taken over a week to burn tons of peanut shells found in the space below the roof’s ancient stone slates. These were undoubtedly a very early form of roof insulation!!

John was one of the last survivors of the Cloth Hall demolition men.

He had wonderful stories of finding some hundreds of horseshoes in the stables and weighing them in at Billy Hird’s, and not forgeting the time “Big Harold” French and John found two cases of stuffed birds in a cupboard in the hall which fetched enough for a few pints at the nearby Twisters and Drawers Club!