Once a mighty mill mecca

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A sad scene this week as we witness the demolition of one of Colne’s once proud mill chimneys.

Our town during its “King Cotton” hey-day could boast of 53 cotton mill manufacturers with a total of 45 towering mill chimneys gracing the town’s skyline.

The chimney seen here on its way down is the long-standing Parrock Cotton Mill smoke-stack, which by the time of our 1950s scene at the bottom of Exchange Street, had seen no fewer than six kings and queens rule our land.

Other mighty mill chimneys now demolished include Vivary Bridge Mill, Walton Street Mill, Great Holme Mill and the last mill chimney to be knocked down in 2014, the 1906 Glen Mills Chimney on North Valley Road.

The Parrock Mill Chimney I remember well as it was just a stone’s throw away from Mount Zion Chapel (seen just behind the chimney to the right) where I attended Sunday School from 1946 until its sad closure in 1951.

I can recall a day around July 1950 when, after our Sunday School class, Freddie Gregson, Roy Greenwood and I went exploring in the derelict Parrock Mill.

Freddie threw a stone at a metal fire-alarm and the loud noise disturbed dozens of bats which swooped down all around us.

We were off and never did go back!