FORGOTTEN CORNERS

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Re: FORGOTTEN CORNERS

Post by Stanley » 22 Apr 2019, 02:23

Low Moor has another connection with almost all the engines in Barlick. If the old engine makers needed something stronger than wrought or cast iron they always specified Low Moor Iron which was superior stuff. (Remember steel technology was in its infancy, no such thing as mild steel or high tensile) Particularly in the bolts holding highly stressed assembles together like the flywheel or con rod ends. The Low Moor Ironworks was famous for the quality of their iron.
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Re: FORGOTTEN CORNERS

Post by Wendyf » 22 Apr 2019, 07:45

Interesting Stanley, it was a large company I believe, also involved in coal mining and mineral extraction. Before the railways the "mineral lines" or tramways ran all over the area, bringing raw materials into the works and delivering finished product to Bradford and the canal network.
On another subject, do you know when the manorial right of "suit to mill" died out in this area? We have a letter in the archive written to one of the Lister Kaye family by his agent in Thornton complaining about a tenant farmer who wasn't getting his corn ground at the mill, this was in the 1740s. Did it come to a natural end when the canal opened and wheat flour could be brought in from areas where wheat grew better?
Barley, oats and peas were being ground in Earby mill at that time, very little wheat.

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Re: FORGOTTEN CORNERS

Post by Stanley » 23 Apr 2019, 03:53

I suspect that your conjecture about the use of corn mills for grinding flour as opposed to animal feed when the large mills at the ports could export to anywhere in the country led to the gradual end of multure. The modern mills could produce much higher quality flour because they had all the latest refining techniques. Country mills all went over to milling animal feed. Some of the earliest rotative steam engines were installed in mills at the ports where better quality hard wheat was being imported.
Have a look at the Calendar of Lancashire Documents in rare texts, quite a lot of evidence about enforcement in there with dates. I suspect the date of the decline started late in the 18th century and the railways finally finished it in the 19th.
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Re: FORGOTTEN CORNERS

Post by Wendyf » 23 Apr 2019, 05:48

Thank you Stanley, it looks as if Earby Mill's fate was sealed when 2 entrepreneurs attempted to turn it into a cotton spinning mill in the early 19th century, their partnership failed in 1806, the mill is up for sale in 1810 and burns down in 1812 in suspicious circumstances. The rebuilt mill with new 30ft wheel is for sale in 1814 but that is the last we hear of it.

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Re: FORGOTTEN CORNERS

Post by Stanley » 23 Apr 2019, 06:19

That is a very common story Wendy. The advent of the Arkwright water frame whether licensed or pirated triggered what looked like a gold rush as the cost of hand spinning yarn strong enough for warp threads was very high. This was the key to Arkwright's success, the water frame, designed originally for spinning yarn for stocking knitting could make yarn strong enough for warps. Remember that less sophisticated spinning frames for weft already existed. Any mill large enough to be converted for this market was a target and this was of course exacerbated by the fact that that water powered grinding was in decline, see above. Grinding animal feed was not a very attractive or profitable option.
Look at the chronology of the Earby mill, the entrepreneurs failed and put the mill up for sale and there would be many of these cases so it would be almost worthless. We know from George Ingle's work that insurance was common and you have to wonder if it was a successful insurance claim that financed the rebuild and new wheel in 1814. Remember that most if not all insurance policies were written to enable refurbishment or replacement of what was insured, not to pay out the capital cost insured. This still applies today and I remember us repairing a boiler that had suffered and explosion in a disused mill at Stainland for that same reason, the insurance company would only fork out for the repair, not the capital insured. A no-brainer for the owner as it cost nothing to make the mill more saleable as it had a functioning boiler. Question is, was there a market for the asset? It looks as though the Earby Mill went through this cycle and unfortunately the answer was no.
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Re: FORGOTTEN CORNERS

Post by Stanley » 24 Apr 2019, 04:12

Image

Midge Hole Mill (Midge Hill on this 1888 OS map) was, according to Chris Aspin, the only Arkwright Mill in Barlick, All the others were twist mills producing roving for domestic hand spinners. I have no reason to quarrel with his assertion, I have never found any evidence of water frames in the manor.
Note that Stew Mill was 'Hey Mill' at this date.
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Re: FORGOTTEN CORNERS

Post by Stanley » 25 Apr 2019, 05:47

Thinking about watermills.... If you haven't already done so look for 'Calendar of Lancashire Documents' in Rare texts and in particular look at the accounts for watermills in the 18th century. This gives a very good idea of what they were doing and how they were run. I remember that one of the things that surprised me was the high expenditure on candles. We tend to forget that light was a valuable asset and in the short days of winter when water was plentiful and demand was high for animal feed this was an unavoidable expenditure.
Another factor that emerges is that despite to gradual fall in demand for bread flour, the demand for Malt was unabated. Many homes brewed their own beer and in the case of the minor gentry the amount was considerable. The small local mills were well placed to satisfy this need because Malt did not keep well, it was best used fresh. It's surprising how much was produced.
In the course of looking at this you will perhaps come across the word 'Aghondal' which gave me a lot of trouble until I got Professor Zupko's wonderful book 'Medieval Weights and Measures. If you are really serious about your history I recommend you do what I did, Contact the American Philosophical Society in Pennsylvania. I think I remember inserting an explanation of the term in the Calendar. If not search the site! It turned out that it was an old measure of volume and seems to have been used particularly for malt. Medieval weights and Measures are a minefield!
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Re: FORGOTTEN CORNERS

Post by Wendyf » 25 Apr 2019, 06:22

I'm going to settle down for a read tonight! We have accounts for 2 consecutive years at Earby mill in the 1740's and mention of a brew house.

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Re: FORGOTTEN CORNERS

Post by Stanley » 25 Apr 2019, 06:45

Way to go! :biggrin2:
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Re: FORGOTTEN CORNERS

Post by Stanley » 26 Apr 2019, 03:50

Wendy, have you by any chance got the accounts digitised? If so I'd love to see them and try to pick some threads.....
18th century documents are, on the face of it, dry reading but if you treat them as evidence of society at the time and read between the lines it's amazing what you can learn.
I have bumped the Calendar of Lancashire Documents. The Waddingtons of Hen House Farm asked my advice on what to do about them. I advised them that the best place was the PRO at Preston but also suggested digitising them and posting on line as a good thing while they decided. They allowed me to do that. That's why the format is formal, I gave them a copy and a disc with the file on. Believe me a good read is very rewarding.
The overall picture of society I got from the documents was how 'local' the subjects covered are. In the absence of media overload, people concentrated on local matters, some of them mundane but all important. I remember reading a statement by a politician (American I think) that in the final analysis all politics is local. This is true today and is the reason why I have always championed Local History. It can't tell us what the answers are but gives us clues at what worked and what didn't, what was important to individuals. In the end this is what matters, that's why the LTP is such an important study, you get to see the guts of society. This in itself is a forgotten corner today, the national media isn't interested in local news, it is regarded as less important than national and international matters but this is wrong, it puts the cart before the horse!
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Re: FORGOTTEN CORNERS

Post by Wendyf » 26 Apr 2019, 06:21

They have been photographed Stanley but I don't have a copy at home, one is the actual document and the other is a transcription done by a chap called Jim Walker who was a local historian and shopkeeper in Earby. The documents came to us in a cardboard box from the next door shop to Jim's when it closed down last year. At first glance we thought the transcription was of the document but it was different.
I will get you a copy.

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Re: FORGOTTEN CORNERS

Post by Stanley » 26 Apr 2019, 06:23

Thanks Wendy, I will be interested to see it. When you are looking at these accounts barley for malt is important but so are oats, never forget porridge! Oat flakes were also best if fresh.
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Re: FORGOTTEN CORNERS

Post by Stanley » 27 Apr 2019, 06:15

Wendy, bookmark this useful site. (LINK) You'll find the explanation under multure shilling.
I've downloaded the Earby accounts and will have a good read when I have a bit of time. Thanks for sharing them..... I'm interested to see straight away that the Booth Bridge and Earby mills were run as one unit.
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Re: FORGOTTEN CORNERS

Post by Wendyf » 27 Apr 2019, 18:28

Interesting isn't it? 2 mills (which were very close together) serving one manor. I think that the document will be a report from an agent back to the Lister Kay's who lived over Wakefield way after Thornton Hall was destroyed in the Civil War.
I had discovered that website and the definition of shilling, which prompted me to ask if that just referred to oats as that appears to be the multure with wheat and barley listed separately.
I have been working on a spread sheet today, putting all the figures in and trying to identify the individuals and where they lived from the Thornton Parish records. :geek:
I worked out that a load equalled 8 pecks and that a peck was 2 gallons (or a bucketful), but how did we ever cope doing division with £:s:d ??

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Re: FORGOTTEN CORNERS

Post by Stanley » 28 Apr 2019, 02:38

but how did we ever cope doing division with £:s:d ??
Dead easy. If you look carefully at the relationship between the measures and the money there is always a relationship. I.E. 20/- a ton is 1/- a hundredweight. A lot easier to grasp and calculate mentally if your brain is attuned to vulgar fractions like mine is. Vulgar fractions are always dead accurate! They worked well with Imperial and Avoirdupois. Same applies to volume and area. Think of the number of ways you can divide 240 pence. Don't miss connections like a third is 80d (6/8) and twice that is 13/4 which is what used to be called a Mark.
There's another advantage, you can divide 240 by 3. Try doing that to 100 and you are in trouble straight away. This sounds trivial but in day to day calculations it's not. How do you divide the metric pound between 3 people? Impossible to do it precisely, in old money it was 6/8.
It gets worse when you are trying to do things like divide a circle into say 127 divisions (For a gear wheel, and a 127 tooth wheel is very important at times) I don't know how to do it precisely metrically but I can make you one any time you like using vulgar fractions and the divisions will be perfectly equal.
The old system was full of relationships like that and it's why we were capable of easily grasping 'Mental Arithmetic' at an early age in school. Do they do that now? Or do they reach for the calculator and put up with a recurring decimal, in other words an imprecise answer.
An excellent Forgotten Corner!
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Re: FORGOTTEN CORNERS

Post by Stanley » 28 Apr 2019, 06:09

Later, I got The History of Craven out and had a look at the Lister pedigree and beyond explaining how the Kaye family became owners under the name Lister-Kaye (the name change was a condition of the bequest) it doesn't tell us much about domicile or the mills.
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Re: FORGOTTEN CORNERS

Post by Wendyf » 28 Apr 2019, 06:49

No it doesn't! All the Lister Kaye records are with the WYAS and are now in the University of Leeds Brotherton Library. We have picked up a lot of references to deeds including " suit to mill" from their online catalogue, and the Manor of Thornton was often advertised for sale throughout the 19thC with the mill sites included in the sale notices.

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Re: FORGOTTEN CORNERS

Post by Stanley » 28 Apr 2019, 08:21

For the benefit of our readers.... Here's what I have just mailed to We4ndy....
I had a word with Chris Aspin Wendy and he says that he thinks I am correct in saying that it's for the service of grinding not the product. Difficult to sort Multure from grain milled and sold for profit by the mill. Remember there are items in the accounts for rent of land. As for the shillings, they are the equivalent of bran from wheat, the outer husk and it would be sold for animal feed and the item sent to market is almost certainly his profit from the sale of the shillings.
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Re: FORGOTTEN CORNERS

Post by Stanley » 29 Apr 2019, 04:14

If you have an interest in watermills get hold of a copy of Chris Aspin's magisterial book, 'The Water Spinners'. gold mine of information! See THIS link to Bookfinder. (My hardback copy was a good investment!)
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Re: FORGOTTEN CORNERS

Post by Stanley » 30 Apr 2019, 05:23

Image

The stables in Butts in 1982. All gone now of course but some things don't change.

Image

By 2002 the stables have gone, Houldsworth's old workshop, later Briggs and Duxbury before they moved into the Model Lodging House, has burned down and a hen hut is all that remains. However, the cast iron post barring vehicular traffic down the slope remains. I often think of how busy this corner would be when horses were the motive power, Singleton's had their carriage hire business in Commercial Street and Paul Brydon had his marine store, both used horses. They would pass up and down the slope as they were almost certainly stabled in Butts.
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Re: FORGOTTEN CORNERS

Post by Stanley » 01 May 2019, 02:31

One thing that struck me about the pic above is how much of the hill was cut away when Bracewell built Butts Mill in 1843. Contemporary evidence suggests that it was all carted away and tipped up Calf Hall Lane where there used to be a quarry. I have always thought that this landscaping must have obscured any remaining evidence of the presence of the 12th century monastery.
At the time of the proposal to sell the Butts site and redevelop it as a supermarket I suspect I was not very popular for pointing out that If I owned a house on Taylor Street at the top of the hill I would be very worried about the stability of the ground if the mill was taken away! I also mentioned the evidence of Harold Duxbury in the LTP about the depth of water in Butts in the 1932 flood. He rescued a man trapped in the stables by the flood water. At that time his dad and Briggs still had the workshop on Commercial Street next to the path and he watched the flood events through the window. That must have been a big weather event on Whitemoor!
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Re: FORGOTTEN CORNERS

Post by Stanley » 02 May 2019, 05:16

I'm on one of my older hobby horses this morning. How lucky we are to be living in a walking distance town. If you live in Barlick and work here you can get from home to work by a short walk. None of us are more than ten minutes from open country and some of the finest views in the country. Add to this Letcliffe and Victory Parks, Valley gardens and the locks at Greenberfield, all wonderful assets and cared for by the Council.
Contrast this with city dwelling.... I would find it impossible to live like that, not only because of the built environment but on the question of air quality. My early morning walks are a delight and enhanced by the fact that the air is like wine. I classify air quality by the colour of snot! Some would regard this as crude but it's very efficient! If your snot is black you are exposed to pollution, if it is white you have clean air. If you don't believe me, test the theory next time you spend time in a city.
This is an invisible but very important Forgotten Corner.
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Re: FORGOTTEN CORNERS

Post by Stanley » 03 May 2019, 06:21

My mind is on stone! We live in a stone-built environment and thank god the planners are aware of this and ensure that new builds also use traditional materials.

Image

The first thing that caught my eye is the old Co-op Central hall in Co-operative Street. Apart from the usual high quality of build, common in their buildings, the Co-op wanted a clear statement so they inserted these massive stones at the first floor level and fixed big letters to them. The thing that I want to draw attention to is the holes that were drilled in the stones for attaching the individual letters. With modern rotary impact drills and tungsten Carbide tips these holes would be significant but no big problem. But this was in the 1920s when the standard method of drilling the holes was by hand using a hammer and star drill. I've used these tools and I reckon each hole would take one man between 20 minutes and half an hour. Today we walk past and most people would never notice them but I think of the poor blokes who had to drill the holes!

Image

Here's another bit of stonework at Number one Dam Side. This is a different kettle of fish altogether. This was never high quality and from the look of the gatepost it could have been recycled when it was put in! It has more holes in it than a Swiss cheese and there are various bits of ironwork leaded in but it's not immediately obvious what they were for. The rest of the stonework was never high quality, small random stones.
I find bits of stonework like this fascinating. They are telling us a story and we have to interpret it. So often the stone is recycled and one has to wonder what from. The good news is that a bit of attention could improve this stonework no end and the finished result would be seen to be 'full of character'. One of these days it will get done and I hope the mason is sympathetic.
Another thing worth noting is that the original iron railings survived the salvage campaigns of WW2. This was because they were guarding the drop into the yard. A rare survivor in Barlick.
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Re: FORGOTTEN CORNERS

Post by Big Kev » 03 May 2019, 07:19

I believe the railings and gates at Montrose Terrace would have been saved for the same reason.
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Re: FORGOTTEN CORNERS

Post by Stanley » 03 May 2019, 07:59

I'd say definitely Kev.
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