Taylor’s Rope Works
The Rope Works, located at Chequerbent, opened about 1886 as a family business. It was built upon the supply of ropes for driving mill machinery including the heavy ropes which used to provide the transmission of power for the massive mill steam engines. In those times the firm claimed its ropes drove the world! The rope walk comprised a very long covered area where strands of hemp could be laid out before twisting into rope. It closed in 1971.
Chadwick’s Silk Mill – Church Street
John Chadwick Esq., the eminent silk manufacturer, had obtained a first class award – a medal – for his superior manufacture of silk goods which were shown at the Great Exhibition of 1862. His mill, in Church Street, was opened in 1850 and continued in production until 1907.
A procession of the principal inhabitants of the town and about 600 of his workpeople met him, Mrs Chadwick and family at the Chequerbent Station on his return from London and testified their esteem by repeated and resounding cheers.
In 1915, James Wigglesworth re-opened Chadwick’s mill as a manufacturer of pills and medicines, e.g. Aspirins, opas tablets, cough medicines and the like. In its heyday, 250 people were employed there, supplying products to every corner of the UK.
Daisy Hill Corn Mill
Located in Mill Lane, this was an 18th Century building on the site of a water mill belonging to William Platt according to the 1451 Rental of Cockersand Abbey. In the 1700’s the miller was a Mr Haddock. The Haddock family were local benefactors. Miss Haddock and her sister Mrs Makand donated money to build St James’ church in Daisy Hill.
Textile Mills in Westhoughton
The textile mills of Westhoughton in the early 20th century are shown in this presentation. (Once the presentation opens, click down to advance, click up to go back.)
A few examples of 20th century textile mills are shown below.
Gun Works – James Street, 1901 – 1925
Musgrave boiler manufacturers operated the works from 1901 but sold them to the Admiralty in 1912. They were re-tooled to make gun barrels for destroyers made by Vickers at Barrow. Many of the workers travelled to Westhoughton from Bolton on a special train morning and evening. Houses for other Admiralty employees were built at The Avenue and Jutland Grove.
More detail about the Westhoughton Gun Works is given in this presentation. (Once the presentation opens, click down to advance, click up to go back.)
Green Vale bleach works
The bleach works was started by John Seddon in 1857, and was leased to Messrs Henry Barnes and McConnell, but the latter died not long afterwards and the business was carried on by Mr Barnes. On his retirement it passed to his son-in-law, Mr Thomas Welch.
At one time the firm conducted an extensive foreign trade in Printing and Dyeing and employed about 200 people. Cheap power for the machinery was provided by a water wheel, but principally to supplement this, Mr Seddon established a small colliery on the N.E. Boundary of his land. In 1932 the Print works was closed.
This company was the successor to Green Vale, in Leigh Road, Daisy Hill. In 1935 this works produced high class sewing cotton but diversified to produce coach bodies. The coachbuilder combined with Beccols of Chequerbent to build coaches for a continental coach tour operator. The last product was aircraft body panels.