BBC HomeExplore the BBC

7 February 2011
Accessibility help
Text only
Nation on Film

BBC Homepage
Where I Live

Contact Us

Like this page?
Send it to a friend!

Woman working at a loom (Read about the textiles films we have available for viewing)
Factory workers (Read about the growth of the textile industry) Textile worker (Read about the conditions mill workers faced) Man walking past discarded mill equipment (Read about the decline of the industry)

Chimney Demolition - Fred Dibnah: Demolition Man (1979/colour/sound)
Fred Dibnah demolishes an old mill chimney in Lancashire. (3 minutes 31 seconds �BBC)

Unpacking Bales - Messrs. Barlow & Jones Ltd (1919/b&w/silent)
Cotton arrives from America in tightly compressed bales ideal for transportation. Workers unpack bales of cotton at the Barlow mill in Lancashire (40 seconds �NWFA)

Cleaning and Straightening - Messrs. Barlow & Jones Ltd (1919/b&w/silent)
Turning raw cotton into yarn was a lengthy process with many stages. Workers in the early stages of production cleaning and straightening cotton at a typical mill in Lancashire. (1 minute 41 seconds �NWFA)

Drawing Out and Spinning - Messrs. Barlow & Jones Ltd (1919/b&w/silent)
Drawing out and spinning turns cotton into strong yarn ready for weaving. Mill workers demonstrate this process in a North West mill. (2 minutes 17 seconds �NWFA)

Producing Strands - Messrs. Barlow & Jones Ltd (1919/b&w/silent)
Machinery replaced jobs traditionally performed by hand. Workers as they supervise the mechanical process of producing strands. (2 minutes 3 seconds �NWFA)

Bleaching and Finished Goods - Messrs. Barlow & Jones Ltd (1919/b&w/silent)
Mill workers demonstrating the final stage of the textile process and discover some of cotton's many uses. (37 seconds �NWFA)

Coral Mill - Milnrow and Newhey Gazette (1913/b&w/silent)
A trip around Coral Mill in 1913. Machines spin cotton and the workers are eager to leave at the end of the day. (1 minute 3 seconds �NWFA)

Leaving Work - Milnrow and Newhey Gazette (1913/b&w/silent)
Working conditions in the mills were extremely harsh. After a long and busy shift in hot, humid and noisy conditions, workers eagerly head for home. (32 seconds �NWFA)

Harvesting - Cotton Blossoms (1940s/b&w/sound)
A documentary clip exploring cotton as a raw material, from planting, harvesting and sifting. (1 minute 52 seconds �NWFA)

Cotton Arrives in Lancashire - Cotton Blossoms (1940s/b&w/sound)
Cotton arrives at this Lancashire Mill, where it is unpacked, cleaned and carded. (1 minute 49 seconds �NWFA)

Lunchtime at the Mill - Cotton Blossoms (1940s/b&w/sound)
Workers enjoying a well earned break in their newly built canteen where lunch is often accompanied by an impromptu concert. (46 seconds �Lancashire Textile Manufacturers)

First Aid - Cotton Blossoms (1940s/colour/sound)
Accidents were a common occurrence in the mills, but luckily for workers in this mill, there is a first aid room for emergency treatment, or a 'sustaining beverage. (1 minute 37 seconds �Lancashire Textile Manufacturers)

Training and Recruitment - Cotton Blossoms (1940s/colour/sound)
New recruits are given training in all areas of weaving, although for trainee Mona - who is all fingers and thumbs - threading a shuttle is not as easy as it looks! (3 minutes 21 seconds �Lancashire Textile Manufacturers)

Death of a Mill Town - Closure of Reddish Mill (1958/b&w/sound)
The town of Reddish in Lancashire was built on textiles but the closure of its last mills left its workforce without jobs. Residents discuss their concerns for the future. (2 minutes 2 seconds �NWFA)

The Three Day Week - Cotton Mills (1965/b&w/sound)
To increase production, many cotton mills introduced new working shifts. This documentary gives an insight into a three day week experiment in a cotton mill in Leigh, Lancashire. (1 minute 30 seconds �BBC)

Crisis in the Textile Industry - Cotton Mills (1952/b&w/sound)
Recession hits the cotton industry. In this documentary, we visit the spinning town of Bolton where more than half the mills are closed and 1,000 people are left unemployed. (2 minutes 6 seconds �BBC)

Decline of Lancashire Cotton Industry - Cotton Mills (1960/b&w/silent)
The textile industry suffered a long decline and in this clip factory workers break up the machines in the redundant factory as cotton production ceases across Lancashire. (2 minutes 3 seconds �BBC)

The Queen Visits a Cotton Mill - Lancashire Royal Visit (1954/b&w/silent)
The Queen and Duke of Edinburgh on their visit to Lilac Cotton Mill in Manchester. (57 seconds �BBC)

Health and Safety Film - Chasing the Blues (1946/b&w/sound)
A promotional film - complete with music and dancing - to highlight what steps are being taken to improve working life in the mills. (5 minutes 47 seconds �NWFA)

Uses of Cotton - Cotton Counts (1951/colour/sound)
From office typewriter ribbon, to deck chairs and beach suits, discover some of the amazing uses for cotton in this documentary." (1 minute 7 seconds �NWFA)

Wakes Week Fairs - City of Oldham Centenary Celebrations (1949/b&w/silent)
Oldham's wakes fair on Tommyfield. Mills closed during wakes weeks to allow mill workers and their families vital respite from the stresses and strains of work in the mill. (1 minute 9 seconds �NWFA)

All the Fun of the Fair - Preston Leisure and Industries (1930s/b&w/silent)
The phrase work hard and play hard is definitely true of these mill workers enjoying all the fun if the fair. With carousels and swing boats, Preston town centre really comes to life. (1 minute 4 seconds �NWFA)

Housing Inspectors - Preston Slum Clearance (1938/b&w/silent)
Conditions in the mill may have been harsh and for many city dwellers so were conditions at home. Go inside an infamous 'back to back' as inspectors pay a visit to some of Preston's worst slum houses. (1 minute 5 seconds �NWFA)

The Illuminations - Blackpool Lights (1935-38/b&w/silent)
Blackpool was a popular destination for many mill workers in their precious free time. Join them as they take a trip through the famous Blackpool illuminations. (51 seconds �NWFA)

Seaside Amusements - Blackpool (Pre-war/colour/silent)
Blackpool and its beach and amusements was a popular day trip for the Lancashire textile workers. (23 seconds �NWFA)

Tower Circus - Blackpool Circus Trip (1950/colour/silent)
Lancashire mill workers enjoy a day out at Blackpool Tower Circus and meet Charlie Cairoli the clown. (2 minutes 32 seconds �NWFA)

About the BBC | Help | Terms of Use | Privacy & Cookies Policy