Bobbins were a very necessary part of a cotton
mill - As the cotton milling industry grew, so did an
insatiable demand for bobbins. These are the small wooden cores
upon which the newly spun cotton thread would be wound. Literally
thousands were being used at any one time, and once loaded with
cotton thread they would either be fed into the next process or
be despatched to the customer. Either way they had to be replaced
on the spinning machine by another empty bobbin. This necessitated
a continuous and reliable local supply of well made bobbins.
There were two bobbin mills in Bollington turning tree trunks
into little bobbins. No doubt they also relied on their cotton
thread customers to return their empty bobbins - they were certainly
not a 'use once and discard' product.
despite the vast numbers in use, we do not have a single example
of a bobbin for display at the Discovery Centre , so if you
know where there is one that I could obtain or picture do please
let me know!
Some of the operatives in the mills who were responsible for
loading, threading and unloading the bobbins were known in Bollington
as cone winders.
The two bobbin mills in Bollington - one was in Queen
Street next to Defiance mill,
the other was Lomas's Bobbin mill adjacent to bridge 28 on the Macclesfield
Queen Street Bobbin mill
bobbin mill was located at the bottom of Defiance
Brow (the uphill part of Queen Street today) next door to Defiance
mill. It was water powered and probably shared the same wheel
and water as Defiance mill, with the mill
pond in Pool Bank. The two mills were in the same ownership
at some time. By 1860 Edmund Barnes and, later, Thomas Pimlott,
were wood turning and bobbin making in both. In the late 19thC,
Thomas Pimlott and Thomas Gatenby were bottling water and lemonade
in the mill. See Brewers
It is probable that before the bobbin mill was developed, Queen
Street passed through the site and across where Hamson
Drive is today to join Ingersley
Road somewhere close to where the roundabout is today. At
some stage (c.1960s?), the bobbin mill was demolished and the
space used by Oak Bank mill. Once
this went in the 1990s, modern cottages were built on the site.
Lomas's bobbin mill
the picture, the bobbin mill is the low building across the middle.
In the background left is Beehive
cotton spinning mill, the house on the right is Bobbin cottage
(known in 1871 as Albert cottage, and in 1909 as Daisy cottage)
which still stands. The bobbin mill has very largely gone - there
is a very small amount of stone wall and the base of the chimney
remaining, and can be seen in the garden as you pass along the
canal towpath. The chimney can just be made out in this picture
- it is to the left of the mill, and stands just to the right of
the telegraph pole at the left of the picture, almost hidden by
the horizontal bars on the pole. This picture is a small portion
of one taken to illustrate the Kerridge
canal breach in 1912.
||The white freshly spun cotton is being fed onto bobbins
in Clarence mill c.1920.
Hallworth, bobbin winding in 1950.
Further information on bobbin mills: Stott
Park Bobbin mill, Newby Bridge, Cumbria
My thanks go to those who researched and discovered the history
that is presented in these pages. Please
read the full acknowledgement of their remarkable achievement.
Your Historic Documents
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