Aireborough Historical Society

1960s Springhead Mill Cloth Team

Springhead Mill

Title Springhead Mill Cloth Team
Name
Philip Walker
Gender Male
Date of Birth November 1947
Currently Residing Barnoldswick, Lancashire.
Subject
"Springhead Mill Cloth Mill Team

The Cloth mill team at Springhead in the late sixties, consisted of:

Bill Birket from Horsforth, (Foreman Cloth Washer and Miller),
his assistant Ken Wolstenholme from Newlands Avenue, Yeadon, (Milling and Cloth Washing), Leonard Wilson, from Weston Estate Otley, (Cloth Washing), Jack? from Yeadon, (Cloth Washing),
Teddy Law, from Henshaw, Yeadon, (Spin dryer Operative and Cloth Washer), Roy Yeadon, & myself, both of Queensway, Yeadon, (Yardmen and Soda bath operators, and spin dryer assistants),

The chap called Jack with the question mark after his name must be one of the toughest and unluckiest men I have ever met.
Tough because he did his job every day without complaint, including heavy lifting, despite having part of his bowel removed and having to wear a bag and fight off cancer, 45 years ago that was no mean achievement.
Unlucky, because he was involved in a freak road accident, on New Roadside near St Johns.
When we finished work it was never later than Two O’clock and jack used to walk down to Green Bottom and get a bus up to Westfield and have a couple of pints in his favourite club, R.a.f.a. Club I think.
He would then walk home along New Road.
On the day in question, Jack had his pint and was walking home along the New Road when a wheel came off a passing motor car, bounced up the pavement, bowled Jack over and broke both his legs.
He was never the same after that and died suddenly of a heart attack some months later.
What a poor, tragic end for such a nice man.

I think Bill Birket would have retired long before the Mill closed; also Teddy Law was nearing retirement and possibly Leonard Wilson.
I have no information on Roy Yeadon.
Ken Wolstenholme went to Booths mill at Horsforth, he told me this personally when I bumped into him on the street some years after I had left.

My experience of Springhead Mill was limited to the Warehouse, Tentering, Finishing and Cloth Mill, but there was a whole host of sheds on the other side of the yard.
E.g. Woolly House and Blending, Scribbling or Carding, Roving, Spinning, Twisting and Warping, Weaving, Burling and Mending, Dye House, Canteen, Maintenance shops, Administration, Timekeeper/Gatehouse man."

Written May 2013

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