Thursday, 22 July 2010

First and Last -2
I often wonder when something is claimed to the the first or last how it is authenticated and whether it is really important. In my view what really matters is the impact on life an object or event has. In the Manchester Museum of Science and Industry they proudly display the last Briitish built steam engine to be installed in a cotton mill in the country (1926). It is no longer in working order and is truly a museum piece - an inanimate exhibit. About five years earlier, Bancroft Mill in Barnoldswick (see blog entry "Where is Barlick?" - May 21) installed a locally built steam engine and this is still working. To appreciate what fine machines these engines were play the following movie.

But if you really want to understand what working in a mill sounded like then get yourself to Queens Street Mill in Burnley where they have the last (!) steam powered working cotton weaving shed.

Without the supplied ear defenders it is horrifying and quite unimaginable.

And this is only half the shed!

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