I have just returned from a trip up to the ancestral home lands.
My Grandmother's family all came from Bolton Lancashire.
I have written about my Great Aunt Thora before.
It was in her village that we used to get the little red clogs made.
My Mum now lives in Auntie Thora and Uncle Jimmy's cottage up on the moors above the village of Tottington.

Of my Great Grandmother's daughters only two did not go to work in the textile mills.

Winnie the eldest was apprenticed to her father a tailor and Patty my grandmother who ended up marrying well, even if he did come from near London, having 3 children and moving to Africa.

My mum tells tales of being taken to the mill to visit her Aunts as a really small child and being terrified by the noise.

This weekend we all visited the Queen St Mill in Burnley.

The only working steam driven textile mill left in the world.

The steam engine was hypnotic, the looms deafening, the glimpse in to my family's past compelling.

I can't recommend a visit enough.

There is something for every one, the steam loving engineering geek, the textiles geek, the history geek.

Every one working there was knowledgeable and welcoming.
I was in paradise, the boys were transfixed.
They sell calico and towels woven in the demonstrations and some seconds of lovely bright fabrics bought from old stock.

I may have bought some.

I may have taken a lot of pictures.

Love Nora xx


  1. in a previous life I worked in Listers in Barrow...a ''savio twister'' a wool mill as opposed to a cotton mill but I doubt the noise was any different. So you were close enough to my place to touch!!

  2. Looks amazing, I have always been fascinated by weaving...I have a toy loom! Eco Ethel xx

  3. It looks fascinating, if I'm ever up that way I will be stopping by.

  4. That looks like a great visit. Your photos are marvellous. I went to see the loom at Melin Tregwynt and it was mnd-boggling to see how the threads were lined up to give the complex patterns on the double sided blankets.


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