Tragic hanging in history of Spring Gardens Mill

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It has dominated the view from Colne’s ancient Waterside since Nicholas England Senior built his original Spring Gardens Cotton Mill in the year of 1847.

By 1852 the round-the-clock weaving mill was being run by the mill magnates Nicholas England Junior and Thomas Thornber England with Haslams Ltd becoming the new owner some 35 years later.

However, a devastating fire on Thursday, March 18th, 1875 would see the 1847 mill burnt to the ground and a new, huge, five-storey mill being built by the England family. This is the mighty mill as seen here so well in our 1935 aerial photo.

After running the cotton mill since 1887, in 1931 due to the slump in the cotton industry, poor, old Harry Haslam had to make everyone of his 632 employees redundant.

At the end of the long and distressing day, Harry then tragically climbed the many stone steps to the very top floor of his once thriving mill and hung himself from an overhead metal beam. It was the end of an era for the heartbroken Harry and the mill’s cotton heritage.

In 1943, the prodigious Pressed Felts Ltd began big business in the mill and during the post-war years were joined by Bess Silks, Bess Velvets, The British Hatband Company, Gallic Crepes, Melfar Manufacturing and Qualitex Silks, all bringing many well-paid jobs to Colne.

Today the once booming Spring Gardens Mill is no more, being demolished in a few months only.

And as the current owner genial Geoff Wolfenden says: “Sadly our company’s Spring Gardens Mill has become just too antiquated for use in the 21st Century.