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Cut me some Flax!

I've visited this mill several times over the years, and I'm sad to report that parts of the buildings are now impassible due to more deliberate fires that have been set in recent years. Regardless of this there is still lots to see and plenty to photograph, the textures in the peeling paint and the light was just perfect!

This mill was established in 1823 and was built at a derelict linen bleach green.

It quickly became the largest linen thread mill in the world with branches in Belfast, Germany and the United States.

At it's height it employed over 2000 people!

When I was walking through the buildings I did imagine what it would be like walking through the factory in the middle of a shift!

Each building had different processes, from spinning the flax, twisting the thread and also a dye house.

There was even a fleet of barges that brought coal up the river to power the steam engines in the mill.

Men and women worked in the factory and children also worked on half time contracts. Half time meaning they spent half time in school and the other half in the factory.

The company built a small village around the factory to accommodate the workers consisting of over 300 houses, a school and community hall.

They made various products, from fishing nets, products that also went into phone cables, golf clubs to book binding. In the war they also produced linen aircraft products.

It is said that the factory used up to 200 tons of coal a week!

In the later part of the 20th century the industry came up against competition from the far east, at this time man made products were becoming more favourable.

Unfortunately they couldn't compete and after a decline in business in 2006 the factory closed its doors forever.

The workforce was shocked at the news, "The factory's senior shop steward, said the staff were devastated"

There have been on going plans to redevelop the site however, no progress has yet been made.

There is a real sense of calm in this 24 acre site, it's almost serene. I hope what ever happens to the site in the future this remains.

Many of the windows are covered in ivy but especially this one, it looks as though the ivy has opened the window to make its way in!

Parts of the outside are totally overgrown, they are jungle like.

This arched window must have been beautiful in its day. The architecture here has some beautiful details remaining.

The companies iconic tag line 'Ahead in Thread'

These signs must have been pride and place for the company and workers alike.

I leave the site, I can almost imagine what the site would have looked like on a Monday morning at 9am with 2000 workers rushing to get into start on time with the horn going off. It must have been like a small town. Now just a ghost town.

Did you work in this mill? I'd love to hear your experiences. Comment here or on facebook or instagram

1 commento

20 ott 2022

Is this Hilden Mill in Lisburn??

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