The following brief histories are nothing more than a personal indulgence; an attempt to understand a little more the industrial origins of the place I now live.
To this end the exercise has been successful. Working mills now have a 200 year story to tell; deserted, overgrown millponds evoke pictures of what was, and paths and tracks, now becoming lost to nature, can be recognised as the arteries they once were, linking homesteads and communities with a shared heritage.
Binding these together were the families Butterworth, Broadbent, Kenworthy, Schofield, Mills, Byrom, Gledhill and many others, who directed the flow of events with an ever changing rhythm, alongside the spinners, weavers and carders who allowed it all to happen.
In my endeavour to convert piles of stones into pictures I must sincerely thank the following people:
Mr Maurice Dennett, Archivist at Saddleworth Museum, for introducing me to the unfinished research notes of the late Bernard Barnes.
The Gledhill brothers for their informed conversation.
Mr Rupert Shires for his help at a most trying time at Rasping Mill.
….. and many others who have just listened and talked.
J E Gater