Albion Mill, Meltham
The mill was built around 1846 and newspaper articles indicate James Ramsden was the owner until at least 1873.
In October 1865, the mill's owners, Messrs. Walker and Ramsden, were charged with employing children under the age of 13 "without having obtained a schoolmaster's certificate to show that they had attended school during the previous week." James Ramsden claimed he was "ignorant of the fact that it was their duty to see that the children went to school." He was also charged with falsifying register entries when it came to employing children. Ramsden was found guilty on all charges and fined, escaping a prison sentence.
A fire was discovered in the scribbing room of the mill on the evening of Saturday 22 January 1870. Locals rushed with buckets and, using water from the dyehouse, the quickly brought the fire under control. By the time the fire engines from Spinks Mire Mill and Meltham Mills arrived, their services were not required. The damage was estimated at £20.
Another more serious fire occurred on the morning of Monday 25 August 1873 that "did considerable damage during the short time it existed." The fire engine from Spinks Mire Mill arrived after around 20 minutes and, using water from the dyehouse, brought the fire under control. Damage was estimated as £60.
By 1878, James Sykes Jnr and Son were named as the owners.
On Friday 24 May 1878, 13-year-old John Mallinson Creaser tried to place a belt on pulley that was in motion. In doing so, "his clothes became caught in the gearing, and he was carried with great violence round the shaft." Dr. Haigh of Meltham attended but Creaser died of internal injuries that evening. The inquest was chaired by coroner William Barstow at the Victoria Hotel in Meltham and, after hearing evidence, the jury returned a verdict of "accidental death."
The day after Creaser's death, a farewell supper was held for Tom Brook, who "for a number of years had been [the] designer at the mill, but who has now left, having obtained a more lucrative situation."
In August 1879, a barn linked to the mill was found to be on fire. By the time fire engines arrived, the contents of the bard had been destroyed and the roof collapsed.
A further newspaper article in November 1888 again named James Sykes as the owner when he complained to the Meltham Local Board about drainage flowing off the road above the mill causing damage to "boiler house and flues". The Board agreed to lay better drains.
The mill was advertised to be let between 1891 and 1896 and was described as being "48 yards long and five stories in height, with outside staircase, dyehouse and warehouse."
In May 1916, teenager Horace Bower shot himself with his father's revolver. The inquest into his suicide heard that he had gone to work that morning at Albion Mills but returned later to his home, holding a rag to his face and apparently in agony. He told his mother that he had accidentally got sulphuric acid in his right eye. Whilst she went to fetch a doctor, Bower retrieved his father's gun and left the house. He was seen by Edward Quarmby still holding the rag to his eye and "seeming in very sore trouble." Moments later, Bower shot himself in the face. The inquest could not ascertain how Bower could have got acid in his eye, but Dr. Jane Craig-Miller reported that there was some possible evidence of acid burning on his face. The jury returned a verdict to the affect that Bower had shot himself "whilst suffering intense pain".
R. Butterworth & Sons took over the mill in 1946. It eventually closed in 2003 with the loss of 43 jobs and was demolished in 2007.
- Yorkshire Industrial Heritage
- The View from the North: Albion Mill, Meltham
- Flickr: Albion Mill - Another Meltham Landmark Gone to History
Notes and References
- "Magistrates in Petty Sessions: Breaches of the Factory Act at Meltham" in Huddersfield Chronicle (07/Oct/1865).
- "Meltham: Fire at a Mill" in Huddersfield Chronicle (29/Jan/1870).
- "Meltham: Fire at Meltham" in Huddersfield Chronicle (27/Aug/1873).
- Born 1865 in Kirkheaton, the son of millwright Lewis and Catherine Ann Creaser.
- "Fatal Accident at Meltham" in Huddersfield Chronicle (27/May/1878).
- "Inquest of Meltham" in Huddersfield Chronicle (01/Jun/1878).
- "Meltham: A Barn on Fire" in Huddersfield Chronicle (16/Aug/1879).
- Huddersfield Chronicle (24/Nov/1888).
- "Mills, Room and Power, &c" in Huddersfield Chronicle (21/Dec/1895).
- "A Boy's Agony and Suicide" in the Yorkshire Post (17/May/1916). The Huddersfield Daily Examiner (15/May/1916) expressed concern that this was the third suicide in Meltham within a fortnight.
- The View from the North: Albion Mills, Meltham