Era ends as area's last shuttle maker closes

AN ERA will come to an end tomorrow when the last shuttle manufacturer in this area stops production.

Crossley’s Shuttles Limited, of Woodbottom Mill, Hollins Road, Todmorden will cease production after 118 years manufacturing shuttles of all types and sizes for automatic and non-automatic looms.

Director Ian Bancroft said it had been a business decision.

“With the decline in the Lancashire and Yorkshire textile trade and pressure from foreign markets I have decided to call it a day. It’s very sad but there’s nothing I can do,” said Mr Bancroft.

“I have three men downstairs who will finish on Friday and then my son and I will sort out the mill. We’ve been busy for the last three or four months filling panic orders from our customers from all over the world but it isn’t enough to keep us going.

“Our employees have been very loyal giving many years’ service, including former Todmorden Mayor Clarence Brown.

“Recently we had five employees who had 250 years’ service between them,” said Mr Bancroft, who has himself been with the company since the Bancroft family bought the business in 1968.

Shuttles have been sent to textile manufacturers around the world and even given as gifts by British Airways to air travellers to commemorate the launch of their shuttle service.

John Crossley and Sons started Crossley’s Shuttles Limited in 1888 located originally in Ridge Mill, in the centre of Todmorden. In 1928 the company moved to Woodbottom Mill, a textile mill complete with looms which cost 500.

The family sold the looms for more than they had bought the mill and paid the electricity company to bring power to Hollins Road to power the mill.

The company was owned by the Crossley family until the 1960s when it was taken over by British Northrop Loom Co Ltd before the Bancroft family bought it in 1968.