Exhibition shows the rise and fall of King Cotton in Todmorden

IMAGES illustrating the rise and fall of King Cotton in Todmorden make up the latest exhibition at Todmorden Tourist Information Centre this month.

Friday, 12th March 2010, 9:22 am

The panels have been selected from the Making Of Todmorden exhibition, which ran at Todmorden Town Hall in 1993 and was opened by Nobel prizewinner Sir Geoffrey Wilkinson.

Using material researched and compiled by Jack Taylor, Roger Birch, Betty Savage, Derek Proctor and the late Dennis O'Neill, it includes images from the town's Charter Day in 1896 and major social events such as a Band of Hope parade from 1908 and a Lifeboat procession in 1906, and the town's enforced reinvention of itself after the 1960s.

Mills began closing at a rapid rate in a town which had been almost entirely dependent on cotton and its associated engineering trades for work.

The town had to forge a new identity for itself, with some population loss, and images from the 1970s and 1980s illustrate cotton's fall.

There are defining images of equipment being dismantled at Nelson's weaving shed in 1973, the last days of weaving at Birk's Mill in 1980 and mule spinning at Bottoms Mill in 1982, among others.

Some landmarks, once familiar, went earlier than others – Lobb Mill chimney was razed as early as 1906 but other images are in recent memory.

These include the Adamroyd Mill chimney (the mill itself is now in the process of demolition) from summer 1980, Law Mill chimney at Cornholme in the 1930s, Waterside's in 1981 and Mons Mill's distinctive chimney in 1986.

There's also a photograph of the mill's famous engine house just before it was finally demolished.

The exhibition runs until the end of March and can be viewed during the centre's opening hours.