Oldham​
The Rise and fall of the Cotton Industry

Britain's supremacy during the 19th century depended to a large extent on a plant grown thousands of miles away - cotton.
In East Lancashire and adjoining parts of Yorkshire and Cheshire where the industry was concentrated, there were some 300 factory towns and villages. The damp climate was ideal, and coal and soft water was plentiful. By 1803 cotton had overtaken wool as Britain's main export and this continued until 1938.

During the 1960's, cheap imports from abroad forced many of the mills to close. Some of these impressive buildings have been found other uses such as small business units, parcel delivery depots and mail order warehouses. Others lie derelict. 


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Oldham 


 

The Metro
 
Frequent links to Manchester and Rochdale make Oldham a convenient place to live.

The Museum of Science and Industry
 
Manchester

One of the few places where you can see demonstations of the giant spinning machines.

Britannia and Bacup
 
Every Easter saturday, the Britannia Coconuts black up and dance round the streets of Britannia and Bacup - an old tradition with it's roots in the coal mining days.

Slaithwaite
 
The Spa Mill was originally a wool spinning mill, but like many others was converted to more lucrative cotton spinning around 1860. ​

More Photo Essays
April 2017