Knoll Spinning, Wellington Mill, Oldham

Date Visited: May 2007

Wellington Mills in Greenfield, Oldham were built in 1852 for Shaw, Son and Lees cotton spinners who traded until 1858 and were succeeded by N Broadbent and Sons until 1932. The buildings were left unused until 1938 when part of the buildings were used as a general engineering works and in 1941 the rest of the premises were opened up with the installation of 362 looms by the fabric weaver B.Kershaw.

In the years up to 1946 the engineering section of the mill produced engine parts for bombers after which it became first a naval store and then a store for the British Wool Board. In 1946 the buildings and land were purchased by William Oddy who transferred their woollen carding and mule spinning operations from Shipley to the mill. This was the birth of the Knoll Spinning Company. The mills closed in the late 90's.

Rather than just one large mill, this was a complex of several small and medium sized mills which made for a rather strange explore, going from one building to the next and then starting over again. The mills were largely empty aside from a few pieces of machinery dotted around the place. However, they were largely free of vandalism and the fitters shop appeared to be in occasional use by someone given the large amount of stuff left in there. And the rather kitsch, wood veneer clad boardroom was still intact, complete with table and chairs.

The majority of the mills were subsequently demolished in 2010 to make way for a new Tesco, although one was kept for future renovation.

Pictures are included in my Shadows of The North book