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TRAVIS HOLME MILL

(LACY MILL)

Walsden

Map Ref. SD 931223

 

the only remaining buildings of the once large mill

 

Known occupiers

1843

No building on site on Walsden map

1847-1864

LACY David and John

1864 - 1883

LACY John

1883

Permanently unoccupied

1893-1895

LORD James Henry

1895

Inchfield Bottom Brass Band

1907

Disused on 25” OS map

 

Illustrated history

 

Virtually nothing is known about this small cotton mill in its early days, except the Lacy family of Callis Mill in Charlestown owned it, and it was often referred to as Lacy Mill. The mill was certainly operating in 1850 as, on 2nd October of that year, a girl from Walsden recorded in her diary: "Samuel, the son of James Dawson of Bottomley, had some of his fingers taken off at Travis Holme Factory."

At Clough in Walsden where the mill is located, the canal, river, road and railway run virtually parallel to each other. Travis Holme Mill is situated between the canal and river, whilst Clough Mill is opposite to it, on the other side of the road and railway.

   
From the road, it is necessary to cross the narrow river to gain access, and for this purpose, a stone bridge was built to carry the traffic across. This remains the only access today
   

John Lacy, born in 1816, began his working life in the employ of the Fielden brothers of Waterside Mill, rising to become a favoured manager. He lived with his wife Jane and their children at Bankfield Buildings in Todmorden, which is a terrace of three substantial houses erected specifically to accommodate managers employed by the Fieldens.

   
John and his family are there in 1851, although by then he had left his employment and was a master cotton spinner, employing 51 men and 13 women. John and his brothers, Thomas, Gilbert and David, occupied the large mill at Charlestown known as Callis Mill in addition to the much smaller Travis Holme Mill in Walsden. John and David were partners at Travis Holme until 1874 when the partnership was dissolved and John became the sole owner and occupier.

Bankfield Buildings

   

The Lacy family was always associated with Langfield, and in particular, with Stoodley. However, they lived variously at Stoodley Hall, Underbank Hall and Lacy House - the latter two situated in Charlestown.

   

Underbank Hall

In 1875, John was the last surviving brother and his own health was declining. For this reason, he consented to sell the property known as Travis Holme Mill despite it being a prosperous business. Various local cotton manufacturers and other gentlemen formed a new company with the intention of buying the business. The company was named The Travis Holme Cotton Spinning Company Limited.
   

On April 17th. 1875, the following advertisement appeared in the Halifax Guardian: (Extracted and submitted by Alan Longbottom)

 

Prospectus for the Travis Holme

Cotton Spinning Company Limited

 

Share List will be closed on Monday April 26th .

 

The Travis Holme Cotton Spinning Company Limited, Walsden near Todmorden to be incorporated under the Joint Stock Companies Acts, 1862 and 1867. Capital £20,000 in 4,000 shares of £5 each. Present Issue of 3,000 shares of which 2,000 only are offered to the Public. Payable 5s per share on Application; 5s per share on Allotment, and future calls not to exceed 10s per Share at intervals of not less than one month.

 

Provisional Directors .

 

John Lacy, Esq., Cotton Spinner, Underbank Hall near Todmorden.

John Whittaker, Esq., Cotton Spinner, Langfield House, Todmorden.

Robert Barker, Esq. Engineer etc. Millwood, Todmorden.

Thomas Lacy, Esq., Underbank Hall near Todmorden.

Eli Fielding, Esq., Cotton Spinner, Eastwood, near Todmorden.

Thomas Firth, Esq., Cotton Spinner, Bank View, Blackburn.

John Stephenson, Esq., Manufacturer - Shade near Todmorden.

Samuel Witham, Esq., Castle gardens, Todmorden.

Joseph Baume, Esq., Gauxholme Place, Todmorden.

James Booth, Esq., Timber Merchant, Walsden near Todmorden.

J.W. Heap, Esq., Travis Holme Mill, Walsden near Todmorden.

 

Bankers - The Manchester and Liverpool District Bank, Todmorden and Branches.

The Manchester and County Bank Limited, Blackburn and Branches.

 

Solicitor - Mr. John E. Craven of Todmorden.

 

Auditors - Messrs. F. Hunter, Gregory, Nuttall and Co. Bacup

 

Secretary pro-Tem - Mr. J. W. Heap, cashier at the Mill.

 

The Registered Office will be at Travis Holme Mill, Walsden, near Todmorden.

 

 

Prospectus

 

The company is being formed for the purpose of acquiring by purchase and working the well-known Throstle Twist (Cotton) Spinning, Winding, Warping, and Reeling Works called Travis Holme Mill, situate at Walsden, near Todmorden, with the whole of the Valuable machinery, Plant, as 23 excellently built cottages, with the foundations for more, all belonging to Mr. John Lacy, Underbank Hall, near Todmorden, whose declining health is his only reason for consenting to the disposal of the property. The mill is in work, and will be handed over to the Company as a going concern, no stoppage being necessary beyond the time required (if any) for taking Stock.

 

The vendor and his friends evince their own confidence in the prosperity of the business under the Company's management, by subscribing for 1,600 Shares, being one third of the present issue, and he (the Vendor) will also allow £5,000 to remain on Mortgage security, at the rate of 5 per cent, per annum, thus assisting to increase the Dividends on the amount called up.

 

An Agreement for the purchase of the concern, bearing date the 16th. day of March 1875, made between Mr. John Lacy, of the one part, and Mr. Joseph Baume, of Todmorden, on behalf of the Company, of the other part, together with the proposed memorandum and Articles of Association, can be seen at the Offices of the Solicitor of the Company.

 

Prospectuses and Forms of Application for Shares may be had from the Bankers of the Company, and their Branches, and also from Mr. John E. Craven, solicitor of Todmorden, Messrs F. Hunter, Gregory, Nuttall and Co, Accountants of Bacup; Mr. John Barker, Yarn Agent of Todmorden, the Directors and Secretary at the Mill.

 

The extraordinary success of such undertakings in Oldham, Rochdale and other places, as shown in the enclosed list, makes it very desirable that the inhabitants of this district, and the workers in the mills, should participate in these advantages.

 

Valuers' Report

 

In accordance with instructions we have made a very careful valuation of the Travis Holme Mill, Buildings, Land, Cottages, Fixed and Loose Machinery, Plant, Water Rights, and other Privileges, the property of John Lacy, Esquire, situate at Walsden, near Todmorden.

 

The land is freehold and comprises two plots. The one containing 7,596 square yards or thereabouts, is bounded lengthwise by the Todmorden and Rochdale Turnpike Road, and on the opposite side by the Banks of the Rochdale Canal. Upon this site are built the Mill, Boiler House, Blowing and Mixing Rooms, waste Store Rooms, Stable, Warehouse, office, Store Room, and 15 Cottages (11 recently built), also foundations for 12 more.

 

There is an area of unbuilt land leaving room for increasing the Mill and Cottages to double or treble their present extent. This plot is subject to a ground rent of one penny-halfpenny per yard, or £40 per annum, the original rent paid by Mr. Lacy.

   
The other plot upon the opposite side of the road and railway, contains 337 square yards or thereabouts, and has eight excellent stone built Cottages upon it, making on both plots 23 Cottages, which bring in a yearly rental of £188-9s-0d, which is free of all rates and taxes, except property tax.

The only access route under the railway to the 8 cottages on the opposite side of the road

   

The Mill, (part of which has been lately erected) together with the Boiler House, Blowing and Mixing Rooms, Waste Store Rooms and Stable, are very substantially built of stone; the Warehouse, Economiser House, Office and Store Room of brick; all of which appear to be well arranged for the saving of labour. A large steam-power Hoist is erected outside the Mill connecting the four stories together.

 

There is a convenient Mechanics' Shop and Smithy attached, The steam and driving power consists of two two-flued Steam Boilers, 31ft by 7ft 6ins, well fit up in every respect, and in good condition, as we gather from the Boiler Insurance Company's Report.

 

A pair of Beam Steam Engines, 30 nominal horsepower each, one just new, with wrought iron connecting rod and steel crank. These are also well reported upon and insures by the Boiler Insurance Co. The Gearing is good and well arranged for all driving purposes. There is also a green's Economiser, nearly new.

 

The Machinery consists of 18 Throstle Frames, containing 9,948 Spindles (with space for 2,000 to 3,000 more and preparation) One Opener by Taylor, Lang and Co, with Lap Machine: One three beater Doubler, by Lord Brothers, with patent feeder: One single Beater Finisher by Lord Brothers, with patent feeder: One single Beater Finisher by Mason, with Lord Brothers patent feeder: 25 48 inch Carding Engines; 15 Heads of Drawing Frames with 48 Deliveries; Four Slubbing Frames, containing 270 Spindles; long collars; 11 Roving Frames, containing 1,280 Spindles (two just erected with Mills's Improvements by Howard and Bullough) ; three Winding Machines, containing 900 Spindles; Four Circular Warping (newest by power); Six Reeling Mills : One Beam Warping Mill, with expanding Comb; Two Card Grinding Machines; Roller Singeing Machine; Three large Platform Scales, by Pooley; Two Large Beam Scales; One Cart Weighing Machine;

 

The Mechanics' and Blacksmiths' Shops contain: - Smiths' Hearth, Bellows, Anvil, Lathes, Upright Drill (just new), Grindstone, and other necessary tools.

 

The premises are well supplied with water for driving, domestic, and fire purposes. There are plugs or taps in the yard and on each landing of staircase, with a large quantity of new hose and fittings, and water pressure sufficient to carry over the Mill with ease.

 

The whole of the above Land, Mill, Cottages, Machinery, Water and other Rights, we value at £14,302-2s-10d. (Fourteen Thousand, Three Hundred and Two Pounds, Two Shillings and Ten-pence), which we consider a very fair and reasonable price, no good will having been recognised.

 

Valuers - Wm. Salisbury & Hamer of Blackburn and J. Byrom Bamford, Surveyor and Valuer of Rochdale and Todmorden.

Dated 15th. March 1875

 

The mill may well have continued to prosper, but I have no further information. It seems the Travis Holme Cotton Spinning Company Limited never got off the ground. John Lacy was clearly in poor health at the time of the above proposed sale, but continued to plod on until 1883 when he died at Underbank Hall. He is buried with his wife and children at St. Mary's church in Todmorden.

By 1893, part of the mill was a joinery workshop occupied by James Henry Lord.

   
He was a son of James Lord and Rebecca Crossley, who between them ran the shop on the corner of Rochdale Road and St. Peters Gate in Walsden. Initially, the shop sold books and newspapers, but became the Post Office when James senior was appointed as Postmaster. James Henry, born in 1858, appears to have lived there all his life. The building is still Walsden Post Office today.
   

He married Mary Ellen and after a spell working as a book-keeper in a cotton mill, he turned to carpentry. He worked for himself, using part of Travis Holme Mill as his workshop. He is known to have been there between 1893 and 1895.

   
Strangely enough, a joinery firm continues to occupy the premises today. The photograph shows the only remaining part of the mill, with the workshop bridging over the narrow river and occupied by Setdale Joinery.
   

the site of the mill to the left of the canal tow path

The main body of the mill, the chimney, boiler house, smithy and all the associated cottages are long gone. The site is landscaped and contains a row of bungalows, built originally as emergency housing after the Second World War, and is known as Lacy Avenue.
   
The "eight excellent stone-built cottages" across the road and under the railway bridge are also long gone, replaced by three newer and more substantial houses, possibly built using the stone from the original cottages.
   

 

 

Additional information

researched, recorded and referenced by Mrs Sheila Wade

Hebden Bridge WEA Local History Group

 

White 1847

Abraham Lacy, cotton spinners and manufacturers

Halifax Guardian 11th March 1848

Messrs. Lacy’s mill, a new concern, commenced Monday last

Census 1851

John Lacy, Bank Buildings, master cotton spinner employing 51 men and 13 females.

David Lacy, Knowlwood Mill, cotton spinner

White 1853

David and John Lacy, cotton spinners and manufacturers

Walsden rates Book 1860-65

Owners and occupiers D. and J. Lacy; mill etc; Travis; rateable value £160.14s.3d.

1860 – 1016 mule spindles, 2hp

The Preston Guardian, Saturday, June 11, 1864

Partnerships Dissolved

D. and J. Lacy, Walsden near Todmorden, cotton spinners.

Walsden Rates Book 1866-81

Owned and occupied by John Lacy; mill etc; Travis; rateable value £129.16s.0d.

1869 – hoist etc. £1.17s.0d.

1873 – new mill office etc. £33.15s.0d.

1879-81 – part empty

1880 – rateable value £240.5s.0d.

1881 – rateable value £203.15s.0d.

White 1866

John Lacy, Travis Holme Mill, cotton spinners and manufacturers

Slater 1875

Jonathan Lacy, Travis Holme Mill, cotton spinners and manufactuers.

Todmorden and Hebden Bridge Advertiser 1st Aug 1879

Travis Holme Mill, 7600 spindles, closed

Walsden Rates Book 1883

Permanently unoccupied, owner John Lacy; mill and power, Travis Holme

Walsden Rates Book 1893

Occupier James Henry Lord; owners executors of John Lacy; joiners shop; Travis Holme Mill; rateable value £3.10s.0d.

Walsden Rates Book 1895

Occupiers Inchfield Bottom Brass Band; owners executors of John Lacy; band room, Travis Holme; rateable value £2.15s.0d.

Unoccupied joiners shop, owner executors of John Lacy; Travis Holme; rateable value £3.10s.0d.

 

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