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Boyd's photo diary.

2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013
2014 2015 2016 2017 2018 2019
2020 2021 2022      
Jan 22 Feb 22 Mar 22 Apr 22 May 22 Jun 22
Jul 22 Aug 22 Sep 22 Oct 22 Nov 22 Dec 22
Mon 28 Feb 2022
My first visit to the new Bolton Bus Station.

Bus Station interior.

Bus Station interior.
Sun 27 Feb 2022
Walking home from my camp. In the distance is Preston.
Sat 26 Feb 2022

A late birthday camp on the moors above White Coppice. My meal was partly presents I'd been given at Christmas. It was very windy overnight so glad I was in my Hilleberg Soulo tent.

Mon 21 Feb 2022

I recently digitised some old ˝ plate (6.5*4.75in) glass negatives that were taken in 1912 of the construction of Brushes Water Filter House near Stalybridge. Thanks to the internet, Facebook and employees of United Utilities it was possible to find out the story of the building.

Buckton Castle Water Treatment Works near Stalybridge.

Brushes Filter House under construction in 1912.
The Kent meter panel can be seen in the centre distance.
After about 75 years of use it was demolished as a new treatment plant was built elsewhere. I was delighted to hear that the original Kent Instrument panel to monitor and record the water flows was saved and moved to Buckton Castle Water Treatment Works above Stalybridge.

Kent meters in 1912.

Chris at the Buckton Castle Water Treatment Works above Stalybridge and the Kent Meter Panel.

One of the Kent Venturi gauges.

The original clock.

The Brushes Filter House plaque is preserved in the compound but face down. To the right is the Ashway Gap stone.

Ashway Gap Filter House.
Sat 19 Feb 2022
A night viewe of Frank's house on Hill Top Lane using my bike lamp for illumination.
Fri 18 Feb 2022
Big thanks to Byron for the heads up on the Audio-Technica AT-LP120XBT Deck with USB. I decided to invest as a late birthday present to me. The usual dealers didn't have the deck but they came into the RicherSounds warehouse yesterday and they shipped one to the Preston store today, which I collected this afternoon.
Audio-Technica AT-LP120XBT Deck.
The diversion path by the cricket field Whittle-le-Woods has deteriorated considerably since the funnelling fence has been fixed

Path by the Cricket field.

The path gets worse.
Wed 09 Feb 2022
John Osbaldeston (1780-1862).
One of my favourite cycling routes is through Tockholes and on to the Belmont Road. Down Rock Lane is St Stephen’s Church and I decided to call in to say hello to one of our long lost and mostly forgotten inventors. The grave of John Osbaldeston lies at the the furthest end of the graveyard and at one time was visited regularly by people paying their respects. Judging by the untramples undergrowth and almost illegible epitaph the visitors have dried up.
He was born at Snig Brook (Near Revidge), Blackburn about 1777 and after some schooling he began work as a handloom weaver. He saw the power loom drive out the hand loom and the factory replace the cottage loom shop and it was this evolution which turned his active and inventive mind towards the problems of speeding up the various processes of cotton manufacture in the factories. He worked long hours and spent his spare cash working on his inventions, the most famous one being the Weft Fork.
There was already an alarm system to warn the operators when the downward warp thread snapped but no way of detecting a break in the weft that went across the fabric. Osbaldeston invented the weft fork and the loom was stopped when a break was detected. It meant one minder could look after four looms instead of just one.
This invention should have made him a fortune but instead of putting a patent on it he shared the invention with friends in the pub. When a patent was issued in 1841 it did not have his name on it but one of his so-called friends. Grace's Guide to British Industrial History states that James Bullough, a Blackburn textile machinery manufacturer, registered the patent in 1841.
John Osbaldeston made no money from his invention and died penniless in Blackburn Workhouse in 1861. He was spared from a pauper’s grave by the kindness of the Vicar of Tockholes. It was 30 years later when the monument was erected and simply read:
“John Osbaldeston, inventor of the weft fork, 1780-1862.”

John had already written his own epitaph but it was never used. It was:
“Here lies John Osbaldeston. A humble inventor, who raised many to wealth and fortune but himself lived in poverty and died in obscurity. The dupe of false friends and misplaced confidence.”
I wonder if anyone knows where James Bullough is buried, or even cares?
John’s inscription is now very faint but I have included a photo from 2009 when it was much clearer.

The only known image
of John Osbaldeston.
From Blackburn Library via
the Cottontown website.

The grave of John Osbaldeston (1780-1862), St Stephen’s Church, Tockholes.

Inscription Feb 2022.

Inscription June 2009.

Replacement of the gas supply pipes continue.
Fri 04 Feb 2022

A rainy afternoon walk to Denham Springs to the site of the Old Print Works and the remaining Chimney.

Lower Copthurst Farm 

Denham Springs Old Print Works Chimney from the Leeds & Liverpool Canal.

The Chimney viewed from the Birchin Lane side (west)

View up the chimney.

Lintel for the flue.

All that's left of the print Mill below the chimney.

An old view of the ruins.
Walking along the Leeds & Liverpool Canal from Town Lane to the Top Lock it is possible to see a stone chimney emerging from the trees in the valley to the left. Along it runs the River Lostock and this was the original power source and water supply for the long abandoned Denham Springs Print Works. A few piles of stones and low crumbling walls are all that remain of the buildings but the chimney still stands majestic above the ruins. The remains are behind the private buildings of Denham Springs Farm and not accessible. However, the chimney can be seen from many vantage points and marks the location of a troubled industry over 200 years ago. The first accurate map of the works is the 6in/1mile Ordnance Survey map of 1848 which shows substantial buildings, the chimney and reservoir. The next map is the 25in/1 mile O.S. Map of 1894. This is much more detailed and calls it the Denham Springs Old Print Works.
Chemistry of Calico Printing.
And Printworks.
By this time the mill had closed and the buildings were in a ruinous state.
In the 1840s John Graham wrote the “Chemistry of Calico Printing 1790-1835 and History of Printworks in the Manchester District 1760-1846”. This astonishing document consists of 470 handwritten pages covering many recipes for dyes and also details of Printworks in the area. We are fortunate that Denham Springs is included.
The mill began printing around 1783 and was run by Bennett and Ware. Bennett died and Ware left and the mill remained empty. A man called Dickinson eventually tried again but he also went bankrupt leaving the mill empty once more. The last named manager was Charles Barber who ran the mill with two machines, 20 tables and a 24 horsepower steam engine. He didn't last long and went bust in 1845.
Graham goes on to say: “It appears strange that men could be induced to carry on these old premises for 50 or 60 years being a great way from market, not capable of extension and always unprofitable with only a few small buildings and very little water and altogether appears a very unlikely place for carrying on the printing business successfully.”
The chimney remains around 10m above the valley bottom and 22m (72ft) tall. Where higher ground was available it was common for chimneys to be built above the mill with a connecting flue. This effectively increased height to discharge and gave better drafting of the gases. Flues up hillsides were usually stone built tunnels but the one for Denham Springs cannot be found and probably collapsed without trace over a hundred years ago.
The River Lostock supplied and powered three Printworks in the area. Denham Springs (in Brindle) was the first. Then Low Mill (Whittle-le-Woods) and lastly Lower Kem Mill (Clayton-le-Woods).
Thu 03 Feb 2022
The Gas company is currently renewing the gas mains. Mostly by threading new polyethylene pipes into the old cast iron. The reinstatement at the top of School Brow looks rather good.


27th Jan 2022.
Tue 01 Feb 2022
The converted Brookbottoms Mill near Ramsbottom
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