||The story of how James Ives developed his mill is interesting.
there was a severe slump in the woolen trade in Guiseley & Yeadon. As one
walked around the townships no "click-clack" as the shuttle was thrown across
the loom was heard.
At this time the first railways were being constructed in
the district such as the one that passed through Horsforth to Harrogate one way
and Leeds the other. Tough Irish navvies with their soiled white hats, plush
waistcoats & taste for whisky terrorised the neighbourhood.
& 1849 they worked on constructing Bramhope Tunnel. Unemployed hand loom
weavers joined the navvies in this work tramping across the moor each day the
five miles to the tunnel workings.
Because of their lack of skill there were
several disasters & deaths and in Otley church yard there is still a
memorial to those who perished.
James Ives exploited the situation, he knew
that soon the work would end and the local "navvies" would be returning to
Yeadon & Guiseley in search of more work particularly in the wool trade
where their real skill was.
He therefore bought up as much raw wool as he
could lay his hands upon and put the now unemployed workers to their
They spun & wove the cloth at home & carried their product
down to the company mill, the Old Goit (equals hollow) Mill.
This made James
Ives the leading wool producer in the area.
Previously, the cloth
was carried down to Leeds Cloth Hall (on site of General Post Office in City
Square until it was demolished by Leeds Corporation in 1889).
The Cloth Hall
was governed by Trustees who decided the rules for sale of the cloth. Yeadon
& Guiseley were represented by one trustee. Sales were for cash - "on t' neeal". Cloth
also sold on stalls by producers that had served their apprenticeship. Sale day
was Tuesday and the roads around Leeds would be full of hand-loom weavers who
carried their "pieces" on their backs (if poor) by pack-horse or even cart.
Wives and children watched anxiously for their return.
Slater in his history
of the Ancient Parish of Guiseley records that during a depression one weaver
went to Leeds Cloth Hall every week for thirteen weeks without selling a single
No business was started in the Cloth Hall until a bell was rung.
Haggling took place in whispers. After an hour and a quarter the bell rang again
and all business had to finish. On a good day £30,000 might change hands a
massive sum for those days. No wonder the wooded roads from Leeds were full of
But when manufacturers like James Ives started up their own mills
the domestic system on which the Cloth Hall depended declined & factories
took their place. Also manufacturers disliked trading in close proximity to
their rivals whose eyes often "popped out like chapel hat-pegs" to notice the
patterns of their rivals.
Thus they started renting special rooms &
warehouses away from the Cloth Hall in which to display their wares.
Ives had a warehouse in Park Place until the company gave it up in
James Ives still continued his interest in farming. This provided him with food for his family and also fodder for the horses that were used in the slubbing process. (There were 12 horse-mills in Yeadon between 1780 & 1790) Fields also gave him space for his tenters. Then again "Seak" or the sediment from the scouring tanks could be used for manuring the land.
When cloth was ready for scouring it was laid out in the fields and sprinkled or pounded with substances to remove the oil (& grease & Dirt).
Today ammonia, alkalis & soda are used. What did they use in the early 19th century?
Dobson & Ives explain it as follows:- "Anyone trying to guess would be right with the first two guesses. However the folk of those days "thowt nowt to it" and in fact could not conceive of any substances more "natural" & efficacious. It was even deemed a public duty in these communities to collect these scouring agents in troughs in village gardens."
The cloth was thus pounded and sprinkled was then fulled in the mills down by the river, washed & dyed. Then they were carried back to Guiseley & Yeadon and dried on the clothiers "tenters" or hooks on which the cloth was stretched across the field.
This gave rise to a common expression.
Later a tentering machine powered by steam did the job indoors.
The cloth was then milled with soap & water and dried a final time.
The dry cloth then had to be finished. Workmen called croppers pulled up the nap on the cloth by use of teazles or combs and what were known as preemers boys were kept busy cleaning the teazles by picking out the fluff. The rather uneven nap then resulting was smoothed and made uniform throughout the piece by great hand-shears wielded by the skilled men croppers.
Repeated brushing with teazles & cropping with the shears produced a fine finished appearance.
Yeadon Waterworks Company 1862
Indenture between the Hon
Wellington Henry Cotton & John Nappa of the first part, Richard Greville of
the second, & Joseph Parkinson, William Thornton, Joseph Hodgson &
Robert Jenkinson (woollen Manufacturers), Trustees of the Yeadon Waterworks of
the third Part. Whereby the rights for 21 years is granted at £2 10s 0d per
annum to lay pipes to draw surplus water from Rawdon Common & Hawkshaw Hill
near the top of the common into a reservoir to be constructed subject to a
cistern being built at Hawkshaw Well not less in size than 6 feet by 2 feet to
first insure sufficient water for the tenants of the Estate & others
intitled to the same
Manufacture of Cloth in Yeadon, written in
The staple trade of the township has always been the manufacture of
cloth. In this calling our forefathers had to endure greater hardships than we
have now-a-days when we have every convenience close to hand.
having larger mills with hundreds of hands attending to spinning frames
& power looms, all worked by steam, people had to card, slub & spin by
hand, two weaving at one loom etc & two hundred years ago they might have
been seen on fine days sitting with their spinning wheels in front of their
houses striving to outstrip each other in their work.
Some of them spun
listing, then carried it to Leeds, where in front of the Old Moot Hall in
Briggate they exposed it for sale.
When the cloth was woven they took it to
Esholt, Pool, Baildon, Arthington or Harewood to be fulled or Milled.
slubbing by hand was done away with when what was called horse mills were
These mills were worked by horse-power ie a horse was attached to
a pole which turned a small billey & carder something in the same manner as
a horse until within the last few years would turn a thrashing machine; hence
the name horse-mills.
There would be twelve of these horse-mills in Yeadon in
about 1780 to 1790 & would be situated as follows:-
One in the fold
behind where Dr Hepworth's surgery now stands belonging to John Dawson;
another on the site of James Croft's house belonging to James
one near Manor House which belonged to Jeremiah Slater;
was where Mr Ives tentering machine now is belonging to Isaac
another behind Parkinson's the butcher which was owned by William
another belonging to Jeremiah Hustler situated in Greenwood's
One at High Henshaw belonging to Thomas Marshall;
another at the
bottom of Haworth Lane belonging to William Penny;
one where Bolton House now
stands belonging to Abraham Grimshaw & another at the bottom of Low Fold
belonging to Benjamin Lupton
Manufacture of Cloth in Yeadon,
written in 1880
Trade and enterprise increased in the village & in 1862
Messrs Edward & Thomas Bolton built Manor Mills in the lower part of the
town. They were the first to introduce power looms into the village & to
this innovation there was great opposition from
the numerous body of hand-loom weavers who predicted the failure of all who
wished to do away with the hand-loom.
But instead of this the men prospered,
power looms asserted their superiority & now hand-loom weaving was nearly
died out & very rarely can be heard the click clack of the loom when one
passes up & down the village street.
Of the other mills built more
recently are the Kirk Lane Mills erected by Messrs Brown Brothers & Brayshaw
in 1868; Banks Field Mill built by Mr Thomas Bolton (Bolton Murgatroyd &
Co,) in 1869; Nunroyd Mill by Messrs J.JL. & C Peate in 1868; Crompton Mill
built by the Lord of the Manor for a company under the name of the Crompton Mill
Company in 1869 & lastly Moorefield Mill built in 1877 by Mr William
Of the Gill Mill I have said nothing. No doubt there has been a
mill here from the remotest time wither as a water or steam mill & used
either for grinding corn or for the purpose of cloth manufacture. It is now the
property of Mr John Marshal Barwick & is run by Messrs Pilley.
years ago Mr William Wood introduced the iron trade into Yeadon by opening a
foundry which is now occupied by Messrs Clabour & Crossfield & will no
doubt prove useful & profitable both to the enterprising owners & the
This has been a short summary of the factories now in full work in
Yeadon & although latterly trade has been bad all over the country still
this town has enjoyed a fairly good trade & the mills have been mostly
running full time.
From a close calculation taken from an average of the past
six months I find that the mills alone (not including private houses) have
consumed over 400 tons of coal per week.
The aggregate number of setts, that
is, scribbler, carder & condensor now running in Yeadon is one hundred.
These in turn find work for about 40,000 spindles & 1,200 looms & the
whole of the factories employ about 2,400 workpeople who receive between two
& three thousand pounds pre week in wages, so that the good old town has
grown somewhat since John de Yeadon gave an annuity of 3 marks out of his mill
here to Esholt Priory.
2nd December 1881
The time when mill workers in Yeadon & Guiseley worked from 6 o'clock in the morning until 8 at night was mentioned in a letter by a correspondent. He wrote" I like trade to be good, but I cannot stand these hours. They are not fair to those men who want to acquire technical knowledge & who dare not join any of the classes as they have not time to attend them"
25th July 1883
Yeadon, which for a number of years stood in a foremost position as a thriving manufacturing village suffered a great depression in trade in 1883. A large number of workpeople were out of employment & many were compelled to seek employment elsewhere.
Within a few months, between 40 & 50 people emigrated to America & Australia
23rd December 1892
The free meal which was provided in the Temperance Home, Yeadon, on Saturday last (December 15th) for those in needy circumstances was attended by between 400 & 500 persons.
All the necessaries of the meal was provided by Wm Murgatroyd of Moorefield Mill.
The serving and the meal was carried out by members of the Yeadon Friends Adult School.
The soup consisted of 107 lbs of Beef, ham bones, peas, carrots etc.Many of the recipients had not had such a good meal for a long time.
800 buns were distributed & what was left of the soup was sent to persons known to be in need who did not attend.
After the meal a concert was given to 200 persons - mostly children.
The committee of the Mechanics Institute have also been active in raising funds for the alleviation of distress from various sources &efforts. They raised £20 6s & from 70 to 80 families who were in need have been relieved.
The overseers of the Township (Constantine Waterhouse & Harry Waterworth) have also been soliciting help to relieve needy persons.