Over the last couple of days I’ve been sharing some of the lost jobs and occupations of people in the past – people who spent their lives working in the cotton mills (factories) of Oldham and other parts of Lancashire. The reason there were so many mills in the area was geographical – being on the west side of the country the air was more moist and it was better to spin raw cotton fibres into thread.
Here are the last words I shared yesterday:
- setter on – another name for a doffer – remember the doffer?
- sizer – sizing is to treat thread or fabric to make it stronger – in this case with a starchy glue
- slasher – the machine and person who does the sizing
- stripper and grinder – whatever your thoughts, he was a maintenance engineer
- tackler – someone who sets up the machinery to begin
- tenter – it just means someone who looks after any machinary
- throstle spinner – it actually does have something to do with thrushes; a throstle was a machine named after a throstle because of the noise it made (thrushes do have the sweetest song, so maybe this was a nice job!). A throstle in the cotton mill was a type of spinning machine
- twister – someone joins the ends of the new thread together with what was already on the loom to make longer threads – interestingly, it was often done by disabled people because it was done sitting down
- warper – do you remember what a beamer was? Well a warper is the same as a beamer
- OK… just to remind you, a doffer loads and unloads bobbins, a beamer is the gigantic bobbin
and the link again:
The mill in my featured image is not a cotton mill but a saw mill