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Albert Mill taken from the air

Situated at the top of Mary Street, Albert Mill is still in use today.

Albert mill was the last cotton mill to be built in Rishton in 1912 by the Rishton Mill Building Co. Ltd. Again this mill was built away from the canal and a lodge was constructed. Water was also obtained from Rishton pit that was often flooded. The water was very pure and clean. The mill contained 700 looms and wove fine plains used for umbrella cloths, sateen's, driers cloths, and cambric's. The mill closed in 1952, a time of depression in the Lancashire cotton industry.

The building included a 350hp high and low-pressure horizontal engine by Ashton Frost and Co., Yates and Thom boiler and 650 looms by Willan & Mills.

Engine House

The premises were leased to the Albert Mill Co. Ltd., of Accrington, of which E. T. Airey was one of the principals. Among the fabrics produced were voiles, cambries, poplins, sateen's and art cloth.

Following the expiry of the company's lease in 1940 cotton manufacture ended and the mill was later used for the production of aeroplane engines and as warehousing by Howard & Bullough's of Accrington.

A letter from Messrs. Harris Bros. (Rushden) Ltd., from the Albert mill, was recieved by Rishton Council, asking permission to discharge the effluent into the Council's main drains, was received on the 10th July 1947. The Council refuse to grant this permission.

Information was given on the 12th February 1953, that it was possible that the Albert Mill would be vacated by the present occupiers during the summer. The Council Clerk was instructed to draw the attention of the owners to the advisability of communicating with the Lancashire Industrial Development Council and the Board of Trade.

A letter was submitted from the owners on the 12th March 1953, confirming that the mill would become vacant about October, and that they had received enquiries from an industrial concern with a view to taking over the premises. The Clerk reported that he had received a telephone communication from a firm of estate agents regarding the proposed industry which it was hoped would take over the premises and that further information would be submitted at a subsequent date.

The Council Clerk reported that notification had been received on the 25th March 1954, that these premises had been acquired on a lease by a Manchester firm and that it was proposed to commence the manufacture of Paper String within the next few months.

Textilose Ltd., makers of paper yarns and cable insulating materials, took over in 1954 and ran the works until a recent date. Textilose Limited is one of a group of 3 factories whose head office is at Trafford Park, Manchester. The Manchester blitz of World War 2 damaged the main factory and because the firm manufactured telephone cables insulation was given Government aid to re-establish itself elsewhere. The new location was Blackburn, but in July 1954, the firm transferred from Blackburn to the Albert Mill. Extensive alterations have combined to make Albert mill a compact and modern manufacturing unit.

The firm specialised in the spinning of cable insulation yarns used in the build up and insulation of telephone cables; piping cards, both hard and soft, which have a wide application in the furnishing, upholstery and bedding trades.

Warpers and Winders

Special craft spinning paper was imported from Sweden and the Baltic and supplemented by occasional higher grads from Scotland.

The cable insulation has a worldwide market, except in the United States of America, and 90% is exported, but the piping cord is essentially for the home market.

Of the 102 employees, 75 lived in Rishton and most of the workers were over 40. The products depend upon fluctuations in the car industry and the demands of cable users. This is not very satisfactory and in January 1963, a double shift system was reduced to single working.

The site was used by Precision Engineers (Blackburn) Ltd. until April 2006 when the company ceased trading from the mill. The mill remained empty for many months after this.


The original cotton entrance for goods.

Intact machine brick mill comprises main yard surrounded by offices, tape room, cloth warehouse engine house, boiler house, with cast iron water tank inscribed "Ashton, Frost & Co, Ltd., Engineers, Blackburn" and "Albert Mill 1912", and circular brick chimney. Single storey weaving shed with north facing lights at rear.

The picture on the right shows the entrance to the cotton warehouse, where the goods would have been delivered.

Below is the date stone at the front of the mill, showing the year the mill was built.

1912 would have made Albert Mill one of the last mills to be built in the town.

The date stone is a Steel plate, and will be a valuable trophy if the mill is ever demolished.

Employees and date

During 2013, the mill was demolished. To see photos of the mill being demolished follow this link.


Industrial Rishton by Kathleen Broderick

A North east Lancashire Town by Marian Sleigh

Weaving Shed