Robert Clayton built the Wellington mill, later to known as the unity mill, on the canal in 1885. It had 1,050 looms installed by Dickenson of Blackburn, 500 hp Ashton, Frost & Co., horizontal engine and two Lancashire boilers, and wove plains, fine plains, and sateen's. Its brief history included fire and constant change of ownership. But even the Unity Trust set up to aid the mill, could not prevent its closure in 1930, during the depression.
The mill was worked by John Whittaker until 1908 when the creditors formed the Wellington Mill Co. Ltd., to continue the business.
Following the liquidation of this company in 1917 the Great Harwood Commercial Co., Ltd., purchased the mill re-naming it "Unity"
The site employed about 400 people during the 1920’s; among the products were fine shirting's, cambric's, sateen's and checks.
After a fire on August the 7th 1930, which caused £30,000.00 of damage, little further manufacture took place and in 1932 the mill was sold to John Grimshaw, timber merchant.
During the Second World War, it was used as a storage depot and afterwards became the property of Messrs Grimshaw and was used as a wholesale business in building goods and poultry appliances.
Known as Jack Grimshaw's, his proper name was John, and lived at 14 Spring Street with his wife Hannah until 1947 when he bought 117 Hermitage Street. Ann Bennett had bought the property in 1927, off the Knowles family whose father William had built it. Ann had never lived in the property, but had rented it for 20 years. So John bought the house and lived in till his death in 1970.
The firm employed 17 people, 2 of those being female clerical staff.
Grimshaw's Timber merchants remained at the top of Spring Street until the 1970’s, when the company finally shut down due to the death of John Grimshaw. It was used for a while after this as a scrap metal yard, where people of the town took their old cars.
The structure of the building deteriorated and was unsuitable for conversion. Now there is nothing left and houses have been built on the land, given the name of Allan Critchlow Way, running behind Bridge Street along side the canal.
Industrial Rishton by Kathleen Broderick and M Rothwell