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NOSTALGIA: Preserving Burnley’s cotton heritage with steam at Queen Street Mill

BURNLEY Council unveiled a project designed to save a vital part of the town’s industrial heritage -the preservation and redevelopment of Queen Street Mill, Harle Syke,

The scheme was launched in 1983, in conjunction with Pendle Heritage, with the aim of preserving the mill engine, boilers and part of the weaving shed in its original condition and so provide a working example of a typical 19th century weaving mill.

In addition, parts of the weaving shed were also to be divided into individual units, which would be rented to textile related firms. Ultimately, it was hoped the project could provide 100 new jobs.

Visitors would be welcomed as soon as the 500 horsepower steam engine was fired. Built in 1895 and originally called ‘Elizabeth West’, it was re-named Peace following the First World War.

Burnley grew on the strength of the weaving industry and steam powered mills became part of the townscape.

With the decline of the cotton industry, Queen Street Mill was the last example in Burnley and probably the country, of a steam powered mill, which still retained all its original features.

Built in the mid 1890s, the Queen Street Manufacturing Company was formed as a workers-producer co-operative and in its heyday weavers operated 1,400 small Lancashire looms.

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