In 2016 we were able to bring textile machinery back to Leigh many years after the last machinery was used. The machinery was donated by the Saddleworth Museum. The items on display are:
Spinning Mule This was made by Asa Lees at Soho Ironworks in Oldham and was used in a mill in Huddersfield. It now comprises some 50 spindles but would originally have had some 500 to 600 spindles. Originally it would have been run by a lineshaft from a steam engine but was converted to electricity and now has a large electric motor on a cast iron headstock.
It is a woollen mule – the only surviving example in the North West but displays the same characteristics as a cotton mule.
Carding Machine Set Two small carding machines fed by a hopper and connected by a scotch feed. The bulk of the machine dates from 1946 and was built by William Tatham of Rochdale.
Carding Engine This is an early iron framed finisher carding engine which probably dates from the early nineteenth century. It is extremely rare but is very similar to ones held at Bolton Museum and another at Helmshore. Although the maker is unknown there is a strong view that these are original Arkwright machines.
Jaquard Loom Not authentic and not used in the North West but a fascinating piece of replica machinery and an attractive and complicated machine. We took over 60 photos of this machine before dismantling.