Click here to return to the Heritage Centre Index
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:
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.
It's in the process of being restored to full operating condition by our team of dedicated volunteers, led by Derek Bird.
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.
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. You can read about the Machine Set & the Carding Engine on this page.
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 it. It currently remains in storage but we will be rebuilding and ultimately running the device in the future.