Back in August, myself and tweek made a spontaneous visit to Bradford to sample a few of the insane amount of mills the town has to offer. Like so many of the post industrial northern towns of England, whole swathes of Bradford are derelict and falling to pieces, it's historical architecture being repurposed as copper mines and living space for the homeless.
In this mini visit of ours, we happend upon Thompson's mills, one of the oldest in Bradford. It was built around 1801 by Mr Piele and started life as a dyeworks, before being transfered to Benjamin and Matthew Thompson in 1833. Once owned by the great Titus Salt (of Saltaire fame) this mill was used as an experimental facility to deal with Donskoi, a rather tricky-to-spin Russian wool. As the wool industry declined around Bradford, the mill was bought by Molletts Catering Equipment, a company specialising in kitchen installations and maintenance. Molletts, like so many other firms in Bradford disappeared, and the mill merged into Bradford derelict post industrial mill district.
The final chapter in its 210 year history was closed on the 4th of October 2011, when the building caught fire. All 5 floors were quickly engulfed and despite the best efforts of the fire service, collapsed through the building along with the roof forcing demolition the next morning.
The main mill building has been covered pretty extensively, so here are a few of the old basements and lower floors from our visit in August…..
Following our visit to Molletts, we trudged on to Midland's a pretty massive site down the end of little Germany.
Midlands is a grade II listed site which was built in 1871 by Jeremiah Ambler, around the time the Ambler family firm began to specialise in spinning cape mohair for which they became known. JM Construction (who coincidentally owned the late Thompson's mill) now own the site, with plans to develop it into a large mixed-use retail and living development. Like many of the other mills in Bradford, the arson squad have had a go at this one as well. The admin block - while mostly clean due to the tricky entrance has been set on fire at some point or another.