Local records show that Charles Turner & Co was started up in 1834 by John Livesey.
Livesey was a papermaker who had previously been in partnership with John Magnall. Who in his early years was involved with the manufacture of textiles, later becoming manager at a Waterworks. The partnership proves to be a disaster, with Magnall taking action against Livesey through the High Court. The court found in favour of Magnall and he then became the sole proprietor at Springfiled.
Production in the early 1900's was said to be around 18 tons per week, although there are no detailed records about this. The raw material used was jute bagging, manilla rope, flax waste and rags. These materials were placed in large revolving kiers, washed and then bleached. This process used vast amounts of water to break down the material into its individual fibres.
Development of the site had been restricted due to the local authority at the time, Bolton Corporation, having designs to flood the valley to create a large reservoir, a plan that in the end was never fulfilled.
In 1900 an 80" wide MG machine was installed. The machine was to produce paper bags for an area in the paper market which was growing rapidly. Two further machines were added in 1902 and 1908. In the same year the decision was made to form the business into a Limited Company, Charles Turner & Co Ltd.
In 1934 the Fourdrinier machine at No4 shed was re-built with a 100 inch wet end, purchased second hand from Durham Papermill in Hartlepool, and a new dry end and up to date auxiliary plant was installed by Bertrams Ltd of Edinburgh.
At first the project was proposed as a completely new plant on the site of the old cottages, removing the problem of bringing paper rolls up the hill from No4. However the project proved to be too costly and work commenced down at No4. A new overhead crane was installed extending from the top shed over the cellar, overlooking No4. The crane was used to lift 5ft rolls of paper to the conversion area. This allowed the company to enter the markets of glazed papers for waxing, white printing and writing papers, and other high grade bleached papers. The raw materials were changed from manilla rags and ropes to 100% wood pulp.
Transport in the 1930s was horse and cart, a common sight seeing 6 horses straining to pull the carts laden with goods over rough tracks, In bad weather they were aided by a winch system. Steam wagons made a brief appearance by by 1942 petrol vehicles were becoming the norm.
With the increasing use of wood pulp production outputs improved and the mill moved into products such as stationary and envelops, production at the end of the 1930's was at 2500 tons per year.
in 1969 after 130 years, the Spencer family turned over control of Charles Turner & Co Ltd to textile giant Courtaulds. Courtaulds brought the business to develop the wet lay process for making non-woven textiles, the mills machinery being ideal for the purpose. The development proved fruitless and the experiments ceased.
The mill continued to make paper products until 1985 when there was a management buyout by Ivor Samuel, the then Managing Director. The company again changed ownership in 1989, When Hazlewood Foods became the owners. The mill at this time was producing tissue products for the janitorial and hospital markets.
1996 saw the ownership change again, through a management buy out into the Samuel families hands, Nigel Samuel who resigned in 2004.
The explore somewhat creepy. In between odd animal calls, dripping water, flexing metal and scraping tree branches my brain didn't really know what it was listening to. However always eager I continued into a site which, was drastically bigger than I expected.
Upon deciding not to use the front door, I ended up walking a fair distance to find the entrance but all in all it wasn't majorly hard to get in. There does seem to be one, and only one oddly security camera situated on top of a post near the front door and a old JCB blocking the road.
The site itself has pretty badly fallen into disrepair, there's old signs warning of demolition but, from what I can see it looks like its cheaper to just let it fall down. In most if not all of the buildings part of the room has collapsed in on itself and every building has warnings of asbestos.
I have left out a few photos, which strangely @MK83 who visited without me knowing last December took from the exact same positions and angles his report can be seen here.
The mist coming from the road gave the entire site a eerie feel
Thanks for looking
980.1 KB Views: 0