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Report - - Dobroyd Mill, Jackson Bridge, West Yorkshire, May 2019 | Industrial Sites | 28DaysLater.co.uk

Report - Dobroyd Mill, Jackson Bridge, West Yorkshire, May 2019



HughieD

28DL Regular User
Regular User
#1
1. The History
For such a big mill with a long history there is a surprising lack of information. Dobroyd Mills, in the village of Jackson Bridge near Holmfirth, dates back to the 1820s when the original building was constructed in 1829 as a water-powered mill. Historical records give an insight into the going’s on at the mill. In an 1851 Census, John Earnshaw was listed as having “31 hands” at his mill. Five years later, in 1856, John Earnshaw’s son, John William, age 2, fell into the plug hole of a dye pan and received fatal injuries in dyehouse near his father’s residence. In 1859 John Holroyd of J & E Moorhouse was charged by PC White with “leaving a wash barrel unattended for over an hour” at Sude Hill and “being more than 100 yards from his horse”. On refusing to pay the fine, he was committed to Wakefield prison for seven days. Tragedy struck again on 8th May 1869 when Mary Webster drowned herself and her illegitimate infant in the mill’s dam.

The mill was then rebuilt in 1870 and stood three stories tall. Several outhouses were added later on and a square chimney. The next key development was the foundation of the Dobroyd Mills Company textile business on the site in 1919. William Haigh, a First World War flying ace, civilian hero, textile magnate, and philanthropist bought into the mill as a director. Haigh's life was many and varied. After being demobbed from the Royal Flying Corps in 1919, his next mission was to become involved with the Mill. Haigh, who died in 1956, became known as "Buffalo Bill" through his liking for broad-rimmed hats. He was an avid collector of trongers (wool weights), which came to be the symbol of Dobroyd Mill. Before he died, he had turned the company into one of the world's best-known names in women's worsteds.

A couple of aerial views of the mill, in 1939:

Dobroyd 2
by HughieDW, on Flickr

...and 1948:

Dobroyd
by HughieDW, on Flickr

One of the mill’s engines (single cylinder Uniflow @ Woodhouse & Mitchell, 1937)

Dobroyd engine
by HughieDW, on Flickr

At its peak in the 1960s, the company employed almost 600 workers. The mill closed in 1974, only to re-open two years later in 1976 under John Woodhead Ltd spinners. However, the mill ultimately succumbed to the decline of the textile industry. Planning permission to knock down two sections on the northern end of the complex was granted by Kirklees Council in 2012.The classic car renovation company and the Oil Can café were the last occupants on the upper floors to the rear of the Mill. However, they both moved out and relocated to the nearby Washpit Mills circa 2017, leaving the mill empty. Recently the Chimney stack has been demolished along with an outer building.

Proposals to redevelop the mill into new homes and office and industrial space were tabled in January 2018 including the demolition of all the buildings on the site, apart from the 19th century, four-storey mill building, and the property used by Hepworth Band. It proposed that the retained mill building would be converted into 27 apartments and 7,000 square foot of space for office or light industrial use and the construction of 75 houses on the site that had been cleared. Beyond this proposal no current information on the mill’s status or fate could be found.

2. The Explore
This fine mill has had its fair share of reports over the years. Until recently a couple of the floors had the original spinning machinery in situ. Sadly, these have now been taken away. For an excellent report that shows the machinery before it was removed, see @Esoteric Eric 's superb report HERE

Now the mill is now pretty much empty, but it is vast and still has enough original features to hold your attention for an hour or more. The mill’s footprint stretches for just over some 4.04 hectares It is also in a very picturesque location and, fortunately, the idiots are yet to arrive here on mass. It’s my favourite mill explore to-date. From the front it’s pretty secure, but like most places, if you go around the back you can find a way in. What’s in store for the mill in the future is unclear. Hopefully it will get saved and it is spared the same fate as Newsome mills.

3. The Pictures

Front view of the mill:

img0911
by HughieDW, on Flickr

And the distinctive water tower (the only bit of the mill that was particularly wet)

img0909
by HughieDW, on Flickr

Round the back you are greeted by the shell of this old car:

img0914
by HughieDW, on Flickr

And we’re into the new bit at the top of the mill complex:

img0921
by HughieDW, on Flickr

img0918
by HughieDW, on Flickr

img0925
by HughieDW, on Flickr

This newer bit of the mill had the now relocated Oil Can cafe in and some small retailers:

img0926
by HughieDW, on Flickr

Back out and round, here’s an indication of the mill’s former usage:

img0936
by HughieDW, on Flickr

This is the oldest section of the mill:

img0939
by HughieDW, on Flickr

img0945bw
by HughieDW, on Flickr

Seen pictures of the sign on the top floor. Looks like someone decided to give it the heave ho out of the window:

img0943
by HughieDW, on Flickr

The sound of running water is quite unique:

img0946
by HughieDW, on Flickr

img0948
by HughieDW, on Flickr

Probably the best graff in the place:

img0950
by HughieDW, on Flickr

img0954
by HughieDW, on Flickr

img0956
by HughieDW, on Flickr

img0955
by HughieDW, on Flickr

The original part of the mill, although empty, was my favourite bit with its wooden floors and iron support pillars:

by HughieDW, on Flickr

img0958
by HughieDW, on Flickr

img0959
by HughieDW, on Flickr

img0961
by HughieDW, on Flickr

This bit of the mill has the most stuff left behind although the machines are now gone. This is where John Woodhead Ltd spinners moved into in 1976. Bizarrely, their registered office address was only changed last month (May, 2019) from Dobroyd Mills to Hartcliffe Mills, Denby Dale.

img0967
by HughieDW, on Flickr

img0969
by HughieDW, on Flickr

img0972
by HughieDW, on Flickr

img0973
by HughieDW, on Flickr

img0976
by HughieDW, on Flickr

Vintage poster still on the wall:

img0979
by HughieDW, on Flickr

img0980
by HughieDW, on Flickr
 
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HughieD

28DL Regular User
Regular User
#2
Back out again and round:

img0982
by HughieDW, on Flickr

And a few phone pictures:

Dobroyd 02
by HughieDW, on Flickr

Dobroyd 04
by HughieDW, on Flickr

Dobroyd 06
by HughieDW, on Flickr

Dobroyd 07
by HughieDW, on Flickr

Dobroyd 11
by HughieDW, on Flickr

Dobroyd 12
by HughieDW, on Flickr

Dobroyd 13
by HughieDW, on Flickr

Dobroyd 14
by HughieDW, on Flickr

Dobroyd 16
by HughieDW, on Flickr

But….like always as soon as I got home I realised I’d missed parts of the mill that had good bits in. Soooo…a week of so later went back for a fresh look:

img1135
by HughieDW, on Flickr

img1140
by HughieDW, on Flickr

img1142
by HughieDW, on Flickr

img1144
by HughieDW, on Flickr

Pictures from earlier in the year showed this intact:

img1146
by HughieDW, on Flickr

Sad to see this piece of history left behind. It’s John Woodhead Ltd’s original incorporation certificate from 1924:

img1147
by HughieDW, on Flickr

img1151
by HughieDW, on Flickr

img1158
by HughieDW, on Flickr

img1161
by HughieDW, on Flickr

img1164
by HughieDW, on Flickr

img1167
by HughieDW, on Flickr

img1168
by HughieDW, on Flickr

Missed this floor in the old building:

img1156
by HughieDW, on Flickr

img1159
by HughieDW, on Flickr

And the top floor:

img1165
by HughieDW, on Flickr

And the electrics/switch room bit:

img1173
by HughieDW, on Flickr

img1175
by HughieDW, on Flickr

img1179
by HughieDW, on Flickr



img1180
by HughieDW, on Flickr



img1181
by HughieDW, on Flickr
 

HughieD

28DL Regular User
Regular User
#6

Redavni Ecaps

28DL Full Member
28DL Full Member
#11
Wow, what a report and great photos, thanks for sharing.

lovely place this.