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Report - Paper Mill, Nr Penrith


28DL Full Member
28DL Full Member
The Thompson family began in the business of waste paper recycling in Kirkoswald in 1883, then in 1900 the mill moved to Little Salkeld.

A variety of materials were used over the years. In Kirkoswald this was mainly rags, brought from Liverpool, boiled and macerated with the pulp then pressed and hammered. Teams of girls worked in the finishing rooms before the paper was wrapped and taken by horse and cart to Penrith.

As the years went by mills changed their products and technology to meet the demands of the time. Mr. Thompson’s great-great-grandfather started as a carrier between Penrith and Carlisle, bought the mill and went in to business with his two sons, producing cards for the Jacquard looms of Lancashire his old business records are still in existence.

Other uses for the paper and board produced was for bookbinding, and also in the construction of top hats! After the move to Little Salkeld and, as rags became scarcer, waste paper was incorporated, brought from Carlisle and Liverpool.

The two World Wars brought a scarcity of materials and the millers turned to using moss and straw as well. New machines were installed in 1960, which hastened the production process, but unfortunately the costs of modern manufacture and pressure of foreign competition meant that in recent years the company was no longer able to compete. In 1996 Thompson's board mills went into liquidation and was subsequently taken over by was taken over by Activecraft. In the following years

Dr. Wild, chief executive of the mill, said Activecraft Thompson’s Board Mills had had £600,000 spent on it since 1997, yet lin 1998 it made a loss of £260,000. Activecraft was fined for a number of incidents of pollution and prosecuted under the Water Resources Act 1991 for not having discharge consent from the Environment Agency.

There have also been asbestos problems logged with the authorities over the years (which I think is still a problem).

The mill was shut sometime in 2003.

I really enjoyed this explore, there is so much to see, I think I've missed loads. The red "Technical Section Proceedings" books in the photo date from something the thirties onwards (probably before too) and go all the way through the years. The staff room looks as if people will be appearing back in for their break soon, so do a lot of the areas (the guy will be back to collect his cap soon he just left in a hurry to go and get his tea). There are working lights on the forklift too. Anyway, some pics:-










Upstairs we go (careful the stairs aren't wonderfully safe!)
















Thanks for looking

http://s614.photobucket.com/albums/tt227/JEP27/Board Mill/

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