W. T. Taylor & Co. Ltd demolition

In the year 1904 W.T.Taylor (1848-1925) founded a firm in Horwich in the north of England. With 1,200 looms it was at one time the largest maker of towels in the British Empire and second in the world only to a firm in the US. The company brand name was Wavecrest. W.T.Taylor & Company Limited remained independent until 1970 when it was taken over by the Spirella Group and became Stott & Smith with the Chortex brand name. W.T.Taylor (pictured) was my great grandfather. The picture is a watercolour portrait which was for many decades displayed on the office wall at Victoria Mill, the company’s main premises, in Horwich. According to Keith Taylor, my second cousin and also a great grandson of W.T.Taylor, the painting was thrown into a skip when Spirella took over, and it was purely by chance that he came across it and was able to rescue it for posterity.

W.T.Taylor’s son, John Taylor (my grandfather), joined the business as company salesman and became Joint Managing Director with his brother Harry Taylor when W.T.Taylor died in 1925. My father Kenneth Taylor joined W.T.Taylor & Co. Ltd soon after the Second World War and later became Managing Director.

The demolition of Victoria Mill, Horwich

Victoria Mill remains in business to this day (not any more — read the 4th response below) following a fairly recent management buyout, though employs only a small fraction of the number of people who worked there in its heyday. The last connection between the Taylor family and Chortex (as the company is now called) is that my father (87) used to attend the Victoria Mill pensioners Christmas party every year.

The Stott & Smith name goes back even further than W.T.Taylor, having started in Manchester in 1892 (Tom Stott and Alfred Smith, agents at first, then manufacturers in Congleton). The Chortex brand name comes from a Chorley textiles company, E.H.Cooper.


Posted by Lynne Jones

May 1st, 2007 at 17:48

I was searching for details of W.T.T & Co, silversmiths, when I came across this site. I'm delighted that I did. I thoroughly enjoyed reading the history of your family company and wish you all continued sucess in your chosen fields. I still haven't been able to find anything out about the silversmith though!!


Posted by Patrick

May 1st, 2007 at 19:05

Lynne, many thanks for your comments, and good luck in your quest for the silversmith.


Posted by Paul Lacey

July 13th, 2007 at 09:44

A1 website, amazing detail about W.T. Taylor, please pass my best regards to Keith.


Posted by Patrick

July 24th, 2007 at 22:43

The photo above was taken by me, great grandson of W.T.Taylor, on July 24th, 2007. Victoria Mill is more or less demolished. Towel manufacturing in Horwich has obviously ended.

Paul – good website about Rivington. Will mention to Keith.


Posted by Murugan

August 6th, 2007 at 11:16

I was searching for Stott and Smith Limited located in Manchester just for a trade inquiry and I stumbled upon this page. It is great to read the information about W.T.Taylor & his company and equally sad to read such a big company has come to an end.


Posted by Glenys Robinson

October 3rd, 2007 at 14:28

I worked as a weaver at Taylors for 30 years, very happy years. It is heartbreaking to see them pulling it down. I remember your father very well and used to see him walking up Rivington a lot. We were one big happy family from the offices down to the sheds. Started on the lancashires then the automatics then ended up running 10 looms. I did the training and the first aid and the health and safety and for some time the union too. Saw many changes over the years but made many friends. We all miss the mill. It was nice reading your site. It brings back lots of happy memories.

I was talking to one of the weavers and she said they can tear the mill down but can't take our memories away. So true. Give my love to your father. Last time I saw him he was on Chorley New Road near Beaumont Electrics. Not seen him for a while.

There are many of the old mill workers that feel the same as we do. If you look at the number of years that most of the workers stayed working there you would find most were 20 years or more. Remember the Carr brothers? Your father would. All started as school leavers and stayed till they retired.

Thank you. Take care. Glenys Robinson.


Posted by robert

October 4th, 2007 at 12:39

realy would like some pictures of the mill when everything was still going. i worked in the weaving shed for 11 years best years of my life working there. its realy sad to see it being pulled down what super memories i have & all the workers i miss. well i realy hope someone out there has got some pictures of the mill inside & out. please send them to me to rob1_971@msn.com thankyou.


Posted by Patrick

October 4th, 2007 at 20:12

My father does remember the Carr brothers. There were three, all 'twisters'. For the record, the job of 'twisters' was knotting the old warps to the new ones (I hope that's correct).


Posted by t carter

January 13th, 2009 at 19:27

any one out there knows the where a bouts of colin walley.work in the maintenance. fitter


Posted by David

May 19th, 2009 at 16:44

I worked there as a weaver in the early 1970s, I remember the Saurer Looms with the top and bottom beams, the Jacquard machines. Only just found out about the factories demolition.


Posted by Col Maguire

August 4th, 2009 at 12:42

I worked at Vic Mill for 15 years, would like to make contact with anyone that remembers me. (I left the mill in 1972 to emigrate to Australia) i will be happy for my email addy cmaguire1@optusnet.com.au to be published to allow people to make contact!


Posted by alan mason

August 23rd, 2009 at 18:37

i worked at vic mill in the eighties. i was a maintenance fitter. i was there for aight years. very sad to see it gone.


Posted by David

October 11th, 2009 at 00:24

I met an old friend the other day, like me, he also worked at the mill, this was back in the early 70s. We got reminiscing, as you often do. During the course of our conversation, the subject of shift managers came up. The names of Jack Horsley and Jack Ramsden sprung to mind, it's quite probable that they were overlookers before achieving managerial positions. It'd be nice to know who the other shift managers were, I couldn't remember the names of any others, except one of them, might have been called Geoff (Jeff?)


Posted by Patrick

October 13th, 2009 at 11:52

My father (Mr Kenneth) does remember both Jack Horsley, who he thinks was warehouse manager, and Jack Ramsden, who he thinks was a tackler, but at 91 he isn't too sure. Sorry David, but he can't remember who the shift managers were.


Posted by Peter W

October 14th, 2009 at 19:50

Further to the Stott and Smith name, they had a mill in Congleton in Cheshire. It made towelling on jacquard looms, I worked there as a weaver on the looms in 1961. My pay was £5-10-0 a week.


Posted by FRANK BROWN

December 26th, 2009 at 17:07

Employed at Chortex on and off for 9years in the maintenance dept.as a electrician mainly on nightshift, previously employed at Bickershaw Colliery and others for 34yrs. couldnt have worked in a more friendly enviroment, loved it, prior to redundantcy in January 2000 i made a video recording and recently converted to Digital approx. 1hr on nightshift only , of the inside of Chortex Mill, it was my first attempt, mistakes on the talkover was made and still in its uncut state , with further work required to complete, dont know if any other attempts have been made .
FRANK BROWN


Posted by howard bushell

January 5th, 2010 at 14:59

worked in the weaving shed for chortex about 13 to 14 years first has a card cutter then has an overlooker and finally in the slashing room loved every minute of it good set of lads and ladies some people say you dont know what youve got till its gone its not there anymore but we ve still got our memories


Posted by Norma King

January 11th, 2010 at 18:42

I am searching for Keith and Marie. Very concerned I haven't heard from them this Christmas having made contact with each other for the last 20 years or so. Have tried ringing the Fall Birch Road number and it has not been recognised. If you could throw any light on it, we would be very appreciative. Many thanks. Norma.


Posted by Patrick

January 11th, 2010 at 22:19

Norma, I'll try to find Keith's current phone number and send it to you via email, if that's ok. I believe they are both well.


Posted by Martin Tomlinson

January 20th, 2010 at 17:24

I have a photograph of the criket team of " Empire Mills Winners 1921. " I can only presume that this team were workers from the Congleton Factory. the backdrop looks like an entrance to the works. Sadley there is no caption save the name as described above. I suspect that one or more of my Gt Uncles are shown. As the e-mail address of this site is not shown I am unable to send an attachment. If the owner of the site wishes to contact me I would be only too pleased to share this photograph.
Martin Tomlinson


Posted by Patrick

January 20th, 2010 at 17:34

Many thanks. I've now received your correct email address and will reply by email.


Posted by tom edwards

February 21st, 2010 at 19:03

most of my family worked at victoria mill .my father tony edwards worked there as a driver. my grandfather tom edwards was the transport manager who has sadly passed away and my grandmother edna was a well known face and character from what other workers have told me.i remember going around the mill with my grandad as a boy when he was on security at weekends. horwich isnt the same place without the mill. does not seem right going down chorley new road and seeing houses on the old site.


Posted by Patrick

February 22nd, 2010 at 10:15

The Stott & Smith cricket team at Empire Mills, Congleton, in 1921. Many thanks to Martin Tomlinson, who sent me the photo.


Posted by David Wooff

My late Mother Margaret Wooff worked there when I was a kid. She used to do the 6-2, 2-10 shift. Funny that Wooff is actually a weaving name. My wife also worked there (also Margaret, she worked in production control I think back in the late 80's). We lived at the bottom house in Armstrong St In around 1969/70 so it was quite common to have be woken up when they dropped all the stuff out of the foundry furnace (or whatever it was they did I remember it was quite loud!).


Posted by andy

March 24th, 2010 at 22:09

glad they pulled it down a blot on the landscape. horwich is finished,


Posted by Patrick

March 24th, 2010 at 23:13

An empty mill may be a blot on the landscape but in its time Victoria Mill meant employment in Horwich, along with the loco works. Now they're all down at Middlebrook.


Posted by Glenys Robinson

April 7th, 2010 at 14:01

Nice to see more of my workmates have been on the site. Weaving managers Geoff Berry, sadley now suffering from Parkinsons and there was John Baily, boomerang Baily his response was I will get back to you.

The Edwards drove the mill bus and when I lived in Church St. Haigh used to come up the street at 5 am and wait under my window if I was a little late.

Arthur Carr died a few years ago and Tommy is now in a nursing home.


Posted by Patrick

April 14th, 2010 at 14:08

Linda Garner (nee Jolley) on the Sulzer looms, who with Glenys Robinson ran 10 the full length of the weaving shed. Linda is from Blackrod and worked at the mill for about 20 years. Thanks to Glenys for the photo (from 25th June 1993).


Posted by Col Maguire

April 18th, 2010 at 11:25

Hi David. Jack Horsley, Jack Ramsden and Jeff Berry were all overlookers on the Saurer Looms in the late sixties, I left in 1972 and I think that Jack Ramsden had just been promoted to shed Manager (May be wrong on thisun!.)


Posted by FRANK BROWN

June 16th, 2010 at 23:23

I did a video in MPEG format aprox. 10.4meg lasting just over 1 min. JAN.2000 for starters 0f 1 of the last looms , i see there is no provision on the site to add as an additional file , any ideas as the video clip can bring back memories in the weaving shed .
FRANK


Posted by T Carter

July 21st, 2010 at 11:01

I would like to find Colin Whally, David Place, Ernie Green, or anyone who remembers me. I worked there in the seventies as a maintenance fitter. Good days they were. Thanks and hope you can help. My email is t24122246@yahoo.co.uk


Posted by FRANK BROWN

September 2nd, 2010 at 21:56

If anyone would like the short video clip from my last posting , please email me at frank@58brown.freeserve.co.uk.


Posted by Philip Basham

October 13th, 2010 at 21:47

Can anyone suggest where to look for the staff personel files for workers during the period of 1935 to 1946 might be – always assuming they have not been shredded?

My late mother Phyllis Taylor (born 1921) went straight to the mill from school at the age of 14/15 and worked there until she was drafted into the womens land army/timber corps. She was sent to suffolk where she met my father. On demob in 1945 she returned to Horwich and the mill for a few months (my father followed her up and worked as a window cleaner till their marriage in 1946, when they returned to Suffolk).

We have a couple of photos of her in the weaving shed including one of her and a pair of twins she worked with, but their names escape me now.

Mum said there was a spooky underpass between the weaving sheds and the offices.

Also a long shot, but her father Ernest worked at the Loco works, but died in 1945. Any ideas about where the Loco works personel files are would be wellcomed. I plan on visiting the Horwich Heritage Centre next week to see what they have.


Posted by Lynn Rawlinson

November 7th, 2010 at 13:44

I used to work at Victoria Mill as a young girl in the offices, I remember Mr Harry, Mr John, Mr Jack, Mr Kenneth and Mr Michael. After being married and having a child I started working part time on the housewives shift in 1972. I worked on that shift for 11 years until it was finished. I then went in the M&S warehouse then the lab and finally helping Dennis Hindley who was the design manager. I learned a lot from Dennis and when he took his redundancy I was able to take over from him in the Technical Department. I spent over 30 years at the mill and I remember all the Taylors very well and Mr Kenneth visiting the mill when the pensioners had their party. Everyone was glad to see him and still refered to him as Mr Kenneth.


Posted by darren gerrard

December 22nd, 2010 at 08:51

i worked at the mill from the late 1980s to the mid 1990s, on the cut looking frame in the weaving department. our shift manager was barbara foster amoung others. i do have fond memories of the mill, after all i married one of the weavers. we are still happily married and i now work in the civil service. i often wonder what others are doing for work now the mill has sadly gone. dose anyone know what eric williams is doing. i cant imagine him doing anything else but driving a fork lift. big eric was such a character as where many at the mill. hope everyone is doing well. best wishes


Posted by kay west

January 19th, 2011 at 18:54

My mother who is now 90 years old worked before the 2nd world war at Stott and Smiths in the office. She tells the story of a secretary called Miss Boddice and the manager would ask if she was at "liberty Miss Boddice" to take a letter. My mother always says she enjoyed working there – so much so, the family are sick of hearing about the place! She worked out the wages for the staff.


Posted by Heather Tabone

January 23rd, 2011 at 16:41

Colin Whalley is my dad, Sandra Whalley (nee Bond/Boocock) is my mum… Happily married for 27 and a half years, 2 daughters, Heather and Hollie! Dad now very happily retired, and enjoyed his 26 years at the mill. He says hello to all his fellow friends. Mum enjoyed 8 years in the weaving shed…'happy days'. Mum asks does anyone know where Brenda Shaw is?

'theres no people like mill people'

Sandra & Colin


Posted by Patrick

January 23rd, 2011 at 21:47

It's nice to hear from people who worked at Victoria Mill and the 'happy days' – I do mention it to Mr Kenneth (Taylor) from time to time. He's approaching 93.

It's also good to see that the housing developers have kept the stone surround to the entrance to the offices, with 'Victoria Mill' still written over the doorway. I think that's respectful of the history of Horwich and its people.


Posted by karen finch heathcote

February 7th, 2011 at 17:13

My dad Harold Finch worked in the dye house as manager , he worked there since he was 15, My Mum Rita Finch worked as a machinist, my brothers Gary and David Finch both worked in the dye house, i worked with little Edna in the printing room, what a lovely person she was, i also worked with Paul Marsh Edna Edwards, and Janet Platt in the sewing room, great memories of the place xoxoxxooxxoxoo


Posted by paul

February 13th, 2011 at 21:33

I was at chortex for almost 30 years and accumulated a large collection of photographs, plans, drawings and many other items of interest, mostly saved from the skip. if anyone is looking for items to bring back memories and would like to contact me at paulstuartheyes@hotmail.com I may be able to help them.


Posted by FRANK BROWN

March 5th, 2011 at 22:24

Bring back the memories of chortex, JAN. 2000, one of the last SULTZER-ROUTER looms in action at CHORTEX WEAVING SHED, check it out on YOUTUBE — STEVENGILLIAN (search) — CHORTEX LOOM, all the best.
FRANK.


Posted by Patrick

March 5th, 2011 at 23:09

Good find Frank. The video:


The video on YouTube »


Posted by Kathleen Lee

May 13th, 2011 at 16:58

I was just given a link to this site from Wigan World I started work at the mill on boxing day 1956 and stayed there till March 1963 when I got married and moved to Essex I started as a creeler collecting bobbins and putting them into the warping frames for the warpers .Walter the foreman in the winding and warping room called it FAIRYLAND due to all the different colours being wound on the machines!I finished up in the Top Room working on a special machine which was the first of it's kind to be used in the factory it came from Germany I believe and the young man who taught me to use it came from ADDIS ABABA it was a big beaming machine and when I left to get married I had to show another lady how to use it I remember she said she felt like the queen bee –We did take pride in our work in those days ! I have a photo of a few of the girls I worked with I will try to find it and send it to you Thank you for this site it is very interesting and brings back a lot of memories
Kathy Lee formerly Close


Posted by Kathleen Lee

May 13th, 2011 at 17:11

FAO Phillip Basham
We have been doing family research and we found loads of information on employees of Horwich Loco works including wage records ,accident records, and starting and leaving dates of employees at the Manchester Records office my father in law left there in 1934 and we found all his details ,Hope this helps
Kathy Lee


Posted by Philip Basham

May 28th, 2011 at 06:03

FAO Kathy LEE
Thanks for the tip about Manchester records office, I will look into this.
Interestingly my maternal grandmothers maiden name was Lea, different spelling though. She was one of at least 15 children. I assume that you have been in contact with Horwich Heritage? I recenly got 3 cd's of the parish registers (baptisms, marriages & deaths) and discovered there were twins born in 1905 that both died, one at a day old the other at 19 days. Also think I found my Great grandmothers grave.
Phil Basham


Posted by rob

June 10th, 2011 at 20:26

we all worked here our peter our dave our sue & then me rob .realy would like some pictures of the mill when everything was still going. i worked in the weaving shed for 11 years best years of my life working there. its realy sad to see it being pulled down what super memories i have & all the workers i miss. well i realy hope someone out there has got some pictures of the mill inside & out. please send them to me to vectrarob@blueyonder.co.uk


Posted by Patrick

June 18th, 2011 at 09:18

Photo received from Kathy Lee (Kathleen Close at the time):

"I remember the names of Irene Makinson, Ellen Charnock, and I know that one of the girls was named Joyce and the older lady was another Irene and myself. I am the biggest with the long dark hair."

Thanks Kathy.

My father Kenneth Taylor ('Mr Kenneth') died peacefully in Preston on June 7th, 2011, aged 93.


Posted by Harold Carr

July 31st, 2011 at 16:36

I worked at Taylors from Sept 1944 to Sept 1995, I was a hand twister and did a lot of samples as well, now i still do my garden and allotment


Posted by lynn rawlinson

November 10th, 2011 at 16:51

I have a video recording which starts in the yarn warehouse and finishes in the dyehouse, lots of familiar faces on it but perhaps would benefit transfering to a DVD.


Posted by Gary Hardman

December 31st, 2011 at 18:24

I response to Darren Gerrard's post Dec 22, 2010
Eric Williams is my brother in law and I have let him know of Darrens interest. Whilst Eric is not currently of the best of health due to one thing or another he still has his sprit and sense of humour. Eric has tried on previous occasions to get in touch with Darren without success. He has asked me to post his best wishes to Darren and anyone else who remebers him and if any one would like to pass me their contact details I will pass these on to Eric who will get in touch. My email is gary.hardman@virginmedia.com
kind regards and all the best


Posted by Stuart Whittle

February 3rd, 2012 at 12:05

Dear Patrick
Congratulations on the web-site. Horwich Heritage has had a long standing interest in the history of W T Taylor's/Chortex and we have a number of artefacts in our collection. I also interviewed your dad only a few years ago (sorry to hear he has died recently). Talking to a number of ex- employees we have decided there is sufficient interest to do a detailed project on the Mill and to that end I propose to call a meeting in March to pull together all those who wish to contribute. We have also placed an 'Open Day' exhibition in our programme for Saturday 16th June. Feel free to publicise this note on your web-site and I look forward to hearing from a number of your contributors.


Posted by Patrick

February 4th, 2012 at 10:18

Stuart, thanks for your comments. Horwich Heritage is doing a grand job. Perhaps when you know the date of the meeting in March you could post it here. I'd be interested in coming along myself.


Posted by John Almond

February 17th, 2012 at 11:51

I worked at the mill from around 77 to 80 in the warehouse with Paul Marsh, Ste Mcque, It was Harry Moss who gave me the job, great times at the mill


Posted by Stuart Whittle

March 8th, 2012 at 09:38

Dear Patrick

The time & date of the meeting about the 'Vicky Mill' project is 10.00am Monday 19th March at the Horwich Heritage Centre. The centre is located at the side of Horwich Resource Centre on the corner of Longworth Road & Beaumont Road. Everyone who wishes to contribute their photos, memories etc is welcome.

Regards Stuart


Posted by Brian Prince

March 14th, 2012 at 12:25

I have really enjoyed reading these comments they bring back memories of my first job leaving school in 57 working as a weaver in the mill. I remember the weaving training lady Lil or lily ??? a very nice and friendly person she was.


Posted by Gary Hardman

April 16th, 2012 at 21:00

further to my post on the 31 DEC 2011

Sadly Eric Williams passed away today after a long battle with illness in Hope Hospital Salford.

RIP Eric you be sadly missed

regards Gary


Posted by ken shields

May 17th, 2012 at 22:46

my father w j shields was a wholesale textile business in Belfast n i and bought from Taylors in Horwich. this may explain how I have 2 engraved pictures THE FROWN and THE SMILE painted by T WEBSTER R A and engraved by W T TAYLOR and C W SHARPE


Posted by LIZ MCDONALD

June 12th, 2012 at 04:46

My great aunt worked at Taylors Mill pre second world war her name was Gladys Taylor (no relation to Tylors Mill Family). I have no information of her time there so wondered if there are any old staff records that survive pre ww2, so that I could find out what she did at the mill etc.
Or does anyone have any pictures of the early mill days
Thanks liz


Posted by Phil Basham

July 4th, 2012 at 17:08

I e-mailed Chortex to see if they had any of the employment records for the 30's/40's when my mother Phyllis Taylor worked at the mill. Just received a very nice e-mail from John Storey the Managing Director who tells me that there were no W T Taylor staff records at the Victoria Mill when he arrived in 1996. He has no idea when the records left the mill or where they may be.
regards

Phil Basham


Posted by Hilary Linsley

August 7th, 2012 at 09:46

I have just found the Vicky Mill site! My father worked there all his life. He was Billy Dougill and was a tackler in the 1940s and later on was weaving manager. My father in law was Billy Wilkes who was General Manager in the 1950/60s. My Aunt Lydia Wilkes was firstly a weaver then later trained newcomers in the art of Weaving. I do believe that the Mill was built using Dougill bricks. My great grandfather had a brick making works behind the big Victorian houses on Chorley New Road. The quarry was later used for the recreation field for the mill teams. My first husband Harry Wilkes was a yarn buyer in the 1970s. He and Keith Taylor are life long friends and my girls, though now in their 40s still call him 'uncle' Keith.
The Mill has been a huge part of my life.
Regards Hilary Linsley (nee Dougill)


Posted by Dave Cheston

August 28th, 2012 at 16:07

Just found this website, so pleased I did, I worked at Vicky Mill from 1963 to 1971 when I left to work at Courtaulds in Skelmerdale. I have had many jobs since then, also 4 children, and they have given us 6 lovely grandchildren.

Some of the names people mention bring back many memories.

I started in weaving, being trained by Lydia Wilkes, a lovely lady, From weaving I progressed to the "peg room" making the patterns for the Lancashire looms, I eventually finshed as a tackler on the Lancashires then the Saurer looms.
I worked with Col Maguire, (a good friend), Geoff Berry, Jack Horseley,Derek Broughton, Alan Johnson, Alan Haydock, Dorothy Charnock, and many others I can't recall.
I think the weaving manager was Jack Ainscough.

Thanks Col Maguire for the email address, going to send you a seperate mail ASAP.


Posted by George Stott

November 20th, 2012 at 16:25

I was Chairman of Stott & Smith Group Ltd until about 1960. During my "reign" we acquired Coopers of Chorley so I was interested to read the recollections of some WT Taylor staff, Would be pleased to hear from anyone who remembers me from those far off days. George Stott


Posted by Julie Peden nee Greenhalgh

January 12th, 2013 at 13:23

I was a weaver at WT Taylor which then became Scott & Smith then Chortex from 1977 to 1999 (22yrs don't get that for murder) I worked with Linda Gardiner nee Jolly who in the picture is on the Ruti looms which came after the Sulzer looms. I still have some photo's of both sets of looms when they were doing the change over if I can find them I will post them, think it might have been 1980 when the mill became Scott & Smith has I definitely started for the Taylor's did a fun run in Bolton with Mr Kenneth in 1977 or 1979 for the heart ward at Townleys as was.


Posted by Si Reed

March 17th, 2013 at 23:38

I searched for Stott and Smith as a matter of interest as I have one of their towels and was about to put it out for the charity collection. It is dated 1939, so I may just hang on to it for interest value. It was bought by my Grandmother and I guess that she must have had to use her ration book to buy it. As testament to the quality, it is still an excellent towel 74 years after manufacture. What a shame that British Industries have died and we no longer manufacture and export items of such quality: cars, ships, aircraft, electronic goods, steel and indeed textiles. No wonder we are up the creek.


Posted by Patrick

March 19th, 2013 at 12:45

I would hold on to the towel. We still have one or two Wavecrest towels from way back when and they are nothing like modern towels. I suppose it's true that we no longer manufacture and export like, say, Germany does, but there are signs of change. All is not lost.


June, 2014

Hi I worked for a time a WT Taylor’s in early 1980’s then went on to work for Keith Taylor could you let him know I never forgot my time at the mill or with his little company making darts equipment thank you.


August 5th, 2014

This may be an old thread and I’m not sure if its still active. but I am the granddaughter of one of the carr brothers, tommy Carr. There was a note further up the pages mentioning my grandad. Sadly he past away 3 years ago. Our family would love see see any photos you may have of him.


Posted by Patrick

August 5th, 2014

I’m sorry I don’t have any photos myself but it might be worth trying Horwich Resource Centre (near the bottom of Longworth Road). They keep a lot of material on ‘old’ Horwich.


Posted by Glenys Robinson

September 10th, 2015

The Bolton evening news took a photo of all the Carr brothers, they did a feature of how many years they did at the mill between them.


Posted by Lucille Greenall

December 4th, 2015

I worked there 21 years in total from a creeler to a beamer and I ended up in the hemming room, I have great memories from working there.


Posted by Tony

February 7th, 2016

I worked at WT Taylor from 1978 to 1980. Still a teenager at the time. I used to chat a lot with a really nice girl called Mandy who was from Horwich. I was a redhead at the time! My job was basically taking the trolly around as well as 1001 other odd jobs like unclearing the chute when items got stuck in there as they came down from the floor above. I will never forget the smell of that place, or the heat of the boiler room(think that’s what it was called), or the nice people who worked there. Sadly I’ve forgotten a lot of the names even though many of faces are stuck forever in my memory. I certainly remember Mandy though who, like me, enjoyed a good long chat about nothing in particular when we should have been working. So to Mandy ‘Hello’ and hopefully you might remember me!


Posted by John Roden

April 22nd, 2016

My Mum, May (nee Clarke), was a weaver there around the 1960’s and 70’s, and her Mum Martha (nee Speak) did the same around the time of WWI.


Posted by Karen Mawdesley

May 2nd, 2016

My dad Fred Mawdesley used to be a manager at Chortex, does anybody remember him? I used to work there in the school holidays.


Posted by Joe Dempsey

December 10th, 2016

Interested to see this. My great great grandfather William Job Slater was the contractor that built Victoria Mill.


Posted by Frank Ashton

January 19th, 2017

My sister Glenis worked in the canteen at Victoria mill when she left school in the early 1960s. She dated one of the owner’s sons for a while (Keith Taylor) he was also friendly with my father Graham Ashton he would stop by the wood shop opposite the police station on church street to chat.


Posted by Sally Isherwood

February 6th, 2017

My grandfather started the chortex mill the name Chortex meaning Chorley Textiles. The mill was then sold to the Taylors at Victoria Mill but under the condition they kept the brand name Chortex. It was started with one loom bought for my grandfather by my great grandfather. When the bosses at Bee Hive Mill found out they sacked him. They later sacked my Granny as they found out she was dating my grandfather… and so the business began.


Posted by Patrick Taylor

February 6th, 2017

Interesting history, thanks. I assume you mean the Chorley firm was started by your grandfather. It was called E.H.Cooper according to my grandmother, and Chortex was the brand. At one time, Taylors used the brand names Wavecrest and Joysum on their towels. Maybe they were dropped for Chortex.

Incidentally, I searched Google for ‘E. H. Cooper Chorley’ and found a Google Books page with a photo of Bob Monkhouse in the weaving shed at the Chorley Mill with Lawrence Cooper, 1957. Also ones of Norman Rossington and Charlie Drake in the warping room (at around the same time – late 1950s).


Posted by David Wooff

November 4th, 2017

Re photo sent in by Kathy Lee (Kathy Close), the girl on the right was Margaret Wignall (Blackrod) Married name Wooff, passed away September 2004 due to lung disease.


Posted by Ian Inglis

February 3rd, 2018

Does anyone remember someone in management having a white Jaguar E-type from 1970 – 1972? the car shows Stott & Smith Group as the owner, with the address as Chortex Mills, East St.


Posted by Patrick

February 5th, 2018

No-one at Victoria Mill. Probably someone at Stott & Smith in Chorley, different company.


Posted by Kevin Ashcroft

April 13th, 2018

I worked in the warehouse from 1974 to 1977 great times I was 17 when I started would be great to contact Alan Riley Ray Hayes Jimmy Rob and Barbara the toast woman going over to the Greenwood when we got paid about 27 pounds a week great memories xx


Posted by Ann McDowell

June 30th, 2018

My father, Harold Cox, was a sales rep for WT Taylor. He new Kenneth Taylor very well. Does anyone remember him? He worked at the Manchester office until it moved to Horwich.


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