Author Topic: Belfast Linen Mills  (Read 101846 times)

Christopher

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Belfast Linen Mills
« on: August 19, 2006, 03:32:38 AM »
Some of the Forum's members had ancestors and parents who worked in the linen mills in and around Belfast. Maybe some members worked in the mills themselves. This thread is for information and stories about the linen industry. Mossley Mill was some distance out of Belfast but the website contains great pictures of work inside
the mill and also shows how the workers enjoyed their free time.

The Linen Trade was divided into various specialities, i.e. there were factories manufacturing linen products for different markets ...
Aeroplane Linen
Art Linen
Cambric and Sheer Linen
Damask
Diaper - A white cotton or linen fabric patterned with small, duplicative diamond-shaped figures.
Dowlas - a course linen cloth originally made in Doullens, Picardy, France
Dress Linen
Duck and Drill
Embroidery
Fancy Linen
Hemstichers and Finishers
Household Linen
Pillow and Sheeting Linen
Suiting
Tailoring Linen
Thread
Towels (Glass and Tea Towels)

There were other important branches of the Linen Industry ...
Bleachers, Dyers and Finishers
Flax and Tow Merchants
Flax and Tow Spinners
Hydraulic Manglers
Lappers and Packers
Buying Agents
Retail and Wholesale Merchants
and last on the list, but by no means least, the Weavers

Visitors to PRONI can look at papers about the Blackstaff Spinning and Weaving Co. Ltd which was situated at 77, Springfield Road, Belfast. Other factories in that area of Belfast up to at least the 1960s were The Springfield Factory Ltd was at 126, Springfield Road and the Springfield Dying & Finishing Co. which was at Springfield Park.
Other records at PRONI include those for the New Northern Spinning and Weaving Co. Ltd. Their premises were on the Falls Road.

orangelil

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Re: Belfast Linen Mills
« Reply #1 on: August 19, 2006, 06:16:48 PM »
christopher, i have a few relatives who worked in Jennymount Mill.  What sort of mill was this? 
McGarvey (Cookstown), McAree (Monaghan), Rice (Saintfield), McDonald (Ballinderry), Totton (Ballinderry), Thompson (Belfast), O'Raw (Randalstown)

Christopher

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Re: Belfast Linen Mills
« Reply #2 on: August 19, 2006, 07:16:48 PM »
Hiya Karen,

Philip Johnston & Sons Ltd., of the Jennymount Mills, 25, North Derby Street, York Road were Flax and Tow Spinners. Click here to learn more about the various processes involved as well as the terminology used in the linen industry. Many of the spinners in the industry developed allergic contact dermatitis.

Christopher

teap

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Re: Belfast Linen Mills
« Reply #3 on: August 19, 2006, 09:21:41 PM »
OHHHHH my grt grt granda William Doyle was a Bleacher in Banbridge, His son was my Grt Granda John Doyle and was a Fitter/Plumber in Belfast 1890s 1901 Census Oranmore Street, his sisters Maggie Doyle and Lizzie Doyle spinsters,worked in the mill in Conway street 1890s and 1901 census. they lived at 8 Conway Street
My grandmother Mums Mother Charlotte Doyle ne McCann worked in the Blackstaff mill 1920s before she married my Granda Thomas Doyle (1930)

My Mum Gemma Mullan nee Doyle worked in Greeves mill Conway Street late 40s.

Colette  ;D


Christopher

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Re: Belfast Linen Mills
« Reply #4 on: August 19, 2006, 09:51:31 PM »
I wonder if we'll have future members who worked in the linen industry ??? There were so many linen businesses in Belfast as well department stores and specialist shops selling Irish Linen from of the larger manufacturers who were known throughout the world for the quality of their products.

beegee

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Re: Belfast Linen Mills
« Reply #5 on: August 21, 2006, 11:35:55 AM »
Me Ma worked in the York St  for  35 years !on and off  !-until it got bombed  during the blitz-----

Keith Campbell

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Re: Belfast Linen Mills
« Reply #6 on: August 22, 2006, 07:42:38 AM »
My Gt Grandfather "Samuel James Ruth" worked in "Ewerts Mill" not sure of the spelling, this would have been around 1922 1930 the mill I believe was on the Edenderry estate off the Crumlin road, I think, not sure what the mill was making.

Keith
today started like any other but then  ...

giannineo

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Re: Belfast Linen Mills
« Reply #7 on: August 22, 2006, 10:01:52 PM »
Cracking link to Mossley Mill Christopher-ta-My sister's father in law worked there and lived in a Mill House until he died.My late brother in law played at Mossley Hockey and his son still plays there.
       "Ifakay Iakay hadakay gunakay,
         Iakay wouldakay shootakay thonakay,
          Swanakay on yonakay millakay pondakay"
      That's what my granny use to say and very quickly.
 

eastender

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Re: Belfast Linen Mills
« Reply #8 on: September 05, 2006, 02:19:28 AM »
According to my ancestral research, I'm a descendant of Weavers from the Ballyclare area (mid 1800s) and Linen Lappers and Linen Stock keepers in the late 1800s.

According to my ma, whose memory isn't what it used to be, her Granda was a Stock keeper in a mill somewhere between where the old main CoOp used to be on York Street and the Crumlin Road. She mentioned a name that had Black in it. Ring any bells?
People want to know how much you care, before they care how much you know.

teap

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Re: Belfast Linen Mills
« Reply #9 on: September 05, 2006, 09:04:55 AM »
Blackstaff Mill? it was on the Springfield road

Colette.

My Granny worked in it 1920s

Christopher

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Re: Belfast Linen Mills
« Reply #10 on: September 05, 2006, 09:24:46 AM »
York Street Flax Spinning Co was in York Street and I think Ewarts was on the Crumlin Road.
The only mill I can think of containing the name Black is Blackstaff

Chris

eastender

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Re: Belfast Linen Mills
« Reply #11 on: September 05, 2006, 08:00:40 PM »
Thanks folks.
People want to know how much you care, before they care how much you know.

Christopher

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Re: Belfast Linen Mills
« Reply #12 on: January 12, 2007, 11:20:09 AM »
We tend to think of Belfast having all the large linen mills but there were mills in Lancashire too. Samuel Greg, a Belfast man born in 1758, owned mills in Lancashire. Samuel was the second son of a wealthy merchant, Thomas Greg. His mother, Elizabeth, was the sister of a Manchester merchant named Robert Hyde. In 1780 when Samuel was twenty two years of age his Uncle Robert made him a junior partner in his business. They imported yarn from Ireland and weavers turned it into cloth. In 1783, a year after his Uncle died, Samuel opened his first mill. He went on from that point to own five mills employing 1,834 people. The article about Samuel Greg is interesting as it tells you a little about the children who worked in the mills as well as the consideration Samuel showed towards his employees. 

pentio

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Re: Belfast Linen Mills
« Reply #13 on: January 14, 2007, 08:28:01 PM »
Keith

Ewarts on the Crumlin Road was a Linen Mill

see link below which gives a brief history of the Ewart family in Belfast.

www.belfastcity.gov.uk/parksandopenspaces/parkshistory.asp?id=16

pentio


greyghost

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Re: Belfast Linen Mills
« Reply #14 on: January 15, 2007, 12:10:27 AM »
My Uncle Robert worked at Ewarts for a long time. I don't know what he did but I know he kept the looms up and running.
I don't even know if he's still alive. He'd be 70 odd.
Dad's family came from Oregon St. and Banjo Terrace. Not big on family history, and have lost track of most of them.
Dorothy O'Donnell (nee Simmons)
www.odos-photos.com