Wednesday, 5 October 2011

Brookes Mill Heritage Exhibition opens

Last night I went to the opening of a new permanent heritage exhibition at Brookes Mill, Armitage Bridge. There is certainly a lot of heritage to talk about with the original Brookes Mill business beginning in 1541 in the reign of Henry 8th, though not on the current site. As such Mark Brooke can  justifiably claim to have the oldest family run business in Britain. The Spinning Mill on the Armitage Bridge site was established in 1828 and by 1846 they were were making woollen cloth right from the woollen bale right through to the finished cloth. Manufacturing ceased on the site in 1987 but as they say a 'phoenix has risen from the ashes'. The mills now are used as refurbished office space with a diverse range of businesses including an independent film studios, art gallery, conference facilities and cafe. They are also refurbishing one of the original forms of power on the site to generate electricity from hydro using an archimedes screw. This is due to be up and running next year and will mean that we will be utilising every microgeneration technology in some form or other in the Newsome Ward.

Mark Brooke officially opens the exhibition
Huddersfield University students have played an important role in researching the information for the exhibition and it really is worth a look at followed by cake and coffee in the cafe! One of the great things about this new exhibition is the opportunity it provides to bring alive local history for education of young people and the interest of the wider public and promotion of this new attraction and the Mills offer as a whole is something we need to get out there in the wider community so they know the facilities and the history that is on their doorstep.

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