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Thwaite Mills, engineering shop


Thwaite Mills, engineering shop
Description:
c. 1977 View of the engineering shop at Thwaite Mills.The mill had closed as a manufacturing mill in 1976 after being owned by the Horn family since 1872. During this time several different stone crushing processes were carried out in the mill. Machinery was not always removed after a process was abandoned but was adapted for another use or just left where it was. Nearly all the machinery in the workshop was driven by power from the two waterwheels on the site. All types of metal and woodwork was undertaken here, including making and repairing some of the carts and wagons used at the mill.

User Comments:

Name:
Colin Sutcliffe

Comment:
The man who was hired to refurbish the machinery at this site was a workmate when we were employed at West Yorkshire foundries (British Leyland)Sayner Lane,Hunslet Leeds as Maintenance Engineers in the 1960s and 70s. His name was Edward Kenyon,known to friends as "Eddie",and when production of castings was tranfered to the Midlands in the late 1970s we were amongst the many made redundant before the closure when over 3000 jobs were lost.Leeds City Council had aquired this historic works which,because of its island location had remained intact years after closure.The decision to make this site into a visitor centre coincided with Eddie being available on the Manpower Services Commission records,and he was without doubt the man most suited for this very important and complex assignment,possessing the various skills such as welding,fabricating and turning to name just a few of the engineering disciplines this very talented man was a master of.Following the closure of West Yorkshire Foundries I obtained employnent in the Maintenance Dept. of Leyland Paint Co.Birstal and lost contact with him,until I made a visit to Thwaite Mills shortly after it opened to visitors.I was pleasantly surprised to see Eddie there and I was given a guided tour ,and he gave me a detailed account of work done and problems encountered in the refurbishment of the water wheel and the many other items of production machinery and the maintenance shop.He glowed with pride and was still enjoying every minute there and told me that he was living "on the job" with is wife.Sadly that was the last time I saw him because he passed away not long after.I saw a memorial bench to him placed near the entrance.My brother Tom Sutcliffe was a glazer by trade and he often recounts memories of his visits to the mills to obtain supplies of linseed oil putty from the Horn Brothers,which he insists was always of the finest quality available.Eddie Kenyon was a kind pleasant man who was always willing to help when a favour was needed,and was indeed the man for the job at the time and I was fortunate to have known him.

Email:
colin.sutcliffe1@ntlworld.com

________________________________________________________________________________

Name:
Colin Sutcliffe

Comment:
In my initial comment I have given "Eddie" Kenyons name as Edward.I have since been informed by a former workmate that his first name was in fact Edwin.In the many years I knew him everyone knew him as Eddie,and I had presumed that it was short for Edward.I stand corrected!

Date:
25-Jun-2009

Email:
Not displayed

________________________________________________________________________________

Name:
C.J.Davis

Comment:
Correct me if I'm wrong, but I always thought he was called Edgar Kenyon!

Date:
31-Oct-2013

Email:
Not displayed

________________________________________________________________________________

Name:
Graham A. Schofield

Comment:
I recall when still an apprentice, being given a couple of jobs to do, on a lathe having a face-plate of similar size to the one shown here on the left. It appears that the machinery here is still being driven via line-shafting. You can see the connecting belts swinging across the room up in the ceiling. The lathe on the right appears to be connected up, whereas the one on the left is not. Perhaps it had been converted to electric motor-drive. Note the total lack of machinery-guards. - - - Those were the days. Eh?

Date:
07-Mar-2014

Email:
GrahamScho@AOL.com

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