A view of very old terraced dwellings in Albion Place off Town Street. Some are through-by-light and are accessed via. Roger's Fold. There are two properties opening into Albion Place, number 2, centre, and number 4, next to the broad archway into Wades Fold, far right. Beeston Co-op opened in Albion Place in 1886 managed by a Mr. Jones. It was relocated in 1894 to larger premises. The Pot Shop far left is at number 35 Town Street. At the other side of Albion Place (off camera, right) is number 39/41 Town Street, a large stone building where the manufacture of Pillow Lace is thought to have taken place. Known locally as the barracks it was originally a farmhouse with a large single room, possibly used for the drying of grain, encompassing the entire third storey. The art of lace making arrived in Beeston in Elizabethan times with the French and Flemish protestant immigrants who settled here. Lace became the height of fashion in Georgian times and it was George II who encouraged the growth of the industry by insisting on only the finest English lace. A young woman in Beeston, Catherine Murray, designed a lace pattern with a rose motif incorporated into a pair of ruffles and which were presented to the King. Famously, His Royal Highness and other members of the royal family wore Beeston Pillow Lace at the Birthday Ball held in his honour. Pillow lace was known by this name as it was made up on a cushion or pillow as opposed to a frame, the more usual method. Ralph Thoresby (1658-1725), in his work 'Ducatus Leodensis' of 1715, refers to the Beeston lace as 'bone lace' because it was first made using bone rather than wooden bobbins. This type of lace was also manufactured in other parts of the country such as the North Riding of Yorkshire and Birmingham. Thoresby describes how the lace-making industry provided a livelihood for many people with disabilities, often children, but who had the skill and dexterity to produce the very fine pillow lace. By the eighteenth century fashions were changing and sadly, as Thoresby put it, "though English lace was brought to great Perfection, yet it is less esteemed by some, since that of Flanders, and Point de Venice in Italy came into fashion".
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