Helmshore Mills Textile Museum reopens on Saturday

Tuesday, May 22, 2018

Helmshore Mills Textile Museum is set to reopen to the public on Saturday.

The museum complex had been closed apart from school visits following budget cuts in 2016.

But earlier this year Lancashire County Council's cabinet voted to reopen the mill, alongside its sister museums Queen Street Mill in Briercliffe and The Judges Lodgings in Lancaster,

The museum consists of two mills, the Higher Mill built in 1789 and Whitaker's Mill, built in the mid 19th century, and show how cotton was processed when Lancashire was the heartbeat of the industrial revolution.

Significant exhibits including a full size Hargreaves Spinning Jenny, waterwheel and working looms.

The Higher Mill is owned by a Trust but operated by Lancashire County Council. Whitaker's Mill is both owned and operated by Lancashire County Council.

Susan Ashworth, senior museum manager, said: "We are really excited that we are able to open the doors of the museum to everyone again.

"Over the past two years we have continued to give tours to school groups, but it has been disappointing that ordinary people have not been able to come in and find out more about the history of this amazing place.

"Going forward we know that the museum's future is assured for the next two years. In that time we want as many people as possible to come and visit to help secure its long term future."

Louise Jacobsson, Museum Manager, said: "It is a real privilege to reopen Helmshore Textiles Museum to the public.

"It is a really fascinating place which gives an amazing insight into the cotton industry in Lancashire.

"We are really proud of the museum and want to share its history with as many people as possible, so I really would encourage people to come along."

Councillor Peter Buckley, Lancashire County Council's cabinet member for community and cultural services, said: "I am delighted that Helmshore Textile Mills, together with Queen Street Mill in Briercliffe, and the Judges Lodgings in Lancaster, is being reopened to the public.

"I really hope that people will visit all three museums, which are of immense cultural and historical significance.

"We will continue to explore all options to safeguard their long-term futures as they are all nationally significant assets which should be safeguarded for future generations."
The museum will reopen at noon on Saturday and will open every Saturday between noon and 4pm until July 27.

From July 27 the museum will open on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays from noon to 4pm until 28 October 2018 and between Easter and the end of October 2019.

Outside of these public opening hours, schools are still welcome to book all learning sessions and pre-booked groups can be arranged for guided tours.

For more information ring 01706 226459 or email helmshoremuseum@lancashire.gov.uk.

Notes to Editors

Background on Helmshore Mills Textile Museum

In the stunning landscape of Rossendale Valley, nestling side by side in the quiet village of Helmshore, are two original Lancashire textile mills. Higher Mill and Whitaker's Mill are known together as Helmshore Mills Textile Museum. In a rare and fascinating juxtaposition, these historic mills offer a clear picture of Lancashire's textile past as it moved from wool to cotton production. Soak up the atmosphere of these historic mills and witness original machinery at work – from the power of the 19th century waterwheel to the complexity of the spinning mules on the spinning floor. Discover how raw wool and cotton were transformed into yarn ready for weaving into cloth. Watch the mighty waterwheel power the fulling stocks that once pounded wet woollen cloth, cleansing and transforming it making it thicker or denser. Follow Lancashire's key role in the industrial revolution - how lives were changed forever with new inventions, where any protesters were met with strong (and sometimes forceful) resistance and what happened when the cotton 'ran out' in the Cotton Famine of the 1860s. The story of Lancashire's textile industry is truly global and remains so. Helmshore's spinning mules still use American cotton. The yarn it produces is woven at its sister mill, Queen Street Mill in Harle Syke near Burnley which, in turn, reopens this summer.

Free parking
Gift shop
Accessible to all visitors
Assistance dogs welcome
Baby changing facilities
Family friendly venues
Events and activities for families

Tagged as: Libraries and Archives

Share this: