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Explain why changes to the original Helmshore Mill site have taken place

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Introduction

Explain why changes to the original Helmshore Mill site have taken place The first change to the original site was the building of Higher Mill in 1789. This was a woollen fulling and finishing mill built by the Turner family. They built the mill here because there wasn't another fulling mill in the area, the nearest was Rochdale, so there was a healthy market for their services. They chose this particular site however because it had all which powered the fulling stocks, there was already a turnpike road next to the site providing the resources which they needed; the River Ogden provided water to run the waterwheel good transport links for the mill, it was a country area so there was already spinning and weaving in the area supplying the mill with goods to be fulled. These local people could also be used as workers in the mill. Soon afterwards the mill was extended to meet the high demand for the fulling and finishing services. In 1820 the Turners built another larger mill on the same site to carry out the carding, spinning and weaving of wool. It was built here so that the processes of making and finishing woollen cloth could all be carried out on one site; this saved money on transportation and supplied the fulling mill with work. Over the next thirty years the fulling mill was re-equipped at least once to update its machinery. ...read more.

Middle

Eventually in November this group of businessmen, interested in the eighteenth century machinery housed inside formed a trust and bought the mill to preserve it and its contents, they also planned to turn it into a museum. This is the most distinctive change, that of the mill changing from a working textile factory into a museum. In April 1969 Higher Mill was listed as a protected building along with the surrounding cottages. The government also gave one thousand pounds to the trust to be used repairing the mill so that it could be opened as a museum. The trust soon opened the mill to pre-booked parties who were shown around at the weekends and on evenings. In 1971 a company called TMM offered a collection of early textile machines to the Trust so that they could be shown alongside the other machines. These were added attractions containing examples of Spinning Jennies and the last working Arkwright's Water Frame and visitor demand increased because of them. The trust could no longer cope because of the increased demand and so agreed a ninety-nine year lease with Lancashire County Council who offered to manage the mill. In 1980 the watercourses were dredged and the water wheel was repaired. After Turner died, Whitaker's mill changed hands several times. In 1857 there was a fire in the mill and most of it burned to the ground this was rebuilt in 1860. ...read more.

Conclusion

By looking at documents 4 and 14 I can see that a new car park has been put in outside the museum to allow coaches and cars, bringing visitors to the museum, to park close by. Trees and bushes were cleared to create space for the car park. The nearby railway by pass was closed in the 1960's and is now a footpath and the old tenter fields are now a housing estate. Some buildings have been removed from the site, these were makeshift and their removal does not detract from the knowledge gained from visiting the museum. The rotary milling sheds were demolished and so were the bleaching sheds (this can be seen by comparing source six with source seven). A safe footpath has been laid around the watercourses to prevent accidents. Inside the buildings a new library and offices have been set up to allow administration space and wider resources. The mill is now a 'museum with an outstanding collection'; this allows it to bid for government money. This money has in the past been used building an interactive display where the old display gallery was; this includes some of the machinery that was moved down from the higher floors. The trust is awaiting further grant money in order to convert the first floor of higher mill into another exhibition area. The finishing room is now used as a demonstrative room to show the finishing processes. Throughout the mills lives they have both always been connected with the textiles industries, woollen or cotton. And now as museums they still show how these industries once worked. ...read more.

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