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Much is made of Nottingham Lace but shawl making in Hucknall, although world-famous at the time, seems to be all but forgotten.

 

I was very surprised to not find any mention of shawl making on here before and I wonder if anyone has any memories or reminiscences they can share?

 

I remember one shawl factory on or near Albert St. but I know there were others, perhaps closed before I became aware of shawl making as part of the Hucknall (and Nottinghamshire) heritage.

 

Timewise, my memory takes me to 1950's - early 60's

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Given you a like jonab because your topic brings us back on course re Notstalgia. Sorry I cannot offer any input. It was all hosiery where I lived in Radford - three factories within 50 yards.

Someone must know about the Shawl makers?

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20 hours ago, jonab said:

I remember one shawl factory on or near Albert St. but I know there were others, perhaps closed before I became aware of shawl making as part of the Hucknall (and Nottinghamshire) heritage.

 

My  knowledge of Hucknall is non-existent, but a map from the mid 50s shows a "Knitwear Factory & Hosiery Works" on Albert Street, so it looks like your memory is correct....

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Jonab, I think that is the first time anyone has mentioned shawls, lots of lace and knitwear mentions, but when you think of the olden days, most women wore a shawl.  Someone had to make them.

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Although I have no information of Hucknall shawl making there is a family run business

in Chillwell of shawl makers G H Hurt. They have been around  since the early 1900s and 

were the makers of Prince Georges shawl he was wrapped in on leaving Hospital.

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Thanks for the responses. It did surprise me that this was a new subject.

I recall that Hucknall shawls had the reputation of being the finest of any available and it was possible to pass a shawl through a wedding ring they were so fine. This was going some as the shawl was usually about 1 yard square (just less than on metre square). It might not seem quite so astounding nowadays but remember the best shawls were made from mohair or alpaca or some other very expensive natural fibre.

I have a vague idea that the shawl factory I remember had a royal warrant outside but I may be mistaken on that. What is true though that the royals were keen customers.

I'm trying to do some research on the subject. I'll report back when I have any results (if not before).

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I remember the shawl factory at the corner of Albert Street and The Connery. I cannot remember the name of the owners for sure but Calladines seems familiar. My grandma lived in Albert Street in the fifties and I remember walking by the factory on my way to the little shop that was on the corner of Titchfield Street. In those days there was no Leisure Centre, just the Wreck where two fairs a year came and countless cricket and football games were played by local kids.

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The grey matter has stirred again and I remember another shawl factory that was Buck's. This could have been the one on Derbyshire Lane, I will try to clarify details of shawl manufacturers next time I see my cousin and relay the reply.

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Wool Shetland Shawls was started by The Framework Knitters in Hucknall in the 1850's.

It was extended to Beeston and Chilwell by two Hucknall men, William Limb and Frank Wilkinson..

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Calladines - that's the name I remember for the factory on/near Albert Street. WRT Bucks being on Derbyshire Lane, that fits as well. It's coming back to me slowly that my aunt Nance worked at a shawl factory on Derbyshire Lane.

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Having discussed the shawl manufacturers I can now clear thins up. Buck's were on Derbyshire Lane, Calladines were on Titchfield Street and the one at the corner of Albert Street was Woollets. Got there eventually.

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Another shawl maker in Hucknall, Rhodes Bros & Sons.

Sidney Stephenson Rhodes passed  ( founder ) passed away in 1952.

 

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Two Hucknall lads at Bucks Shawls.machinery.jpgThe Shawl works on Derbyshire Lane.

jonab: having a look for that Cinic..on a few old sites.

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Woody is correct, the Factory on the corner of Albert St and the Connery was indeed Wollets whilst directly across Albert St from Wollets was a small shawl manufacturing unit called Saxons. I was born on Albert St in early 1940 and lived there until 1968. I attended Hucknall National School and in consequence walked past Wollets Factory twice a day on my route to School.The bottoms of the large windows of the factory on the Connery side where painted white, although I never knew whether this strategy was to screen out the sun or the inquiring eyes of walkers passing  by. The viability of the whitening out only lasted for me until I grew and could look over.In retrospect the workers must have felt like Goldfish in a very large Goldfish Bowl.Wollets Factory building has been converted into Flats and very smart they look too, although I have been told recently they have acquired some sort of Listed Building status such that only wood can be used in window construction for example.I wonder if any of the Flat occupants are aware of the hard graft which undoubtedly took place whilst the factory was in operation. On Hucknall High Street facing Albert St was the old Post Office Standing with your back to the Post Office, the shop on the left hand corner of Albert St was Shaws Butchers Shop with a slaughter house to its rear and on the right hand corner was Woolworths. At at back of Shaws was an area on which stood buildings in which Baily`s stored pots.Walking down Albert St from the High Street stood victorian terraced houses on the left and Woolwoorths yard on the right At the end of Woolworths yard which was walled was an open area to the side of which stood a large detached house with it`s own field This field extended as far as the High Street and was terminated by a gate.At the side of the house ran the Town Brook which flowed in a culvert under houses on Titchfield St and Albert St.Across the Brook was the beginning of Pearlthorpe Drive , in the first house of which ,lived a lady who ,even in those far off days carried a Pomeranian Dog around in a flat bottomed open top wicker basket.The terraced houses on the left continued all the way up the street as far as Wollets Factory  From the front  room of one of the houses Mr  Haslam sold hardware items including galvanised metal dustbins so, just where he and his wife lived I don`t know  In one of the gardens just past Mr Haslams stood a hand operated water pump housed in what I can describe as a "sentry box" looking cover. Further up the street lived two spinster aunts of mine who having worked in textile factories all their lives were both profoundly deaf Even in the early 1950 there was still no electricity in their house ,so one of my jobs was to go to Mr Haslams to buy gas mantles for their gas lights. Because the mantles were extremely fragile I was always under strict instructions how to carry them..The family house stood on the right hand side next door to a provisions shop which also operated from their front room .Next to this shop was a cobblers run by Mr Wadsworth who wore aTrilby hat all the time and it wasn`t until sometime later I saw he had a growth the size of a tennis ball attached to his head. Poor old lad was in a period pre the National Health.At the top of the street on the right hand side was the Rec which when I was very young still had Air Raid Shelters on the left hand of the path which ran down the middle.At that time Hucknall had two Rec`s,our`s was the"Bottom Rec", the"Top Rec" being on Annesley Road. Will Post more soon.

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So much of that I remember - Thanks for that reminiscence, Geoffrey. I wish I still had such vivid recall!

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As woody said,games of football and cricket were played on the bottom rec,particularly during the summer months . The football games were never structured. The goal posts were a heaped pile of coats and jumpers,the distance between which was ,never measured or defined.The length  and width of the pitch was arbitrary,determined sometimes by a natural obstacle like a hillock or the brook or on other occasions,man made obstacles like the path or a fence.The number of players on each team varied between three and how ever many.If you arrived before the game started you would be "picked" to play for a particular side,arriving late you would hang around behind one of the goals,until you were "nodded on" by one of the players and told which way to kick.In the absence of an official referee,any dispute would be sorted by the eldest or the biggest, Might Is Right. The duration of the game was determined by every one having had enough or when it got too dark to see the ball.I could see part of the rec from my bedroom window and would look enviously on at lads playing football on a fine summer evening between stints at doing my homework.The grass on the rec was allowed to grow long and then mowed. The mowing was a precursor for younger kids to scrape the cut grass together to make dens or to tie knots in the longer strands to make a club with which to hit each other.Just how much Dog wee and poo we got on our hands performing these antics does not bear thinking about. The removal of the green iron railings at the top of the rec was an indicator of the imminent arrival of a fair (wakes) or a circus My Dad had died when I was 10 so money was tight and never available to spend on extravagances such as the wakes .I never felt deprived because I was motion sick on roundabouts anyway. When my Dad was alive, he  insisted we locked the Entry Door to stop people attending the fair using the Passageway as a toilet When the wakes had departed we kids would scour the rec looking for spent bullet casings from the 22 rifle range or money dropped by the visitors. On the rare occasions a circus arrived , "helping" to erect the Big Top would result in a free ticket. A bonus for my Dad were the round Elephant Turds I used to collect in a bucket for his garden. The arrival of the dark , cold, winter nights saw the torches brought out to play Jack Jack Shine A Light  on either the rec or the spare land on which the Post Office stands.Another diversion for the cold days and evenings was the winter warmer. A winter warmer was an opened baked bean type can with series of holes punched through the sides and bottom using a nail Two diametrically opposed holes were punched near the top through which a loop wire was threaded to make a handle. The next stage was to scavenge the local area looking for small combustibles such as sucker sticks , twigs or tiny pieces of coal from the floor of the Coal House.A fire was then lit in the winter warmer and once the flames had taken a proper hold ,the device was spun in an arc around the head or side of body using the wire loop. The rush of air through the holes in the winter warmer encouraged the fire to burn ever hotter. The final spin of the evening saw the wire loop released,resulting in the winter warmer soaring into the darkening night sky like a flaming comet with fiery tail .The rec brook ran down the left perimeter,under the middle foot path and exited via a culvert which had metal bars to preclude human access The metal bars provided an excellent basis on which to construct a grass sod and mud dam resulting in huge lakes of  water. Titchfield St ran from the Connery to the High St parallel with Albert St and had a shop on the corner .The knitwear factory shown on Cliff Ton`s informative map was on Titchfield St and was Calladines, later known as the Hucknall Manufacturing Company .Across the street was a hard surface tennis court which I assumed belonged to the factory although I never saw it in use.

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Past shawl makers of Hucknall include..Taylors, Bucks, Hardys,Reynolds and Bamkins.Did i post photos of Princess Anne?..she visited Bamkins or another textile place in Hucknall..and sales rocketed!

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Taylors began in Edwardian times..they got a huge contract for underwear..armed forces?.did Taylors become Ewe and Jaegar?( operate from same.)

I did some studies as a textile project when at Mansfield C of A...about four stone ago.

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I have a note that they were located on King Edward St and closed in 1997 so existed for perhaps 90 years. It upsets me to think of the number of British companies which have gone to the wall over the years In 1959 there were 150 soap companies in England, there are now 2.

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Indeed..a subject which i have shared also with jonab.

The reason i mentioned the Army..i am sure Taylors went onto make underwear and made huge strides in production..maybe 5 or 6 textile firms operated out of Hucknall, Watnall and one in Papplewick. Sad that they closed in 1997..i must say quality clothing does  last..Primark provide affordable clothes.....that become dusters or car rags after several washes. A real Galway shawl over here commands a price of €180.00.

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Is/was William Hollins part of Viyella or something

 

Rog

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William Hollins and Co had is first mill at Pleasley on the Nottingham/Derbyshire border.

The name of Viyella is said to have come from the Via Gellia Road near Cromford/Matlock Bath.

Viyella was the first branded fabric in the world. First woven in 1893 and trademarked in 1894

 

You might ask how do I know this, well in order to go climbing at Black Rocks at Cromford whilst at school we had to learn something about the area and the unusual name Via Gellia stuck in my mind along with Richard Arkwright's first water powered mill at Cromford. The restored mill is an excellent visit.

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During our mid teens, friends and I used to camp on the land around Black Rocks. The camping equipment in those far-off days was basic if not primitive and because we were  hitch hiking would share carrying the weight of the tent, Primus stove sleeping bags, food etc between us,so if any body had failed to arrive, we would have been in bother. We would regularly meet up with a Tanker whose driver, having discharged his load of flour at a bakers in Watnall, was on his way back to base through Derbyshire. As he did not go through Cromford he would drop us off as close as possible and we would hitch hike the rest of the way as best we could. Back then bumpers on cars were set a significant distance away from the body. One night a driver stopped for us who only had room for one and the two rucksacks.Never being a person to look a gift horse in the mouth I let my pal get into the car while I spent 15 minutes whizzing though the pitch black Derbyshire night stood on the back bumper As funds were limited we would take all the food we needed with us and spend our money on beer and cigarettes in a pub called the Miners Standard which was run in those days by a little old lady who thank God, had no regard for age limits I remember falling off Cromford Station platform without any ill effects after one of those drinking sessions I remember  also lying in a tent in the middle of the night listening to a radio in a far off neighbouring tent playing a song about a girl called Samantha. This event had such an effect on my psyche, years later it is the name we christened our eldest daughter      

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