Dunlop Mill demolished
Reporter: Shauna Botrel
Date online: 11 July 2012
The former Dunlop Mill, now dubbed Royle Works, is in the process of being demolished.
A lot of the mill was demolished in 1979 due to the decline of the cotton industry and this year will see the remainder of it demolished.
The Mill, which was built in 1913, became the Royle Works after it went into receivership in 2004.
Northern Trust has been the asset managers of the site for 18 months.
Andrew Beattie, Project Manager said: “The building had reached the end of its lifespan. It is continually vandalised and broken into, the property has been constantly destroyed. Many of the tenants left because of this. This is why we decided to demolish the property as opposed to refurbishing it.”
The council accepted the application for Royle Works to be demolished on 19 March; they have not received any submissions of planning applications to date.
Mr Beattie said: “This site will be a major development site in the future, but we have no exact plans as of yet.”
The original Dunlop Mill was built by R and T Howarth. The ground floor and basement were built in 1913 and the rest was constructed in 1919.
Dr Mike Howarth recently found boxes of information regarding his grandfather’s business, some of which concerns the Dunlop Mill. These are available to view in Touchstones.
Dr Howarth said: “I am keen to get people with memories and pictures of R and T Howarth properties to come forward and share them. There is so much history surrounding these buildings and my idea is to create an R and T trail as a visitor centre activity.”
Dunlop Mill was a highly recognisable Castleton landmark. It boasted seven-storeys and a half mile length, situated next to the Lancashire-Yorkshire railway, iconic for many rail travellers.
Rochdale contributed to the Dunlop name by breaking the raw cotton bale, which would eventually be turned into a Dunlop tyre, a Dunlop sports shoe, or even a Dunlop mac.
In its heyday, Dunlop Mill employed around 3,000 people and it was, at one point, the largest cotton mill in the world. Facilities for the staff included a social club and a colossal dining room, which seated more than 1,000 staff. The Mill boasted its own electric railway, situated in its weaving shed.
The Mill was often described as a progressive employer, offering employees healthcare amongst other incentives.
Dunlop’s first roll of cloth was delivered in 1914. From then on, its normal weekly production was more than 600,000lbs of cotton, with over 1,000 bales of cotton used weekly.
After the Mill went into receivership, it was rented out to various different businesses and used primarily for warehousing, coach storage, furniture sales and five-a-side football.
DID YOU WORK AT DUNLOP MILL?
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