Grace's Guide

British Industrial History

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Bank Mill (Salford)

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1779 'BANK MILL, Salford, THE Proprietors of the said WORKS, beg leave to inform the Public, that they have compleated them upon the best Construction, for grinding all Sorts of Grain (Oats for Meal excepted.) All favours conferred on them will be punctually executed, and the most reasonable Terms.[1]

1811 Advertisement: VALUABLE SPINNING MACHINERY, ..... SALE BY AUCTlON at Bank Mill, ..... consisting of Patent Batting Machines, Devils, Carding Engines, Working Rollers, Breakers and Finishers, Drawing Frames, Stretching Frames,... Batting Frames, Bobbin Reels, Spinning Bobbins, Cans, Skips Straps, Shafts, Drums, Weigh Beams, scales and every other requisite for carrying on the spinning business [2]

1828 'Fire: On Thurday morning about two o‘clock, the premises in Salford called Bank Mill, and occupied by Mr.Spafford as a mill for grinding dyewoods, &c, were discovered to be on fire. At the time the fire broke out three men were employed in grinding dyewoods, &c., but as they can give no account of the manner in which the fire originated, it is conjectured that they must either have fallen asleep or been otherwise grossly inattentive to their duty. At the time an alarm was given by these men, the flames had made considerable progress, and were bursting through the windows and door of the room adjoining that in which they were, or should have been at work within a very short time after the alarm was given, the Salford fire engine was on the spot, and was quickly followed by four others. They were drawn into the river which flows immediately behind the building, and began play upon the back and roof the mill with considerable effect; but the flames had previously attained so great ascendancy that it was soon found impossible to save the drug-mill, and the efforts of the firemen were then directed to the preservation of the flour-mill adjoining, in which they were happily successful the stock of dyewoods. &c. in the drug-mill being very combustible, the conflagration was extremely rapid and the roof fell in soon after the arrival of the engines. Almost the whole of the interior of the mill was consumed, with the exception of the valuable water wheels below, the damage to which has not yet been accurately ascertained, although it is supposed to be trifling…… Since writing the above, we received, at a late hour last evening, an account of the fire from Mr. Spafford and Mr. Arrowsmith, the occupiers of the drug and flour mills. It contains, amongst other particulars, the following passage, to which, in justice to Lieut. Gallemore, we think we are bound to give publicity The whole of the valiable machinery would have fallen a sacrifice to the flames, had it not been for the prompt and very able superintendence of Mr. Gallemore, who, by the judicious application of his engine, saved the rafters which supported it. He then very ably saved the north end with trifling damage, although enveloped in flames. Mr. Gallemore was induced to look at the back, or river side, where the flames were making rapid progress towards the corn mill, when he plunged into the river, accompanied by Mr. Spafford, to see how the communication might be prevented, most successfully. He then encouraged his men by his presence the water, for upwards of two hours, and it is only to his exertions, and those of the men under him, that the flour mill was saved - but, at the same time, we feel it our duty to return our grateful thanks not only to Mr. Gallemore and his men. but the whole of the fire-men employed on that melancholy occasion. Bank Mill, Salford, 4th April 1828.

1829 'On Sunday night, about ten o'clock, two women passing along the back of the Adelphi, in Salford, perceived a strong light issuing from the premises of Mr. Spafford, logwood-grinder, Bank Mill, and informed the watchman of the circumstance. He, on going to the spot, found that a part of Mr. Spafford's premises, in which there was a kiln for the drying of madder, was in flames. An alarm was instantly raised, and the engines were quickly on the spot ; too late however, to prevent the destruction of that part of the building in which the fire originated, as well as that of a warehouse adjoining, used in the logwood business. Some other buildings, very closely situated, were, by great exertions, prevented from becoming the food of the devouring element. The property, we understand, is fully insured. it is something singular, that the Premises have been burnt down, wholly or in part, three times: the last time but about twelve months ago.'[4]

1839 Report on hurricane damage in the area: 'Part of the wall, next Adelphi-street, of the Bank Mill, was blown outwards into the street, and some damage was done to the roof and windows of the mill.'[5]

1847 Mr. Thomas Eames, logwood and drug grinder, Bank Mill, Adelphi-street, Salford[6]

1852 Advertisement: 'To Logwood Grinders and Others. Sale of Superior Chipping Plate ; Rasp, with 28 knives ; Quantity of 2-inch and 3-inch Shafting, Driving Straps, Partitioning, Scales and Weights, and other Effects. By Mr. THOMAS ROTHWELL, on Wednesday the 28th day of July, 1852, at the premises situate at Bank Mill, Adelphi, Salford; THE Whole of the MACHINERY, &c, which comprises a very superior chipping plate with two knives, fixings, and ashlar stone bedding; cylinder box, and fixings; 2-inch and 3-inch shafting with bevil wheels, coupling boxes, &c.; hoist, with iron barrel and geering; large quantity of partitioning, forming counting houses; and casing to machinery, driving straps, extra rasp knives; sieves, hand truck, Office desk, small cupboard, pair merlin scales; about 12cwt. iron weights, old iron, &c'[7]

See Also


Sources of Information

  1. Manchester Mercury, 7 December 1779
  2. Manchester Mercury, 23rd April 1811
  3. Manchester Courier and Lancashire General Advertiser, Saturday 5th April 1828
  4. Manchester Times, Saturday 17th January 1829
  5. Manchester Courier and Lancashire General Advertiser, Saturday 12th January 1839
  6. Leicester Journal, 1st January 1847
  7. Manchester Courier and Lancashire General Advertiser, 17th July 1852