#453 – Colne Mills


North Valley Road through Colne used to be lined with several sister mills to the Smith & Nephew Brierfield Mills, but all have been demolished and replaced with shiny new supermarkets and car dealerships which gives a veneer of modernity to impress people passing through. But away from this facade is another typical East Lancashire mill town – terraced houses and a few crumbling mills (most have been demolished).

A sprawling complex of various mills butts up to the river north of the town centre. There wasn’t much that interested me on an individual basis, but I liked this scene looking down the river.

Taken just a few feet away, I composed this photograph of the visual clutter of the chimney, saw tooth north light roof and the end of Greenfield Mill.DSCF2955-Edit

4 Comments Add yours

  1. Keith Miller says:

    Interesting pics – these are just the kinds of sites and features that need preserved (not conserved or converted). Unfortunately the ‘great improvers’ (property developers and town planners) have their greedy eyes on these features for demolition and ugly re-development.


  2. andy says:

    I partially agree. A lot of these are run down old weaving sheds of little architectural or heritage merit and in low grade usage. That said, I often speak of the industrial landscape being the backdrop to northern life and it saddens me that scenes like this are increasingly rare.


  3. These photographs really bring home to me how hard the life was back in victorian times, and how narrow the horizons for most ordinary people. I’m a Northerner and a lover of architecture, but your shots quite appropriately put the “grim” in Up North to great effect. I know the overall picture isn’t all like this, but as an artistic perspective it is very effective.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. andy says:

      It’s interesting that to find scenes like this you have to look fairly hard. Sure, there are still mills around, albeit a diminishing number, but it’s hard to get a ‘pure’ scene that’s not blighted with phone masts, modern portal frame sheds or anything else that is out of context.


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