On the way back from Hatfield Colliery, I decided to swing off the M62 at Oldham to take a look at Hartford Mill, a place I’d known about for years but had never made the time to visit.
Oldham once had over 360 cotton mills, but like all the mill towns, this number has decreased significantly since the peak in the early 20th century. I’d visited a few mills in the district including the nearby Fernhurst Mill, and Hartford was of a similar size and era. In fact, it was of a typical style of architecture to many south and central Lancashire mills that could be found in towns such as Oldham, Stockport, Leigh, Bolton, Bury, and Preston – red brick, 4-6 storeys high and steel framed.
Wikipedia describes it thus:
“It was constructed as a cotton-spinning mill in 1907. Frederick Whittaker Dixon designed it for the Hartford Mill (Oldham) Company Ltd. It was extended in 1920 and 1924. It was Grade II-listed on 8 March 1993. In 1991, Littlewoods vacated the building, and it has been unoccupied since then. A fire significantly damaged it in 2014, and a teenager died after falling through the roof of the building in 2015. It was proposed for demolition in 2018. Demolition is currently taking place and is expected to finish by August 2020. The chimney will be dismantled piece by piece, as explosives would pose a risk to the neighbouring school and houses.”
Unfortunately due to the time of day, I was shooting into the sun, not ideal but it was a speculative, unplanned visit. I didn’t hop the fence but instead focused on using the drone instead. However I did take a couple of obligatory externals with the cameras but was battling with the exposure and lens flare. More to come next week!