Friday, 5 December 2014

Mr. Senior's Rope Works at Prinny Hill

In this postcard you can see Mr. Senior's old Rope Works which was the long black shed to the left hand side of the photo which ran alongside the old railway track. 

Two interesting snippets of information:

Thanks to John R. Edwards who has kindly sent in the following information about the "Prinny Hill Steam Rope Works " (4th Aug 2011). 

I used to go to the Rope Works, on the right parallel with the railway at the bottom of Prinny Hill - just before the bridge over the railway line, as a boy about 9 yrs old. Over the bridge on the right a Mr Goldburn had a henpen, on the other side of the railway track.
It was run by a Mr Senior and his assistant Joe Chappelow (? spelling). The shed was about 120 yds long and 5yds wide with a dirt floor, part stone walls, windows above - on the west side, to provide light, then a wood and felt roof.
The entrance was down a couple of steps to the office down a few more to the engine room on the left, which housed as I remember a 2 stroke diesel engine, which had to be stopped at a particular point by Joe, so that he could easily start it the next day. He used a large piece of cloth to act as a brake on the flywheel to achieve this.
I used to 'help' after school and on Sat. mornings. On a couple of occasions Mr Senior let me go with him in his car, with the boot full on his deliveries to far flung places such as Bolton, selling his clothes lines and balls of different types of string. Occasionally they would make ropes 1" or more diameter, these were made on a twisting machine that started out twisting small threads together, up to 12 at a time, then joining 4 together, making 3 strings which in turn were joined together to make a three strand rope 100 yds long.
The string was made on the spinner in the middle of the room and then transferred to an endless belt system, where the strands were spliced together,to make a loop the length of the building, sized to lay down the fibres or waxed. After drying the string was cut to set lengths and put on a spooler to make balls of string. The same principle was used to make clothes lines. When these were cut to length they were wound round a piece of wood with two pegs at the ends, then wound around; still the same size as today.
Joe also had a henpen alongside the ropeworks, where he kept hens and grew some vegatables.
I remember his nephew worked there for a time, he had been a soldier, and told me stories about his time in the army, whilst whittling on a piece of wood.
John R Edwards


Thanks to Sam Westwell who has sent in the following information about the "Prinny Hill Steam Rope Works" (5th Dec 2014)

And next door to Miss Brierly (teacher) who lived with her sister on Manchester Road opposite the war memorial.  Incidentally their next door neighbour was Mr. Senior the owner of the rope works at the bottom of Prinny Hill.  I too used to visit and spent many a happy hour with Joe.  He used to let me start the engine, it used compressed air, but he always stopped it himself.  When the works closed around 1955 we tidied everything up and it was demolished, however I still have some rope that I made.