In 1998 the Trust were invited to take a collection of very old machine tools from the Wildspur Mill, Holmfirth and the Addingham Mill, Addingham. When the volunteers made the trip to the Wildspur mill, they were surprised to find all the machines were housed in the basement workshop with very little space to move. The task began to hoist all the tools and machines out to the road.
Originally the workshop space was called The Flock Hole and contained the air fans which removed cotton fibres (flock) from the air in the spinning floors. This room has been cleared and now houses the 1910 workshop recreating the time when the original mill was in its heyday. It was decided that machines would be powered as they would have been in 1910. Unfortunately there was little chance of powering them with a steam engine so the Trust decided to use the National Oil engine that had been kindly donated by the Ellesmere Port Boat Museum.
This engine had been built by the National Gas and Oil Engine Co. of Manchester in the early 20C. It is a model KBE of 6HP that was probably intended for the generation of electricity. When the time came to refurbish the engine several parts needed to be made, including a new big end bearing casting that was then machined by the volunteers. It is now fully working in the workshop.
In order to complete the 1910 workshop, the volunteers had to concentrate on the line shafting, luckily some of the shafting was available onsite. The remaining parts were donated by Bradford Industrial Museum. The Line shaft system had to designed which required the calculation of the correct size of pulleys so that the various machine tools would run at the correct speed. Fast and loose pulleys were installed to allow the machines to work independently. A considerable effort was needed to mount the heavy structures on the wall above the machines.
The tools which were acquired from Holmfirth and Addingham Mill include a lathe, a radial arm drill complete with shaper and a blacksmith's forge. The forge has been installed with a chimney and blower system for the fire. All the tools have been set up and supplemented with a belt driven power hammer and hacksaw. Not only are they working exhibits but most have been used to repair and construct new parts for other machines in the Museum.
On Site >