Disaster and Rebirth
In 1916 a fire broke out that destroyed the whole of the cotton mill except for the engine house, boiler house and chimney stack. The decision was taken to rebuild the mill and install Ring Spinning frames.
The Ellenroad Ring Spinning Mill re-opened in 1921 powered by its mighty 3000 horsepower twins, Victoria and Alexandra. The flywheel, 28 feet in diameter and weighing over 80 tons, provided the drive through 44 ropes to line shafts on five floors of the mill. All the boilers were replaced with new Lancashires, raising steam at 180 pounds per square inch.
The mill machinery continued to be powered by the 3000hp engines until electrification of the mill in 1975, when this, the last of the great steam engines of the Lancashire cotton age, was stopped for the last time. The mill survived only a few years until 1985 when it was demolished. However, the engines and boiler house, including a Lancashire boiler and the 220-foot high chimney, were saved.