I feel I must write a few lines on the demolition of the former Albion Mills down Serpentine lane.
Welcomed as this is by many I think the place is worthy of an obituary for its past service to the area.
My own father worked there as an engineer from the 1940s-1980s and saw it change from George Crossley’s to Vaughan Crossley, then Wean Vaughan and finally Crawfords.
I even worked there myself a couple of times during my college holidays in 1972 and 1973 so got to see first hand the kind of work that was produced there.
I remember one of the times I was employed there they were busy making parts for a giant machine for a sugar plantation in South America! Not much produced in Cleckheaton these days that gets sent to South America eh?
Though I never realised it at the time I owed my very life and comfort to my father’s labour and the business that went on in that mill, as did many others in this and surrounding towns.
Every meal, the roof above my head, the clothes I wore, the holidays I went on, everything came from the business that went on there.
You often don’t appreciate these things until you’re older but I certainly appreciate it now. It was a bustling place in its heyday and employed a good many skilled people.
Cleckheaton had many businesses like that back in the 1960s and it’s sad to see them go and see the buildings that housed them fall into ruin.
Yes, it’s been an eyesore for a long time and it’s time to put up something new. It’s also an opportunity to remember, house building employs a few for a while, that mill employed a lot for a lot longer!
BRUCE MICHAEL BAILLIE