Brief chronology of the Phethean mill at Moses Gate, Farnworth

I have carried out an examination of various old Ordnance Survey maps and archive material and have deduced this early chronology of the mills at Moses Gate:

1850 – no mills at all except for one in the triangle between Bolton
Road, Egerton St and Gladstone Road

1884 ” A fire of alarming proportions broke out at two o’clock on Saturday morning at the mill of Messrs. Phethean & Sons, Farnworth near Bolton. The fire broke out in the storeroom, which had £10,000 worth of stock in it. This room was gutted, also the spinning room, but the rest of the premises were saved. Fifty spinners are thrown out of work, and damage 0f £20,000 was caused”
Liverpool Mercury, Monday, October 6, 1884; Issue 11462

1891 Egerton Mill standing – located between Egerton St and Thynne St;
un-named mill between Thynne St and Cambell St (Phethean’s Mill?)

1893 as above

1909 Egerton mill seems to have been rebuilt slightly to the west; is now between Phethean St and Thynne St. Phethean St and Thorne St seem to have been built over the site of the older mill (or part of it).

1929 Egerton mill labelled as “Waste Spinning Mill”; Phethean’s Mill is named as such for the first time

1937 Egerton Mill named; Phethean’s Mill not named

1951 Egerton Mill named; Phethean’s Mill now labelled as “Cawdor Mill”

In addition:

(1) from an 1891 trade directory, Egerton Mill was run by Philip & Thos Bateman; John Phethean & Co Ltd just at ” Cawdor Street” in the same document.

(2) John Phethean and Company Ltd. was incorporated in 1885, so that could be the date the Moses Gate Mill was built as they were presumably in Bolton before that. (this fits with what little family info I have about the Moses gate mill). However, see the 1884 entry which mentions “Phethean & Sons”. Was this a previous business or company name? I believe the company survived until 1936 since at that date the various telephone numbers for the company cease to exist as it merged with others and eventually became part of Vantona.

From:Eight Edition. The Cotton Spinners & Manufacturers’ Directory; John Worral, Oldham,Lancs. 1891

The fire-brigade at John Phethean & Co, c. 1900. This building still stands today, but the wall (and plaque) have been rendered over.  The chimney behind has been demolished and that building is now part of Vantona.

Reproduced by permission of   Bolton Museum and Archive Service

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