Heather Mills

Did you know that Paul McCartney bought Heather Mills a plane for her birthday … and a Ladyshave for the other leg. Thank you very much, I’m here ’till Friday. So, anyway, Heather Mills in Selkirk in the Scottish Borders was founded in 1892 and soon became one of the town’s largest employers with over 200 workers. It was owned by Edinburgh Woollen Mills until March 2008, when it was bought by the Border Weaving Company, but orders dried up, and the company closed at the beginning of this year. One of the senior people told me “that’s how it goes – we’ve been closing mills here for 100 years”

This was a with-permission visit for the Clyde Heritage Trust to photograph everything before the mills were stripped out. In the weaving mill, furniture and fittings were being removed:

In the showroom, a few lonely samples:

Stacks of samples in the offices:

With an old sign in the corner:

In the weaving shed, lights were still on, machines were beeping for attention, and steam was hissing from overhead pipes – it looked like the workers had just popped out for lunch:

Weaving machines were modern computerised ones:

Though some were programmed by punched tape – a small office holds the tape-punching machines:

And a rack holds stacks of tapes – one of these labels reads “Black Watch”:

The yarn store is still full of stock:

With a staff photo in the corner:

The warpping shed is also fully equipped:

With a very natty desk:

100 yards away, in the separate and older spinning mill, the scrap merchants are already at work -the blue haze is from their forklift:

Rows of carding machines stand packed together:

There’s just about enough space to squeeze between them:

In a smaller shed, some older machines are squeezed in:

Raw materials wait in the receiving area:

Outside, an air raid shelter is used for storage:

In another shed, some antique machines:

Some strict rules:

Stacks of spares in the attic:

And a panorama of one of the antique machines:

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