WATERSIDE Part 1
DOWN BY THE RIVER


Before 1760...
The first Mill at Waterside was a ‘fulling mill’ built sometime before 1760. Fulling meant pummelling the cloth in urine, fullers earth and fresh water. Urine was collected in buckets from nearby homes, some fullers would pay a penny a bucket for it! The Etherow provided the power to process hand-made woollen cloth ready to sell in Stockport and Manchester.
1777...
Two entrepreneurs, John Turner and John Thornley, acquired the mill and converted it to spin cotton. Their company became so successful that they added more buildings and, later, weaving looms.
1820...
James Sidebottom bought Waterside for three of his sons, John, William, and James. They modernised and expanded the factory complex and more workers were recruited from all parts of the British Isles.
1830...
For children, factory work was very hard, tiring and dangerous. They worked up to 12 hours a day in terrible conditions. Some died when they got caught in the machinery
1835...
Ralph Sidebottom of Millbrook was prosecuted under the Factories Act of 1833 for working 25 children before 5.30am and more than 12 hours a day. He was also charged with falsifying entries in his time book. The mill clock was set 55 minutes forward.
1845...
A thriving village in its own right, Waterside expanded as shops, houses, a school, pubs, a post office and a working mans club sprang up around the mill and in the direction of Hadfield.
1856...
Waterside was now a 14acre complex including Bridge Mill across the river. One of the biggest textile factories in the world, it held 4,800 looms, 293,000 spindles. Waterside was to have it’s own branch line to connect it directly to the Manchester, Sheffield and Lincolnshire railway.




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