Bob's Mellor Mill Diary

Bob (Robert Humphrey-Taylor) is leading the excavations at Mellor Mill.
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Bob's Mill Diary - May 14, 2012, to National Scouting Magazine

I am an ex DC in Greater Manchester East Scout County.

I am currently the project manager for an Industrial Archaeological conservation programme taking place at Mellor Mill, Stockport.  The site is in rural setting and only 5 minutes walk from Linnet Clough Scout Campsite which is run by Great Manchester East Scout County.

The project is to reveal the foundations, basements and cellars of a 1790 cotton spinning mill built by entrepreneur Samuel Oldknow.

The work of exposing these features and conserving them is carried out, in the main by volunteers.

It has struck me that there is an opportunity for Scouts and Explorers to take advantage of having a well appointed scout campsite next to this important site.  We, Mellor Archaeological Trust, would like to propose offering 4 day courses for interested scouts (either 2 weekends or 4 consecutive days - dates not yet decided) to work alongside experienced archaeologists and gain the Scout Heritage Badge under alternative A.

There would be no charge by Mellor Archaeological Trust for the course and (I guess) standard camping fees would be required by Linnet Clough Scout Campsite.

If you feel this offer would be suitable as an article for your magazine please contact me and I will put something together immediately.   I can also include photographs for the article.

Bob's Mill Diary - May 10, 2012, from France

I don't have the OS maps to hand here but looking at Tom Oldham's model on the website it is clear where I have been working on the central projection. If you then look at the left hand projection and go to the left of that we again follow the front wall of the mill.  A little further to the left is a large wing sticking out beyond the line of the three original projections.  In between this wing and the left hand projection there is a recess in the building line - I think that is the most likely place where Don is [in his excavations with Maxine].  Since the left and right hand wings have no symmetry either in footprint or roof design I think they are both later than the main mill which stretches from the left hand projection to the right hand one.   That is why Don feels he is on top over the engine house.  This falls in line with my measurement of 200 feet from the centre of the front entrance to the left.  The 200 feet seems to include the engine house.  That leads me to think that the 400' length of the mill is not "as built" but post the right and left hand extensions.............  dates???????  Therefore I think Don needs to work towards the front entrance to find the left hand projection.  This theory also gives us a building in complete symmetry "as built" and more achievable from first stone laid to production 2 years later.  Yet another theory to be checked out.

Perhaps you would pass this on to John Riley for his thoughts?

Tom Oldham's modelTom Oldham's model.

Bob's Mill Diary - May 5, 2012, from France

Just reading the paper and there is an article on Bradshaw (Railway Timetables) which states that in 1863 there were 20,000,000 spindles in 1,000 factories with 300,000 hands, 90,000 horsepower moving 1,000,000 power looms in the Manchester area.  And we were just a little bit of that!!

I'll get back to my wine now having just cooked and eaten probably the best entrecote steak I've ever had.....

Bob's Mill Diary - March 24, 2012, to volunteers

The tokenWell, what a great day today down at Mellor Mill.

One of our volunteers found this token inscribed with John Clayton's name.   John Clayton was the half brother of Samuel Oldknow, lived in Marple Lodge and was the Manager of Mellor Mill.  We are making new discoveries every time we work at this exciting site.  Today we also managed to piece together how the front entrance to the mill worked.  So on top of the lovely weather we had a great time updating our knowledge.

So far, this season, help from volunteers has been a bit thin on the ground.   The work is now much more to do with uncovering the footprint of the area in the immediate vicinity of the Wellington Wheel Pit and less to do with sifting through large mounds of spoil.  Your help and your skills are needed.   Interest from the public is amazing with over 100 visitors today.   Our exposure on TV, Radio and local press has really put us on the map and the public are hungry for more.

Remember we are on site each weekend from 9 am to 4 pm each Saturday and Sunday.  Come on down and join us for some of that time.