Most of the time when we think of ghost signs what comes to mind are those faded and peeling hand painted adverts on the sides of buildings but for me there are also those stones inscriptions above factory doors and those picked out in coloured brick on mill chimneys.
And as soon as Ron showed me these pictures of the old Wellington Mill on East Pollard Street I was hooked.
Bazley Brothers were cotton spinners and they were occupying this site by 1883 and maybe even earlier.
I know that Henry Bazley & Company “spinners of lace muslin and thread yarns” were operating from
Chapel Street Mill Ancoats in 1876 so it shouldn’t be too difficult to track down the move to the Wellington Mill.
one source they were still trading from the building in 1928, but when they moved out has yet to be discovered.
There is a record of a Bazley Brothers winding up their business in 1940 but this may not be them because the head office was outside Manchester.
As for the mill it has more recently had multi occupancy and there were plans back in 2009 to convert it into residential accommodation but as Ron’s pictures show this has not yet happened.
Now I am not an expert on the history of Manchester Mills and have fallen back on Grace's Guide to British Industrial History which records a fatal accident at the mill in 1865 and an advert for the sale of the mill as a going concern thirty years later..**
All of which is a little confusing.
So the next step will be to set a firm date for their move out of the mill and look around at the census returns to see if the family can be tracked across Greater Manchester while crawling over newspaper records.
But in the meantime at least we still have Ron’s building with its name which is a spur to greater research.
Pictures; Bazley Brothers , Wellington Mill, East Pollard Street, June 2014, courtesy of Ron Stubley
*A Manchester View, http://manchesterhistory.net/manchester/tours/tour12/wellington.html
***Grace's Guide to British Industrial History, http://www.gracesguide.co.uk/Wellington_Mill,_Ancoats