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February 2009

In the first of a trilogy of editions dealing with the Industrial Revolution, we concentrate on our ancestors associated with the textiles industry. Velma Dinkley looks at the development of the industry from the cottage weavers to mills and Guinevere looks at silk weaving in Coventry. Olde Crone Holden looks at the life of her hand loom weaver and Simon in Bucks at his ancestors who were linen collar cutters. Jill on the A272 and Margaret of Burton explore the different lives of their tailoring ancestors and we have two articles about lace, one from Elizabeth Herts who looks at hand made lace from Devon and Mary from Italy tells the story of her ancestor who manufactured lace in Nottingham. 

 Merry Monty Montgomery tells us about the contents of her grandmother’s treasure basket and jenoco has compiled a collection of reminiscences of their pinny wearing ancestors from members. 

 Roger in Sussex has come up trumps again with a selection of illustrations from his copies of  The Penny Magazine, for which we are very grateful. They have been used not only to adorn the front page, but also in some of the articles. The Penny Magazine was published by Charles Knight between March 1832 and October 1845 for The Society for the Diffusion of Useful Knowledge. It covered a wide variety of topics and was illustrated with woodcuts. Costing a penny, it came out every Saturday but ceased publication as it was felt to be too dry. Roger’s illustrations come from a series of monthly supplements entitled ‘A Day in ..’ .

The Textile Industry

Over the next three issues we will be looking at the Industrial Revolution. This month we are looking at the textile industry and in March we will be looking at transport, with mining and the iron and steel industry to follow in April. The effects of the Industrial...

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Hand Loom Weavers

Hand loom weaving is an ancient tradition going back certainly to pre-Roman times. The Chinese were weaving silk into cloth 4000 years ago. We know little of the English methods of weaving until about the 12th or 13th century, when hand loom weaving was a recognised...

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Concrete and Old Lace

Lace was originally made by hand – a slow and intricate process. However, in the 16th century one William Lee from Nottingham invented a mechanical device, the 'stocking frame', which paved the way for mechanisation in the textile industry and played a large part in...

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Ribbon Weaving

ibbon weaving in Coventry began as a supplement to the thriving cloth industry. In 1627 Mr Bird founded the 'Silk Weaver Company' assisted by Huguenot refugees who came to England to escape religious persecution. They were welcomed into the country because their silk...

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Jennie’s thread on aprons last July evoked many memories. A lot of us can recall our mothers, and especially our grandmothers, wearing various styles from the plain white, to wraparound, to the fancy frilly tea aprons. Not only did they protect the clothing underneath...

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Honiton Lace

Honiton (pronounced “Hun-i-ton”) is a market town nestled in the Otter Valley in East Devon. Wool manufacture flourished in the area in the reign of Henry VII, and Honiton was reputedly the first town in which serges were made, but the industry declined during the...

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The Tailor of Barlick

For my childhood holidays we stayed with my grandparents in Nelson, Lancashire, in their 'two up two down' terraced house every summer. Grandad, Albert Bannister, had been a weaver, as had his father Sam (1872-1950), grandfather Henry (1844-1888) and great grandfather...

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Imprisoned Tailor

My great x2 grandfather, Charles Newey, was a master tailor of Exton, Rutland. Charles was born in 1814 in Ghazipur, India, where his father was a quartermaster sergeant in the 17th Foot Leicestershire Regiment. When his father retired in 1819, after twenty six years...

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Linen Collar Cutters

The research I have done on my family over the past three years has yielded lots of new imformation that has made me go ‘wow’! But I have known for over twenty years that my great grandfather (George John James Holding b 1876) was a linen collar cutter. His son – my...

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The Treasure Basket

I can remember when I was about eight or nine and everything was bigger than it is today, I used to look up at the top shelf in my grandmother’s wardrobe and wonder about 'the treasure basket'. I was sure the basket was full of treasure and imagined inside there would...

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