Thursday, 19 March 2015
This old postcard shows the junction of Newton Street and Dukinfield Road circa 1920.
The tram in the foreground is one that was operated by SHMDJT - Stalybridge, Hyde, Mossley and Dukinfield Joint Tramways from the 1900s until the 1930s.
Behind the old tram is the Ashton Brothers' mill complex: Carrfield Mill, Bayleyfield Mill and Balaclava Mill. The latter two mills mere demolished in 2008.
Carrfield Mill was founded by the Ashton Brothers, Samuel, Thomas, James and John. Erected in 1817, Carrfield Mill was intended as a combined spinning and weaving mill from the start and 200 powerlooms weavers were being employed there in 1819. The partnership known as Samuel Ashton & Brothers was dissolved in 1821 when Samuel left and the remaining three brothers traded as T.J. & J. Ashton. In September 1823 this partnership too was dissolved, John and James forming another partnership with Robert Ashton, a younger brother, at Newton Moor Mill and Greencroft Mill. This left Thomas Ashton in sole control of the Carrfield Mill site.
Originally known for manufacturing Zorbit terry nappies, it became the home of "Christy Towels". The brand was founded in 1851. Christy is the world's oldest towel manufacturer and is the UK's leading towel brand. Christy invented the first loom to mechanically weave what remains today the basis of the modern towel and is the exclusive supplier of the towels to the world famous Wimbledon Tennis Championship. The 1 billion USD Welspun Group acquired an 85% interest in Christy for a business valuation of GBP 15.6 m, in July 2006. In 2008 they closed the dyehouse and making-up departments at Hyde and transferred the machinery to a specially designed site at Welspun's Anjar facility in India.
Their UK HQ and sales office remained at Carrfield Mill until 2012 when they took over 12,000 sq ft of offices and showroom facilities at Orbit Developments' Park Square complex in Cheadle.
The last remaining mill was demolished in 2013 although the office building wasn't finally raised to the ground until 2015. The 7 acre industrial and office development site is now for sale.
See how Newton Street looks now on Hyde Xtra and take a peek at the demolished mill site on Hyde Daily Photo.