Growing up in a Lancashire mill town, it was hard not to be influenced by the empty mills that littered the town in the 70's and 80's. The textile industry and it's ancillary industries dominated the towns and cities of Lancashire and West Yorkshire from the Victorian times up until the 1950's at which point it went into rapid decline as competition from overseas began to make life difficult. The urban and industrial landscape of these towns has changed much over the last few decades - first the chimneys were felled as they started to crumble through disuse and then the mills were razed to the ground as they became redundant. And in many towns, the rows of terraced houses that surrounded the mills have been demolished as well.
Although there are still a few spinning mills and bleachers and dyers left in operation, they are few and far between. I've spent the past ten years or so wandering the streets of the northern textile towns looking at the remaining mills and for the most part, the legacy of the industry has either been redeveloped, decaying or being demolished.
But here and there fragments remain. From the monstrous Bank Bottom Mills and Brierfield Mills that dominate the landscape of their communities, to the likes of Edenfield Mill and Griffe Mill tucked away in back lanes and fields, the industry has yet to be permanently erased from view.
Most of these photographs can be found in my Shadows of the North book - link.