This Sunday, 28th November is my mother’s 80th birthday. So I thought I would take a look back to a time when she was 17 year’s old and working as a weaver in one of the local mills in Clitheroe, Lancashire.
Here is a newspaper article about changes to working practices recommended in a Cotton Manufacturers Commission report and Government White Paper.
The report and White Paper recommended a 20% increase in production mainly by weavers operating more looms. The tradition was for weavers to operate 4 looms and the new plan was for them to operate 10 looms.
The article tells the story of “Mrs Lucy Eccles (53), weaver since she was nine years old, moved on to 10 looms a months ago.” and my mother Alice Musgrove.
“What it took Mrs Eccles 44 years to reach, 17 year old Alice Musgrove did it in 18 months. Then she was training as a weaver with two looms. Now she has 10 and is the champion wage earner among the younger weavers with £6 10s a week.”
Happy birthday mum – I hope you’ve saved up your wages to pay for lunch on Sunday.