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Sun Mill Archive

Date range: 1860–1960.

Sun Mill, at Chadderton near Oldham, was built between 1860 and 1862 by a company which was founded in 1858 by members of the Oldham Industrial Co-operative Society.

The Sun Mill Company, as it was renamed in 1867, was the first of the so-called 'Oldham Limiteds', the limited-liability companies which proliferated during the joint-stock boom of 1873–5.

The mill was originally built to accommodate 60,000 spindles, three times the average number then found in local mills. It was enlarged in 1875 to house 142,000 spindles, becoming the largest mill in Oldham.

The company continued to pay a dividend every year during the difficult decades of the 1920s and ’30s, but it fell into decline in the 1950s and went into voluntary liquidation in 1960.

The records are incomplete, but include a complete set of minute books for the board of directors during the entire life of the company, shareholders’ ledgers and registers, annual reports and accounts from 1862 to 1960, a visitors’ book and a volume of newspaper cuttings relating to the mill.

Sun Mill is also mentioned in the archive of the Oldham Textile Employers’ Association.

Finding aids

  • Catalogue available online via ELGAR.
  • See also R.E. Tyson, 'The Sun Mill Company Limited – a study in democratic investment, 1858–1959' (University of Manchester M.A. thesis, 1962).

Location

The John Rylands Library

Using the reading rooms in the John Rylands Library

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