The excavation of the engine house and gearing passage at Mellor Mill has made great progress. The boiler seatings, engine bed and bearing foundations have all been exposed and allow some estimates of the size and layout of the power transmission system to made. Several of the diggers have said that they had difficulty in visualising what it was that they were digging up, and my descriptions in terms of whirling gear wheels, shafts, couplings etc., did not seem to help them.
Mellor Mill's First Festival:
On Sunday 19th July, Mellor Mill celebrated the Council for British Archaeology’s Festival of Archaeology. Despite a damp start to the day, local people and visitors from further afield gathered to take part in this Heritage Lottery Funded celebration of all things archaeology. That’s Manchester TV even popped down to do some filming for their news show!
Work begins in earnest !
The corner is being lifted, the legacy of Samuel Oldknow is being revealed, the hidden work and skills of the 18th and 19th, revealed for the 21st century.
The New Year brought the visit of a big digger to the mill site. Bob Humphrey-Taylor, Mill Site Director, and Rachel Miller , Project Archaeologist, set to clear the spoil heaps that had grown around the site from the mainly hand excavations over the past two years, since investigation began in earnest. Fantastic progress was made. As well as landscaping, some of the 1000 tonnes of earth was moved to create a flat landscape for the site cabins.
£1.5M Award for Revealing Oldknow's Legacy
John Hearle writes: At the September meeting of the NW HLF committee, an award of £1.5 million was agreed for "Revealing Oldknow's Legacy: Mellor Mill and the Peak Forest Canal in Marple." On November 29, a "pre-startup" meeting between HLF, C&RT and MAT to finalise various details of the way the project would be handled. Once formal permission to start is given, the next step will be to appoint staff and sub-contractors. During the first three months of 2014 the three-year project will become fully operational.
Chinese TV Film Crew at Mellor Mill
China’s National TV is making a ten-episode documentary on INNOVATION. One programme will cover the Industrial Revolution in England, particularly the textile inventions. The film-makers approached the Textile Institute, who contacted me, as a former Chairman of Council, to be interviewed. The date clashed with Oldknow Legacy Project meetings, so I could not go. Instead, I suggested that an important place to film would be the site of the largest mill in the world when it was built in 1790-92.