Map Ref. SD 934239


Known occupiers


CHAMBERS James & William



John and Charles Chambers, John Watson



William Stephenson






LORD Edward


Todmorden Wholesale Clothing & Fustian Manufacturing












WIDDUP Joseph & Sons




SANDBACH William Lacy


Additional information

researched, recorded and referenced by Mrs Sheila Wade

Hebden Bridge WEA Local History Group


Notes from John Travis, contemporary historian:

The older generation of the Chambers family were putters-out and dyers of ginghams, checks, linens and other fabrics. Their shops were the first buildings on the left side of Salford Lane beyond JAMES STANSFIELD’S IRON FOUNDRY. Charles Chambers, of the younger branch of the family, built houses and a factory on spare land at the end of and behind the shops on part of Buckley’s dam, and added another storey to the older building. Spinning and manufactory was now done by steam. He took John Watson as a partner to manage the spinning and manufacturing departments. Afterwards, a 3-storey building was erected over the entrance gateway to the works.


Leigh’s Directory 1818

Chambers Bros. Todmorden, dyers


Baines 1822

James & William Chambers, Salford, dyers


Baines 1824

James & William Chambers, Salford, cotton spinners & manufacturers.

James & William Chambers, Salford, dyers, fustian etc.


Baines 1825

James & William Chambers, Salford, dyers and gingham manufacturers


Pigot 1834

William Chambers, Salford, dyers and cotton manufacturers


White 1842

William & Charles Chambers, Salford, dyers and cotton manufacturers


Factory Inspectors reports 1847/48

W. & C. Chambers, Todmorden. Administrative breaches and employing children without certificates of school attendance. Fine £3 and £1.7s.6d costs.


Census 1851

Charles Chambers, Salford, aged 38, cotton manufacturer employing 50 men, 35 women, 25 boys and 21 girls


White 1853

William & Charles Chambers, Salford, dyers and cotton manufacturers


Todmorden Rates Book 1860

  1. Owned and occupied by Charles Chambers; sheds, mill, dyehouse, 20hp etc; Salford; rateable value £231.1s.10d.
  2. Occupied by Mr. Stephenson; owned by Charles Chambers; about 47 looms; 3hp; Salford; rateable value £5.14s.0d.
  3. Occupied by Horsfall & Stephenson; owned by Chambers & Co; about 72 looms; 5hp; Salford; rateable value £7.


Kelly 1861

  1. Chambers & Watson, Salford Mill, cotton spinners and manufacturers.
  2. Stephenson & Greenwood, Salford Mill, cotton manufacturers.
  3. Horsfall & Stephenson, Salford Mill, cotton manufacturers.


Todmorden Rates Book 1861-1862

  1. Occupied by Chambers & Watson; owned by Charles Chambers; sheds, mill, dyehouse, 20hp etc; Salford; rateable value £231.1s.10d.
  2. Occupied by William Stephenson; owned by Charles Chambers; about 47 looms; Salford; 3hp; rateable value £5.14s.0d.
  3. Occupied by Horsfall & Stephenson; owned by Chambers & Co; 5hp; about 72 looms; rateable value £7.


Todmorden Rates Book 1863-1874

Occupied by Chambers & Watson; owned by Charles Chambers; sheds, mill, dyehouse, 20hp etc; Salford; rateable value £231.1s.10d.

1863 – additional hp £12.14s.0d.

1866 – rateable value £223.9s.0d.


White 1866

Chambers & Watson, Salford Mill, (Charles Chamber’s house – Adamroyd), cotton spinners & manufacturers.


Rivers Pollution Commission 1868

Examination of Charles Chambers

Questions from the Chairman

Q – In what business are you engaged?

A – I am a cotton spinner.

Q – Where are your works?

A – About 150 yards from this place.

Q – On the bank of the river?

A – Close adjoining.

Q – What number of workmen do you employ?

A – About 200.

Q – How long have the works been established?

A – 40 years.

Q – What horsepower do you use?

A – About 50 horsepower.

Q – What weight of coal do you burn in a week?

A – About 24 tons.

Q – What do you do with the ashes?

A – I throw them into the river, and always have done for 40 years.

Q – Have you any privy accommodation upon your premises?

A – Yes.

Q – Does that refuse go into the river?

A – It used to go into the river, but the local board, two years ago, arranged to take it away at certain charges. Since then we have made various applications to them, but we have never been able to get it done. The cart, horse and man have been away. We take it away ourselves: but the local board made an arrangement to take it away at certain charges, and they have not done it; we do it ourselves.

Q – Are you a member of the local board?

A – I have been.

Q – Have you any land of your own?

A – Not in the valley.

Q – I mean that you could cultivate by applying sewage to it?

A – No.

Q – Would it be expensive to you if you were told that you should not do as you had done before, but that you must get rid of the refuse in some other way?

A – I should be willing to submit to a cost of that sort if it was made a general law. I think it is proper that all persons should be put under regulation.

Q – Do the floods in the river interfere with or injure your mill?

A – Yes. During the last 30 years I have lost the whole value of my property by floods flooding the basement and the machinery, which might have been cured if there had been some central controlling power to have spent perhaps £400 in regulating the river, keeping it within its channel, and lowering its bed. I believe that the trustees of the Todmorden Road have lost more money than would have sufficed for building once for all the entire side walls which they have only imperfectly put there again and again for their own protection.

Q – Are the floods worse now than they were when you first knew the river?

A – I think not. There is a larger area of ground covered with buildings, and very great injury is done to the people in consequence; but for the last 40 years we have always been flooded. This is the first time that we have escaped for 40 years, and our escape has been due to the river wall having kept up this time. It has broken down from time to time, but fortunately for us this time it is so far perfect as to keep the house out of danger; but I know how to sympathize with my neighbours.


Q – Do you believe that the damage done to property, not to speak of the loss of life, which has been very great, must be measured in tens of thousands of pounds?

A – I have no doubt that an outlay equivalent to the money value of the damage caused by every flood would entirely cure the mischief. I mean that within an area of three miles of this place the money required to repair the damage for four miles down here would be sufficient to keep the river entirely within its limits, and prevent us from receiving any injury whatever and suffering so severely as we do.

Questions from Mr. Harrison.

Q – You would like to see some authority whose duty it should be to prevent ashes and solids being thrown into the river, and to look after the bed of the river to see that it was kept at a proper depth and that the banks were properly secured?

A – Yes, I should like to see that done.

Q – How would you propose to raise money to carry out the requisite works?

A – By a general taxation of the district.

Q – Within what limits should you confine that in the case of Todmorden?

A – I do not know why it should not be taken out of the county rates. I do not like very narrow areas. I think that we all live for one another. We did it in this way in the case of the cattle plague, and I do not see why there should be any exception.

Questions from the Chairman

Q – Did you contribute any part of the rates to pay compensation on account of the cattle plague?

A – I believe about a penny-half-penny was put on to meet the compensations; but we did not have a single cow die in the neighbourhood.

Q –You contributed a portion of your rates to those who had suffered more severely?

A – Yes we did. There are such a number of proprietors on the river, and to each individual of them belongs a natural right, I suppose, but if one proprietor on the river is perfectly prepared to put his property in order and provide the security necessary for our protection, perhaps his selfish neighbour below will not do the same, and if he leaves 10 yards of wall in want of repair, the whole mischief may be done.

Q – No willingness on the part of an individual, nor any amount of expenditure he may go to, will avail, if as you have said, some selfish individual will neither take part in the cost, nor do any of the necessary work?

A – That is it. I know that Messrs. Fielden, of Waterside, have a considerable portion of fencing along this road, and there is no division between the road and the river, except the fence; and Messrs. Fielden of Waterside, have I believe rebuilt their wall frequently and made it stronger, so as to keep the water within the river; but there are the trustees of the Turnpike Road, who have another length of river wall, and the rumour is that they do not hold themselves bound to maintain the river wall, so that it is left in an imperfect condition filled up with loose rubble, stones and loose dirt put on at the top to make a sort of loose wall, the consequence is that we have been flooded half a score times; it has done me about £500 worth of damage in one flood.

Questions from Mr. Harrison.

Q – Did you hear what Mr. Sutcliffe stated as to the diminution of the power of his water wheel from seven to five pairs of stones?

A – Yes.

Q – Is that the case with other water wheels here?

A – I have no doubt at all that the mill goits are filled up with lighter debris, that we throw into the river; but there is a heavy material that we have nothing to do with, ours is the most innocent. The ashes that are put in are very little above the specific gravity of the water, except the clinkers, which go to the bottom, and there are very few of those. A great quantity of our stuff, if the river walls were good, would go down by the river. The mischief that is done to people owning watermills is from emptying foundations of cottage houses, and throwing in large boulders. Any man who builds a cottage wheels all the foundation materials into the river; the mills do not; they have been walled since I was a boy. 

Q – Is there much dyeing done in Todmorden?

A – None, except what we do.

Q – What dyes do you use?

A – Nothing but indigo.

Q – Do you pass the refuse from the indigo into the stream?

A – We do as our neighbours do; we throw all sorts of muck into the river that we can.

Q – Would you be willing to keep your dye refuse out of the river?

A – Yes, if you made everybody else do the same. I think we all ought to be compelled to do it.

Q – Can you keep it out?

A – Yes, at an expense, and if we cannot, there are people in the world who will do it for us.

Q – Have you anything further to add?

A – Yes; I stated before that I was not flooded at all, but my neighbours’ dwelling houses were flooded as usual as deep as before; all their cellars were under water. The road for about half a mile above us is rather in a curve. The whole of the surface water is drained from the road into the river, and all the gulleyholes are open between the river and the road. The drainage between the cottage houses goes across the road also, and the flood here has been entirely due to those openings in the riverbanks. The system of drainage through the streets would have taken that water away, but the water has been backed up through the gulley holes, and the houses have been flooded, not by any great and sudden overflow, but by what the slightest amount of science might have prevented.

Q – You mean perhaps that they should have taken the sewer down to a lower fall, so that the water would not have reached up to the places that were flooded?

A – Yes; but the cottages are drained across the road, and the road is drained, and the gully-holes are all open and untrapped, so that there is no protection against the water coming out of the gully-holes that drain the ordinary surface of the roads.


6th July 1868

On the evening of this day some person or persons entered the mill and premises of Messrs Chambers & Watson. A reward of £10.10s.0d was offered to any person for information of the guilty parties.


Kelly 1871

  1. Chambers & Watson, Salford Mill and Spring Mill Eastwood, cotton spinners & manufacturers.
  2. Richard Chambers, Salford Mill and Crow Carr Ings, cotton manufacturer and printer.


Slater 1875

Chambers & Watson, Salford Mill and Eastwood, cotton spinners & manufacturers


Todmorden Rates Book 1875-1878

Occupied by John Chambers; owned by Charles Chambers; sheds, mill, dyehouse, 20hp etc; Salford; rateable value £223.9s.0d; part empty.


Kelly 1877

John Chambers & Co. Salford Mill and Springwood Mill, cotton spinners and manufacturers


Halifax Courier 22nd September 1877

Liquidation by arrangement – J. Chambers, cotton spinners and manufacturers at Salford and Springwood Mills, Todmorden.


Halifax Courier 1st December 1877

Liquidation, Charles Chambers of Springwood House near Todmorden, former cotton spinner, now out of business. Liabilities estimated at £4,410 and composition of 1 shilling in the pound accepted.


Todmorden and Hebden Bridge Advertiser 1st August 1879

Salford Mill, 240 looms – 120 looms working full time


Todmorden Rates Book 1879-1894

Owned and occupied by Richard Chambers; sheds, mill, dyehouse, 20hp etc; Salford; rateable value £226.10s.0d.

Many appeals against rateable value and by 1890 it was £138.

From 1890 it was Room and Power.


Todmorden and Hebden Bridge Advertiser 9th January 1880

Mr. R. Chambers of Salford Mill advanced weavers’ wages 7½%


Todmorden and Hebden Bridge Advertiser 13th August 1880

Room and Power for 96 looms available to let at Salford Mill


Todmorden and Hebden Bridge Advertiser 24th December 1880

Flood at John Chambers & Co. weaving shed


Todmorden Advertiser 1st February 1884

Woollen flocks machined and made equal to new on the shortest notice – apply Edward Lord, Salford Mill.


Halifax Courier 8th March 1884

Death of John Chambers of Salford


Todmorden Advertiser 26th December 1884

Wanted – experienced cutter and foreman for cord and mole trade. Apply H. Greenwood, Black Rock, Todmorden, secretary pro-tem of the Todmorden Wholesale Clothing & Fustian Manufacturing Co. Ltd. who have secured premises in Salford Mill.


Halifax Courier 17th January 1885

Todmorden Wholesale Clothing & Fustian Manufacturing Co. Ltd. registered with capital of £4,000 in £10 shares.


Slater 1887

  1. Richard Chambers, Salford Mill and Crow Carr Ings, cotton spinner & manufacturer.
  2. Todmorden Wholesale Clothing & Fustian Manufacturing Co. Ltd., Salford Mill.
  3. Edward Lord, Salford Mill, cotton manufacturer, cotton waste.
  4. Eliza Heyworth, Salford Mill, manufacturer of cotton goods.


Todmorden Advertiser 27th May 1887

Room and Power, 14 yards by 11 yards, suitable for shuttles or cabinetmaker, Salford Mill.


Yorks Factory Times 19th July 1889

A re-start expected – for a few weeks past a re-start of looms has been expected at Salford Mill, Todmorden, by Mr. Charles Chambers. For the present, however, it is deferred, but preparations have been made fort a re-start, and the looms will no doubt be set in motion at an early date.


Todmorden Advertiser 10th January 1890

Room and Power, 14 yards by 11 yards, suitable for shuttles or cabinetmaker, Salford Mill.


Todmorden Rates Book 1890

Occupied by Dickinson Bros; owned by Richard Chambers; Salford.


Kelly 1893 - 1896

Andrew Pilling & Sons, Salford, picker makers


Todmorden Rates Book 1894

  1. Occupied by Dickinson Bros; owned by Richard Chambers; clothing manufactory; Salford; rateable value £53.10s.0d. (Re-valued).
  2. Occupied by John Pilling; owned by Richard Chambers; picker shop; Salford; rateable value £11 (re-valued).
  3. Occupied by John Crossley; owned by Richard Chambers; shuttle shop; Salford; rateable value £8.10s.0d. (Re-valued).
  4. Occupied by Young Gaukroger; owned by Richard Chambers; stocking manufactory and power; Salford; rateable value £21.15s.0d. (Re-valued).
  5. Occupied by Joseph Widdup & Sons; owned by Richard Chambers; loomshed; Salford; rateable value £35. (Re-valued).


Views and Reviews 1896

Gaukroger Bros, hosiery and shirt manufacturers, Hall Ing Works. The premises consist of a large 3-storey building abutting the canal. The ground floor has dyeing, finishing and scouring. Powerful steam engine. The second floor is shirt making and warehousing of goods. On the top floor they make stockings. The steam power runs the knitting and finishing machines. Yarns are scoured, knitted and dyed on the premises.


Kelly 1897

  1. Dickinson Bros. Salford, wholesale clothing manufacturers.
  2. Andrew Pilling & Sons, Salford, picker makers.
  3. Joseph Widdup & Sons, Salford Mill, Bedford cords and fancy goods manufacturers.
  4. Lord Fielden, Salford Mill, cotton manufacturer.


Todmorden Rates Book 1897

Occupied by Lord Fielden; owned by Richard Chambers; warehouse; Salford Mill; rateable value £5.15s.0d.


Kelly 1908

  1. Dickinson Bros. Salford, wholesale clothing manufacturers
  2. John Pilling, Salford, picker makers.
  3. Lord Fielden & Son Ltd., calico manufacturer
  4. William Lacy Sandbach, Hope Street and Salford Mills, cotton manufacturers


1911 – Todmorden 75th Anniversary Booklet

Dickinsons – one of the chief clothing firms, established 1890’s, occupied premises in Salford. They produced men’s wear of all kinds, closed in 1931.