Thursday, 27 August 2009
The bits no-one sees
I find it amazing to realise that the 'public' bits of Salts Mill - the galleries, restaurants and shops that you can wander around for hours (see yesterday, for example) are all contained in just one wing of the Mill, the West Mill. It's awesome - vast long rooms, high ceilings, huge windows, row upon row of cast-iron pillars, stone and brick. The southern frontage (see 19 June) - of which the West Mill is half - is 545ft (166m) long and six storeys high. But in fact the whole Mill building is much, much bigger than that, a good 20 times the size of the West Mill, I would estimate.
The weaving sheds fell silent in 1986 and the Mill might have remained deserted and decaying but for the vision of the late Jonathan Silver. Now some of the floorspace is used by Pace Electronics, though the photo above gives a glimpse of the parts that few people see. This part has seen better days, but thank goodness the majority of the Mill has been saved from dereliction.
Incidentally, I came across a fascinating report on the internet about the period when the Mill's future was uncertain. See this link if you're interested.