Photographs, Negatives, Slides and Plates of Factories
Owing to land subsidence at Burnley in July 1908 part of the dyeing and dry-cleaning works, operated by Messrs. Greenhaigh and Co. Ltd., collapsed and tumbled into the river Calder. The building was about thirty yards long and two storeys high. Twenty dyeing vats, full of liquor, also went into the water. On inspection in the aftermath, it was found that other parts of the building seemed to have moved. In Calder Vale Road some of the houses showed signs of movement, and some of the paving slabs had sunk. As a result some of the tenants deserted their homes. Luckily, there were no casualties. Apparently, there had been a warning of the disaster because cracks had appeared one or two days prior to the collapse. Although the buildings were insured for fire, they were not covered for such an incident. The estimated damage totalled over £2,000. The borough surveyor, G. H. Pickles, went to the scene and considered that the collapse was due to quicksand which had been known to exist in the area. As a result of the disaster railway traffic over the nearby arches was suspended.
It may have been the lunch break for the workers at the Eureka Brush Works at Accrington. The business was owned by the Phillips family. Actually, the photograph may be slightly later as it was in 1907 that tenders were invited to construct a new works for Walter Phillips. He did not always enjoy a harmonious relationship with his workforce. There was a lockout at the factory in October 1897 when the workmen objected to female labour being employed in the works. The matter had almost been settled, but the men alleged that Walter Phillips had gone back on his terms of settlement and locked them out. Phillips stated that "the dispute is one of management" and that "the society men wanted to boss the show." He claimed that they had "become so domineering that could not put up with them, and it was thought desirable, in the interests of the other hands, to lock them out." There are eight society men idle when the lockout was implemented.