This film is part of Free

Workers at Barlow and Tweedale Ironworks, Castleton Nr Rochdale (1905)

Workers and wagons pass through the main gate of an engineering factory in Edwardian Lancashire.

Non-Fiction 1905 3 mins Silent


Barlow and Tweedale's own personalised electric shunting locomotive trundles past the camera before hundreds of its employees emerge. One politely doffs his bowler hat to the camera. Puffs of smoke can be seen emerging from several points in the crowd: at one point a disconcertingly young boy blows cigarette smoke at the camera. The picture composition uses a receding row of arches to give a strong sense of depth.

Tweedales and Smalley manufactured textile machinery, mainly for export. The Globe Works in Castleton was opened in July 1892, and rapidly became one of the world's leading machinery manufacturers – at one point fully half of India's textile equipment was said to have been manufactured there. The firm also produced armaments during WWI and WWII, and continued to thrive thereafter until its surprise closure in October 1982, after which the site became Woolworths' northern distribution centre.