Moorfield Mill 1877 – 1972

Moorfield Mill 1910

Title Moorfield Mill – William Murgatroyd’s
Date 1910
Location Yeadon
Photo ID A199
Comment The spinning mule was invented by Samuel Crompton Circa 1775-1779. Prior to this the spinning of yarn was carried out by women in their homes. The production of cloth was a cottage industry, the whole family would participate with men doing the weaving. John Kay invented the Flying Shuttle which made the weaving process considerably faster, using more yarn than the traditional spinning method could supply. There were various machines patented to facilitate faster spinning, the Spinning Jenny allowed 8 spindles to be operated together, the number increased as the machine was refined. The Mule was a combination of the Jenny and Richard Arkwright’s water Frame. The result of all this innovation and the move to mechanised production was the movement of cloth production away from the home and into the factories which were built to accommodate all the new machines. The location of this mill is unknown, it was possibly Moorfield Mill, three young workers are posing for the camera leaning against a mulehead.
Moorfield Mill Employees Undated

B341 – Moorfield Mill, Undated.

Moorfield Mill – William Murgatroyd’s – Undated

These men and boys were employed by William Murgatroyd at his Moorfield Mill.

Moorfield Mill Undated

M008 – Moorfield Mill, Undated.

Moorfield Mill – William Murgatroyd’s – Undated

Lorry which belonged to William Murgatroyd of Moorfield Mill. The top speed of the vehicle was 8mph, the engine reputedly came from a launch which operated on Lake Windermere, it is also told that it once ran out of control down Henshaw Lane.

Moorfield Mill Undated

T068 – Moorfield Mill, Undated.

Moorfield Mill – William Murgatroyd’s – Undated

Members of William Murgatroyd’s mill staff are examining lengths of cloth.

Moorfield Mill Employees Undated

B444 – Moorfield Mill, Undated.

Moorfield Mill – William Murgatroyd’s – Undated

A group of mill girls who were employed at William Murgatroyd’s Moorfield Mill.

There were a variety of jobs women did in the mills working long hours in poor conditions.

Moorfield Mill Employees Undated

B443 – Moorfield Mill, Undated.

Moorfield Mill – William Murgatroyd’s – Undated

A group of mill girls who worked at William Murgatroyd’s Moorfield Mill.
The cross-over pinnies many of them are wearing were a popular garment for work and home use.

We have been given names for some of the ladies in this photo:

In front on the left is Lena Peel, moving up the next girl’s name is unknown, behind her is Phyllis Wright.
In the middle wearing a flower patterned blouse is Edith Exley.
At the back 2nd in from the right and wearing spectacles is Mary Wilson.
Front right with a cardigan over her overall is Lucy Murgatroyd (Brown).

Moorfield Mill Employees c1949

PU143 – Moorfield Mill, c1949.

Moorfield Mill – William Murgatroyd’s – c1949

These two girls both worked at Wm Murgatroyd’s Moorfield Mill, on the left is Elsie Taylor nee Smith, to the right is Doreen Taylor who was an active member of Yeadon Amateur Operatic & Dramatic Society.

Donated by Lynn Saunders.

Moorfield Mill 1968/69

D412 – Moorfield Mill, 1968/69.

Moorfield Mill – William Murgatroyd’s – 1968/69

Scouring and Milling area of the mill which was the business of William Murgatroyd.

Moorfield Mill 1968/69

D568 – Moorfield Mill, 1968/69.

Moorfield Mill – William Murgatroyd’s – 1968/69

This is an auto coal feed machine, Moorfield Mill had been built by William Murgatroyd.

Moorfield Mill 1968/69

D589 – Moorfield Mill, 1968/69.

Moorfield Mill – William Murgatroyd’s – 1968/69

A new hopper for the auto coal feed.

Moorfield Mill 1968/69

D587 – Moorfield Mill, 1968/69.

Moorfield Mill – William Murgatroyd’s – 1968/69

Moorfield Mill 1968/69

D581 – Moorfield Mill, 1968/69.

Moorfield Mill – William Murgatroyd’s – 1968/69

Murgatroyd’s Moorfield Mill engine, made by James Tate & Co, Bradford. This engine supplied the motive power for the mill.

Moorfield Mill 1968/69

D582 – Moorfield Mill, 1968/69.

Moorfield Mill – William Murgatroyd’s – 1968/69

Moorfield Mill 1968/69

D583 – Moorfield Mill, 1968/69.

Moorfield Mill – William Murgatroyd’s – 1968/69

Moorfield Mill 1968/69

D585 – Moorfield Mill, 1968/69.

Moorfield Mill – William Murgatroyd’s – 1968/69

Moorfield Mill 1971

A200 – Moorfield Mill, 1971.

Moorfield Mill – William Murgatroyd’s – 1971

This mill covered a large area at the corner of Victoria Avenue (Harrogate Road) and the High Street, reaching down to Yeadon Cricket Pitch and the White Swan public house.

The site included farmland and Moorfield House, the home of William Murgatroyd. Moorfield woollen mill was built in 1877 by Murgatroyd, known to Yeadon folk as “Billy Murg”.

He was a hard taskmaster with a social conscience, many tales are still told about him.

Once when in London he was asked how he liked to be addressed “It’s like this ” he replied “When I’m in London I’m called Sir, , in Bradford it’s Mr Murgatroyd but back home in’t mill it’s tow’d bugger’s back agin”.

After demolition a trading estate was built on the mill site, the corner plot at the road junction had a large car showroom erected on it.

When this business moved the premises were converted into a fish and chip restaurant named “Murgatroyds” in honour of the past mill and it’s owner.

A Colour image of Moorfield Mill chimneys prior to demolition. This has been taken from inside the mill looking out, side of a window is on the left with broken glass in the top left corner.

Moorfield Mill 1971

A198 – Moorfield Mill, 1968/69.

Moorfield Mill – William Murgatroyd’s – 1971

This view looks across what is now Moorfield Trading Estate.

Previous Comments:

electricalphil2005
I worked at Moorfield Mills ( Billy Murgs) for a short Time in the late 60’s. I worked as a bobbin boy scratting the last bits of yarn off the Bobbins for the Mule Spinners, the object was to keep a steady supply of bobbins ready for the spinner when he came to change the bobbins or Doff as the process was known.
18 May 2013.

teleg
I was also a Spinner at Moorfield Mills in the 60s and this photo brings back some memories.
02 June 2013.

kilburn
Spent many happy times with my friends in the engine room which was where we went for a smoke in winter and maybe a short break and sit down.
29 July 2019.

Re A200
teleg
This photo is taken inside the mill yard and the corridor joins the scribbling and spinning dept. On the right to the spinning, weaving and finishing departments on the left. I have carried loads of bobbins across that corridor before 1969 when the mill closed down.
25 June 2013.

Consolidated by Jack Brayshaw. 29 November 2021.
Last updated: 23 December 2021 – Photo ID: B341, M008, T068, B444, B443 & PU143.

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