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Thread: Fox Brothers & Co Finishing and Dye Works (Tonedale Mill), Oct 17

  1. #1
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    Default Fox Brothers & Co Finishing and Dye Works (Tonedale Mill), Oct 17


    Info taken from: Cloth Finishing Works at Tone Mills North Range Including Dyehouse and Reservoirs, Wellington, Somerset

    Textile finishing works and associated water management and storage system c.1830, with further C19 and early C20 additions and alterations, developed by Fox Brothers and Co of Tonedale Mills, Wellington. The cloth mill itself is now undergoing conversion and has a lot of people in static caravans living on site.

    Visited with Snailsford and his girlfriend.

    History

    Tone Works was the dyeing and finishing works established by Fox Brothers and Co of Tonedale Mills, Wellington, at the confluence of the River Tone and the Back Stream. The site is shown on the Tithe map of 1839, and the works was enlarged and altered over the next 80 years. In 1912 the site was described as having "perhaps the largest Indigo Dye House in England". The site continued in production until the 1990's.

    Tone Works is a near-complete example of a C19 cloth dyeing and finishing works, which developed between c.1830 and c.1920. It retains all of the component structures associated with the dyeing and finishing of worsted and woollen cloths, together with the machinery and fittings required for those processes Tone Works in its present form is an exceptional survival in a national context, not only for the completeness of the building complex, but also for the survival of its machinery, water management system and power generation plant.

    Description

    Finishing works aligned north-east/ south-west with interior sections defined by longitudinal timber beams supported by arcades of cast iron columns. These also support line shafting used to power 2 rows of in-situ fulling and tentering machines for cloth finishing. The roof also supports line shafting driven from the water wheel chamber located in the south-western part of the works. This corresponds to the position of the wheel house shown on the 1839 works. The chamber contains an ashlar-lined wheelpit with breastwork, cast iron sluices, water flow mechanism, and the remains of a metal suspension wheel with ring gearing. Associated vertical drive shaft and belt drums in south-west corner of chamber. Engine house with remains of decorative wall tile finishes and engine mountings. Ancillary room with main drive wheel, line shafting and clutch mechanism. Dye works with massive queen post roof trusses, supporting attic level walkway. Inserted metal water tank at west end, and in-situ vats. Boiler house to west with lightweight metal construction comprised of trussed principals and iron vertical and horizontal tie rods. Internal walls pierced by arched openings.

    Photos

































    This one little blue high torque motor replaced ALL of the steam and water power sources in the whole works.

















    There's a few more photos in my Flickr album.

    Thanks for looking!

  2. Thanks given by: ajarb, BarryLynch, Conrad, HughieD, Mearing, Mikeymutt, mockingbird, MrGruffy, Naomi, ocelot397, oldscrote, prettyvacant71, psykie, Rubex, smiler, thorfrun, urban-dorset
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  4. #2
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    Nice to see it again, you don't take a bad pic krela, enjoyed your take on it, Thanks
    Smiler
    😁

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    Nice one Sir! Joy to see a type of business well known to my wife, so well photographed. Photo 21 shows a piece of equipment that was very important in this trade and not often seen these days. It is a Piece and Label Sewing Machine - Started by the hand wheel and then worked by the foot pedal; the person cranking, fed the two pieces of cloth to be joined through the needle and another person gathered the stitched lengths. This enabled a continuous length of many yards of cloth to be dyed and finished. It was also used to stitch the canvas label identifying the owner of the piece(s) onto the cloth, prior to processing. The Missus says 'thank you for the memory trip'.

    Just a thought. Here's a question for all you Worsted Mill and Dye works explorers. Ever come across a 'Willey House' or a 'Scribbling Shed' and if you did; what was in them?
    Last edited by Dirus_Strictus; 2nd Oct 17 at 12:11. Reason: Added question

  6. Thanks given by: krela, oldscrote, prettyvacant71
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    Great updated record shots of this fab place Krela! Love the pic of the blue material being swallowed up by the press

    I find it amazing its still in a similar kinda state as the years have passed, its location has probably helped preserve it being within a live site. It's like its very own museum, I really do like this place, never seen them orange tiles before, have you caused me a revisit
    ...

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    I've always wanted to visit this. I love all the different colours :)

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    Quote Originally Posted by Dirus_Strictus View Post
    Nice one Sir! Joy to see a type of business well known to my wife, so well photographed. Photo 21 shows a piece of equipment that was very important in this trade and not often seen these days. It is a Piece and Label Sewing Machine - Started by the hand wheel and then worked by the foot pedal; the person cranking, fed the two pieces of cloth to be joined through the needle and another person gathered the stitched lengths. This enabled a continuous length of many yards of cloth to be dyed and finished. It was also used to stitch the canvas label identifying the owner of the piece(s) onto the cloth, prior to processing. The Missus says 'thank you for the memory trip'.

    Just a thought. Here's a question for all you Worsted Mill and Dye works explorers. Ever come across a 'Willey House' or a 'Scribbling Shed' and if you did; what was in them?
    Hmmmm...I went to Tone Mills probably about 4yrs ago, I'm trying to think if it had one of these, if it did I probably took a shot of it and didn't know what the hell it was! I'm gona have to cheat and google it I'm afraid...I won't let the cat outa the bag for those who may genuinely know lol!
    ...

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    Nice one, I'm amazed it's stayed accessible for so long. Been there a couple of times but didn't find the tiled engine house in your pics…

    Quote Originally Posted by Dirus_Strictus View Post
    Ever come across a 'Willey House' or a 'Scribbling Shed' and if you did; what was in them?
    Scribbling is similar to carding - so a Scribbling House would have machines with big rotating drums covered in little metal pins/ hooks which drew the wool out into strands. As for the other one, I'll leave that to the innuendo merchants who'll no doubt be along shortly.

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    A few of pictures that I took :)

    IMG_7642 by Andy Brailsford, on Flickr

    IMG_7644 by Andy Brailsford, on Flickr

    IMG_7651 by Andy Brailsford, on Flickr

    IMG_7656 by Andy Brailsford, on Flickr

    IMG_7660 by Andy Brailsford, on Flickr

    IMG_7663 by Andy Brailsford, on Flickr

    IMG_7668 by Andy Brailsford, on Flickr

    IMG_7672 by Andy Brailsford, on Flickr

    IMG_7673 by Andy Brailsford, on Flickr

    IMG_7675 by Andy Brailsford, on Flickr

    IMG_7677 by Andy Brailsford, on Flickr

    IMG_7679 by Andy Brailsford, on Flickr

    IMG_7680 by Andy Brailsford, on Flickr

    IMG_7685 by Andy Brailsford, on Flickr

    IMG_7688 by Andy Brailsford, on Flickr

    Thanks for looking!
    "Man cannot discover new oceans unless he has the courage to lose sight of the shore."

  12. Thanks given by: Conrad, HughieD, krela, Mikeymutt
  13. #9
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    Mice detail shots dude.

  14. Thanks given by: Snailsford
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dirus_Strictus View Post
    Just a thought. Here's a question for all you Worsted Mill and Dye works explorers. Ever come across a 'Willey House' or a 'Scribbling Shed' and if you did; what was in them?
    I think Scribbling comes before Spinning and is used to prepare the wool. Fulling is washing and shrinking the woven cloth to size. - I think this was done at Tone House, but I wouldn't have recognised the machine when there.

    Anyway, looking good you guys! Seems to be more grafitti than last year.

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