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

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krela

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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

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

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

Thanks for looking!
 

Dirus_Strictus

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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?
 
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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:highly_amused:

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:wink-new:
 

prettyvacant71

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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?

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!
 

wolfism

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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…

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. :rolleyes:
 

Snailsford

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A few of pictures that I took :)

23607948858_4b8a065965_b.jpg IMG_7642 by Andy Brailsford, on Flickr

37202310990_942d3dc053_b.jpg IMG_7644 by Andy Brailsford, on Flickr

37202300870_2df54d29b0_b.jpg IMG_7651 by Andy Brailsford, on Flickr

36750507114_19659b81bd_b.jpg IMG_7656 by Andy Brailsford, on Flickr

36789902483_8246d4a4af_b.jpg IMG_7660 by Andy Brailsford, on Flickr

37459682531_f681a8ae00_b.jpg IMG_7663 by Andy Brailsford, on Flickr

36750509314_50c2835e8b_b.jpg IMG_7668 by Andy Brailsford, on Flickr

37428684122_d4da04a2d9_b.jpg IMG_7672 by Andy Brailsford, on Flickr

36750510754_d9aeb61e45_b.jpg IMG_7673 by Andy Brailsford, on Flickr

37428685072_f4dd98a7f1_b.jpg IMG_7675 by Andy Brailsford, on Flickr

36750512134_919e03c9e9_b.jpg IMG_7677 by Andy Brailsford, on Flickr

36750512974_ab1f4652f3_b.jpg IMG_7679 by Andy Brailsford, on Flickr

36789908943_b062b8cda4_b.jpg IMG_7680 by Andy Brailsford, on Flickr

23607947938_f956c7706b_b.jpg IMG_7685 by Andy Brailsford, on Flickr

36789910003_7dfc639e86_b.jpg IMG_7688 by Andy Brailsford, on Flickr

Thanks for looking!
 

Electric

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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.
 

Mikeymutt

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Great stuff from you two.there does appear to be more graffiti.the tiled room is lovely and was easy to miss as it was a tight squeeze in the back.its still my most favourite explore.you deffo need to go back and get the ivy covered machinery it is to dye for.sorry about the pun ha ha
 

smiler

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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…


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. :rolleyes:

At Tone they used Teezels on a rotating drum, fascinating bit of kit, the area around the mill is now studded with teezel clumps
 

Foxylady

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Fabulous photos both of you and I really enjoyed seeing a Tonedale visit again (one I missed when away from DP for a few years). I came looking because I just received some news about the mill in a newsletter from The Victorian Society (Victorian & Edwardian architecture) so I thought I'd pass it on. I noticed that Krela said it was being converted at the time of his visit, and here's the latest news...

"Urgent Repair Works Carried out on Textile Mill

Urgent repairs have now been completed at Tonedale Mill (Grade II* listed) in Somerset after storm Eunice further battered the at-risk building in February.

Tonedale Mill, considered one of the largest of its kind in the southwest, has a long history of neglect and disrepair, and featured in the Society’s Top Ten endangered buildings campaign in 2014 after redevelopment funding fell through."



So there we go! No mention of any further conversion work but it may have been dropped due to redevelopment funding having fallen through.
 

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