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Stories from the Mill – New Heritage Exhibition at Farfield Mill, Sedbergh.
The foundation for the new exhibition was a 1917 valuation of the mill kindly donated by relatives of the Dover family, who originally built Farfield Mill. The valuation catalogues not only the buildings, but also the machinery and contents, it is from this document that new discoveries were made about how the Mill operated.
In the exhibition there are fascinating stories from local newspaper articles giving a flavour of life over a century ago, including a catastrophic fire in 1909. This destroyed the old mill despite the valiant efforts of the local community and fire brigades, who brought fire fighting equipment pulled by horses.
People who worked at the mill included William Stainton a ‘Sedbergh Veteran’ with 86 years served who can be seen in a photograph from a newspaper proudly holding his long service gift. Stories from worker, Tom Cornthwaite include an explosion at the Mill involving the Lancashire boiler which was used to power the mill machinery.
In addition to stories of the past, objects from the mill’s industrial heritage can be seen up close and handled, helping visitors to understand how and what they were used for.. Visitors of all ages can get hands on and have a go at weaving on a giant weaving frame or on the table top handlooms.
New audio visuals include videos and projections of various weaving processes taking place which help give a sense of what working in a busy mill may have been like.
This exhibition could not have happened without the help and support of many local and national historical groups, societies, museums, and archives including Sedbergh and District History Society, Kendal Archives, and Cumbria Industrial History Society to name but a few.
Farfield Mill is open Wednesday to Sunday 10.30am - 4pm with beautiful gallery spaces, exhibitions, artists’ studios, and Tea Room. The Mill offers free entry but donations help preserve and run the building.