Sunday, 6 December 2009
Swinnel Brook - In the late 19th and Early to mid 20th Century, it was probably the Towns most important asset....
"Those becks that sent that gin to bloom,
That helped to power many a loom,
So precious to the marigold,
And sparkles to the stickleback
I can breathe, I can sip, I can swim, I can rejoice,
To a place what’s given this town its voice" (18th Feb 2015)
Where the waters meet under Brook Street, they then carry on almost following the line of Brook Street and still underground cross the main Hud Hey Road and keeping underground enter the East side of what was the Haslingden Council Yard . The old underground culvert here almost follows the boundary wall of the old Council Yard from its North East, right through to its South East corner, and at the far SE tip then re-appears once again in the open (See photo above left and click over to enlarge). After a further 100 yards you can still see the evidence of the old "sluicegate" which allowed waters at this point to be diverted to the Albert Mill Lodge as and when necessary (see photo above right and click over to enlarge).
Also at the far end of the Lodge another watercourse crossed under the cobbled road and then back again and crossed the road yet again, which lead into another lodge which was for the Victoria Mill.
Now retracing and going back to the "old sluicegate at Albert Mill" we now carry on with the main Swinnel watercourse which now drops and goes under and re-appears a few yards further along, at this point it is now "modern day open culveted and set within concrete" and this then continues to follow a almost parrallel line with what used to be the Railway. (nowadays, what was the old railway is the by-pass - Southerly traffic side). until it almost reaches what was Booth Road (or what was the Station goods yard), and here it goes underground again and rejoins its original watercourse at the East side of what was the North Hag Tunnel.. some 200 yards on..
Its worth noting that the water course has been altered from its original course here (near Albert Mill lodge entry), where it used to run straight under the railway track to the other side, and then continue flowing along the South East boundary of Martincroft Farm until it reached the Station area where it then went underground and crossed under the Station and over to the SE side, coming out and showing itself to the East of North Hag Tunnel). And the brook came into view yet again, where it came out from the culverts at the junction of Donkey Row (Bridge Street), and before long (after only maybe some 20 yards) it again dissapeared under the Commercial Mill, alongside the boilerhouse (this area was then the main route into Carrs and called (Commerce Street).
The brook came out at the SE corner of the Commercial Mill and also passed Paghouse Mill and then formed a further lodge (of which the brook coursed through the far side of the lodge) of Grove Mill. The lodge is now filled in but you can actually see the Swinnel at this point today (2009) and cross over its "what looks like it's original (from 50s as I remember) footbridge (see photo above).
The Swinnel carries on under Grove Mill going under what was the railway bridge, (now by pass), and came out in a lovely open area (or the East Carrs area, closeby to where there used to be a "rope works"), here it passed along in winding path in the shadows of the overlooking mature decideous trees (Click over photo on left to enlarge), and then under the main footbridge which lead all pedestrians onward from Prinny Hill to the village of Carrs which lies to the West of the Swinnel (see photo above right). It was still open at this point and bordered the West perimeter of the St. James Church Football playing fields where it went alongside the back of the large dark "creosoated timbered changing rooms", the ones we used to use when at having sports (You can just about make it out through the tree branches, on the photo above right). At this point the Swinnel probably spanned about 12ft wide. Also the cotton mill of Lamberts was just over the wall at the other side of the Swinnel (Lamberts also had a lodge to the back (or the West side) of the mill. This lodge was filled from brook waters which originated from Haslingden Moor to its West, and this brook then led on to join up with the Swinnel at around the Todd Hall Road point, SE to the corner of the Lamberts Mill.
The Swinnel then crossing under the Todd Hall Road, opened up again in the next field whilst it continued to meander its way South with Todd Hall and Underbank and Cob Castle lying to its West. It continued to follow the South course where it eventually came to the front (or East side) of Plantation Mill (off Flip Road) and then followed on underneath what was Hutch Bank Mill (no longer with us) There was three lodges at one time around these mills, though none of them are with us now, but I can remember one which was just off Flip Road and probably belonged to Plantation Mill. Most years it had a breeding pair of Mute Swans on this lodge and they got very protective within the breeding season, and where regularly known to try and attack you (thankfully from behind there 12ft perimeter enclosure. This lodge I am sure also got its water from the Swinnel. On leaving here It then coursed West and under the railway bridge for a short while until it soon reached Spring Vale Mill (on the opposite side of Flip Road), here it again went into another Lodge, from leaving here it went out and turned almost 45 degrees to the South along the side of Waterside Road. Across the road at this junction was Carr Parkers Mill or (Charles Lane Mill), they also had a Lodge.