Story of valley's part in history of textile

MORE than 60 people attended the April meeting of Mytholmroyd Historical Society, held at Mytholmroyd Methodist Church.

Thursday, 15th April 2010, 3:25 pm

President Evelyn Graham introduced Michael Crabtree, who gave a talk entitled "The Knife in the Square".

It referred to the large replica of a fustian cutter's knife in St. George's Square, Hebden Bridge.

Mr Crabtree outlined the history of fustian and corduroy in the Calder Valley through the 1800s and 1900s and the many workers involved in the industry.

The area was the recognised centre in the country for the manufacture of fustian and corduroy cloths and garments and all the processes of spinning ,weaving, dyeing and cutting.

The fustian cutter was a skilled craftsman, cutting the tiny loops of cotton on the cloth by hand before it was dyed.

Mr Crabtree was involved in the dyeing process all his working life at various dyeworks, most of which have now closed down.

Cheap imports from abroad led to the demise of the textile industry in the Calder Valley.

Mr Crabtree was thanked by Audrey Short.

The next meeting is at the same venue on Friday May 7 at 7.30pm and will be a joint meeting with the Hebden Bridge Local History Society, with speakers from both groups.