Before Ripley Ville was built. In this post; a first-hand description of changes to Bowling Dyeworks and worsted dyeing from Works’ Superintendent and practical dyer, Benjamin Murgatroyd, circa 1835 to 1855 and evidence on how Bowling Beck was used and misused.
Copyright R L Walker 2016 All rights reserved
This nearly had to be a post about not doing a post. Its seven weeks since the last one. I have been reviewing archive documents for south Bradford, covering the ten years 1852-1862 and related to the ‘Water Dispute, Messrs Ripley v. Bradford Corporation’ . It has been a long slog and I’m still not finished. I was planning to post an apology explaining the silence, then on Monday last week I had a jack-in-a-box moment. From all the archive boxes and documents over the previous weeks one just jumped out at me.
Benjamin Murgatroyd & Bowling Dyeworks 1835 to 1855
The Water Dispute
The document was in a group of papers connected to the ‘Water Dispute’ but not directly involved in the Ripleys’ dispute with Bradford Corporation. The Dispute itself was about water supply in Bradford; who should have control of it and how best the town could be served. At its heart was the gap between the needs of the town and what was available.(1) The engineer J F Bateman (1810-1889), fresh from working on the water supply of Manchester, reported in 1852 that there was a twenty-fold gap. Where supply was around half a million gallons a day, from Bradford Waterworks, he calculated that between ten and twenty million gallons a day would be needed for all the town’s needs. In a series of letters he outlined the works and costs of getting to that level of supply.(2)
Affidavit of Benjamin Murgatroyd
The jack-in-a-box document was the draft of an affidavit, in manuscript form, with crossings out and additions in a second and possibly a third person’s hand.(3)
Unsigned and undated in this draft form, it’s opening paragraph – before crossing outs and additions – stated;
rediscovering Ripleyville’s 100th post : a Heritage Matters update about Bradford Council’s Planning Policy proposal for land on Ripley Road. Your chance to help shape the council’s policy for land near to where the northern site of Bradford’s only industrial village once stood!
Heritage Matters Update
Ripley Road Planning Allocation
Just over a week ago (2016/01/08) I happened across a planning document referring to Ripley Road in West Bowling and the land across from the Edward Ripley & Son’s Laboratory building which dates from 1916 (see photos below).
The Allocation Site in 1882
The map below shows that in 1882 the land would have included;
- Ripleys’ ‘New Shed’ (NS),
- subsiding pits (SP) for Bowling Dyeworks
- and a reservoir (Res).
The eastern side of Ripley Road was used for allotments’ with the lower block of Ripley Terrace (Nos 67-85), which featured in a recent post, and the Ripley Ville schools building (Sch) beyond (see photograph).
Wider Setting of Site in 1882
The map shows the features above and the allocation site’s wider setting including Bowling Dyeworks and the rest of the northern site of the industrial model village of Ripley Ville.
Super-imposed on this in red are the outline of the site in the proposed allocation (WM2) and the words ‘Registered Historic Park’ used in the planning document to denote Bowling Park.
Site Allocation : Waste Disposal/Management Purposes
There is a proposal that the whole of this site of 2.35 hectares be considered for waste disposal/management purposes.
The link to the pdf of the planning document, which is on Bradford Council’s site is:-
You need to scroll down to pages 28 & 29 for the part relating to Ripley Road.
The grounds for the policy and allocation appear sound. The key point about the document are the conditions under which the policy and allocation might be applied i.e when an application to develop the site comes in. On this, the document includes the following paragraph under ‘Mitigation Requirements’ ;
Development proposals will need to ensure the significance (including the setting) of the Registered Historic Park to the south-east of the area is not harmed. This will need to be demonstrated through robust analysis in the heritage statement submitted with the planning application.
I was at a public consultation meeting when I was shown the document. I did at that time tell the planners attending about Ripleyville. They did not seem to know of its previous existence. It seems to me that there is an opportunity to make the planners aware of the proximity of this part of Ripley Road to;
- the northern site of Ripley Ville, Bradford’s only industrial model village
- the pedestrian paths that made and still offer links to what was the Bowling Dyework’s site and Ripley Ville
That mitigation requirement can apply to the Registered Historic Park (Bowling Park) ought to mean that mitigation requirements could be applied to the Ripleyville/Bowling Dyework’s sites. They are of equal significance. Ripley Ville was completed, with the removal and rebuilding of the Alms houses to New Cross Street on the village’s southern site, a year after Bowling Park was officially opened. They date from the same period.
Recent research, summarised in an earlier post which corrects the errors on Wikipedia, makes clear the local and national significance of the Ripley Ville Working Mens Dwellings with their water-closets in the basements.
Grants or Gains
Another possibility is that some kind of planning gain/grant application (e.g. from Landfill Tax) could be looked for. Heritage signage, minor works, path clearance and reinstatement and the planting of trees, shrubs could be used to enhance the setting of what remains of the Victorian industrial landscape and the northern site of the village after demolition and improve access routes to these.
Ripleyville is a crucial but forgotten part of Bradford’s Victorian Heritage. Make your voice heard in the efforts to promote it to its rightful place in the city’s Victorian history and its heritage.
Here’s some things you can do:-
- Tell people about this article. Copy and send them the link to this 100 Up page : Heritage Matters page; http://wp.me/p2qxEI-2hc
- Look at the planning document and in your response make sure the planners know about Ripley Ville and take it into account in future planning decisions.
- Copy & paste the 100 Up : Heritage Matters page link http://wp.me/p2qxEI-2hc into your comments to the planners.
Responses to the planning policy document can be made on-line or by other means. These are identified in page 3 of the document. Here’s the link again.
The relevant paragraphs, including the e-mail address for comments on page three, are:-
Bradford’s only industrial model village, Ripley Ville, has the 150th anniversary of its founding today, 15th November 2015. The village was unique : each and every one of its 196 workman’s dwellings, built between 1866 and 1867, had a water-closet in its basement.
Today is the 150th anniversary of the event in 1865 in south Bradford that promoted ‘Messrs Ripleys scheme for building a number of Working-Mens Dwellings’. The event was a public meeting that took place in Edward Ripley & Son’s Patent Melange Works on Spring Mill Street, west Bowling on the 15th November 1865. At it, a prospectus was made available to those attending and the planned scheme for up to 300 dwellings of three types was explained. From the 20th of November 1865 draft plans of the dwellings were available ‘between Six and Eight O clock’ until ‘Friday 1st December’. In this case ‘Tickets of admission [were] to be had of Messrs Ripley and at the Melange Works’.
Copyright R L (Bob) Walker. All rights reserved (see side bar right →)
This post looks to the future for this WordPress hosted rediscovering Ripleyville web-site, blog posts and the rediscovering Ripleyville project. It reveals a plan to gradually move most of its content. This will be split between TWO NEW Ripleyville web-sites. It also notes two events that suggest small changes may be occurring in how Bradford’s Victorian Heritage offer is made. These give encouragement for future activities around rediscovering Ripleyville.
Copyright R L Walker 2014. All rights reserved (see sidebar right→)
Baths, brewing, brick-making, building a Church, fire-hoses, piggeries, plastering, a public drinking fountain, smoke-houses, stables, water-closets, urinals, ‘1 horse, 2 cows and a duck pond’. This post is about water supply and use in Victorian south Bradford. It gives an update on some of the research I have been doing in Bradford Archives most Fridays over the last couple of months. The significance of Victorian Ripley Ville as an industrial model village and as an example of Working Men’s housing rests largely on the question of whether water-closets were installed. If they were this would be of national significance. In spite of a claim to the contrary, which has appeared on the internet, this question has not been resolved. The research I have been doing has the aim of finding archival evidence for or against the installation of water-closets – from the time when it was supposed to have happened.
The scope of the research has been fairly wide but targeted as to dates and location. It has been on water supply, water use and domestic and industrial sewerage management -and the lack of it – in Bradford between 1865 and 1871. Particular attention has been given to Bowling in south Bradford and the area around where Ripley Ville was built and in which it was built. The time period includes the year in which the Ripleys’ Scheme for building Workmens’ Dwellings in Bowling was announced (15th November 1865) through to the period after a start was made on building the Church of St Bartholomew in Ripley Ville. (1)
This post covers water supply and use during this period and provides a background and context for the installation/non-installation of the water-closets.
A follow-up post will look at the industrial and domestic sewerage of Bradford in the two years up to 1867. It will include findings from the Reports of the Rivers Commission published in August 1867. This is when the bulk of the Workmen’s Dwellings of the industrial model village of Ripley Ville were likely to have been built for Messrs Ripley. H W Ripley gave evidence to the Commission on what was done at Bowling Dyeworks to prevent pollution of Bowling Beck. His testimony also has direct relevance to the Workmen’s Dwellings of Victorian Ripley Ville because in it he reaffirmed his intention,
Copyright R L (Bob) Walker 2015 All rights reserved. (see sidebar right →)
Ripley Ville was the last of the Victorian industrial model villages to be built in the old West Riding of Yorkshire. Built between 1866 and 1881, it contained; Workmens Dwellings, a schools building and a school master’s house, an Anglican church, vicarage and alms houses. It was built across two sites to the north and south of Bowling Dyeworks in Bowling to the south of Bradford near what later became Bowling Park.
This post looks again at the relationship between Bowling Dyeworks and Salts Mill in the mid-Victorian period. This is a largely unexplored relationship but what went on between the two businesses may help us understand why the industrial model villages of Ripley Ville and Saltaire were built, how they compare and how they were paid for. Because you are probably in holiday mood or even on holiday, the post also includes some photographs of alpacas. Most of these are of one being sheared. The more serious aim of the post is to set up a sequence of questions about how the mixed worsted cloths called ‘lustrous Orleans’ were finished. Three questions in that sequence are:-
In the mid 1840s,
- Would the lustrous Orleans that used alpaca fibre have been dyed or not?
- Would the dye for lustrous Orleans or other alpaca worsteds be applied to the fibres before weaving, or to the woven cloth?
- Were Bowling Dyeworks and Messrs Ripley in Bowling likely to have done the dyeing for Salts Mill?
1840s Lustrous worsteds : natural or dyed alpaca fibre?
Salts Mill, Bowling Dyeworks and lustrous worsteds
Salts and lustrous Worsteds
Lustrous mixed worsted cloths of the mid-19th century that were produced in the Worsted District of Yorkshire used a lustrous fibre in the weft. This was commonly mohair and more famously, at Salts Mill, alpaca but could be angora, vicuna or other fibres. The lustrous weft was usually combined with a cotton warp to give a cloth strength. Aided by the fictionalised description given by Charles Dickens in ‘Household Words’, Titus Salt’s role in buying alpaca fibre at Liverpool Docks from ‘C W & F Foozle & Co’ and working out how to spin it are a staple of the Salts Mill story and part of the folklore of the industrial model village of Saltaire – just as they were in Worstedopolis (mid to late Victorian Bradford) a century and a half ago. (see Holroyd A, 1973, pages 9-12)
Alpaca fibre has properties that make it attractive for many reasons. In the mid-nineteenth century it was its lustrous quality and ‘shades and tints’, that led demand in womenswear and fashion cloths.
One of the best contemporary accounts, from Abraham Holroyd, makes this clear. (Holroyd A 1873 page 29)
Bowling Dyeworks and lustrous worsteds
The Bowling Dyeworks story and its mid century dominance in worsted dyeing was achieved in two-stages;
circa 1830s : achievement of speed, colour fastness and matching in dyeing worsteds black and most particularly for bombazine and cloths of the range that mixed cotton warps and silk in the weft. (1)
circa 1840s : the dyeing of mixed worsteds in the piece (after weaving) across an increasing range of colours. This included the new lustrous Orleans cloths as they were developed and became fashionable.
It is clear that by the early 1880s Bowling Dyeworks was majoring in dyeing mohair fibre and cloths. But what were Edward Ripley & Son doing from the mid 1840s either within their own works or premises available to them?