Albert Vincent Reade, 1864 - 1940
Ancoats Mill, Manchester, October 15th 1931

signed " Vincent Reade." and further inscribed dated and signed on the reverse "Ancoats Mill / Oct 15 / 1931 / A Vincent Reade "

pencil and watercolour
38 x 28.5 cm ( 15 x 11.1/4 in.)


Ancoats is an area of Manchester in North West England, next to the Northern Quarter, the northern part of Manchester city centre.

Historically in Lancashire, Ancoats became a cradle of the Industrial Revolution and has been called "the world's first industrial suburb". For many years, from the late 18th century onwards, Ancoats was a thriving industrial district. The area suffered accelerating economic decline from the 1930s and depopulation in the years after the Second World War, particularly during the slum clearances of the 1960s.

Since the 1990s Ancoats' industrial heritage has been recognised and its proximity to the city centre has led to investment and substantial regeneration. The southern region of the suburb is branded as New Islington, by UK property developers Urban Splash, while the north retains the Ancoats name, with redevelopment centred on the Daily Express Building.

The name Ancoats is likely to have derived from the Old English ana cots, meaning "lonely cottages". The settlement is first recorded as Elnecot in 1212. In a survey of 1320, Ancoats was recorded as one of the eight hamlets within the township of Manchester in the ancient parish of Manchester within the hundred of Salford; the hamlet probably consisted of a few cottages and farmhouses centred on what is now Ancoats Lane, Butler Lane and Newton Lane. During the medieval period, Ancoats Hall was built. Land in Ancoats was bequeathed in the 14th century by Henry de Ancotes. The village covered the area of land that roughly lies between the River Medlock and the River Irk.

Industrial Revolution :

Survey work for the Rochdale Canal was carried out by James Brindley in 1765. The knowledge that its construction would make the transport of raw materials and finished goods more convenient gave industrialists the confidence to build their cotton mills. The first mills were built in Ancoats as early as 1790. In 1792 commissioners were established for the improvement of the township of Manchester, which included Ancoats. Towards the end of the 18th century steam power was first used to power the cotton mills. Some of the earliest mills of this period were Murray's Mills, which were established next to the Rochdale Canal on Union Street (now Redhill Street) off Great Ancoats Street, by Adam and George Murray in 1798. Later, they became known as Ancoats Mills when they were operated by McConnel & Company Ltd. The streets of Ancoats were also laid out during the latter part of the 18th century, with little development taking place other than small houses and shops along Great Ancoats Street and Oldham Road (A62 road).

From the opening of the Rochdale Canal in 1804 the development of mills continued on a much larger scale. Mills in Ancoats included Victoria Mills, Wellington Mill, Brunswick Mill, India Mills, Dolton Mills, Lonsdale Mills, Phoenix Mill, Lloydsfield Mill, Sedgewick Mill, Decker Mill (owned by the Murray brothers), New Mill, Beehive Mill, Little Mill, Paragon Mill, Royal Mill and Pin Mill.

Ancoats grew rapidly to become an important industrial centre and as a result it also became a densely populated area. By 1815 Ancoats was the most populous district in Manchester. Streets of back-to-back houses and court dwellings were rapidly built. For the poorest members of the community, houses were split and cellars let separately. Public health was a concern; a survey motivated by the fear of a cholera outbreak showed that over half of homes in Ancoats had no private plumbing, and over half of streets were not cleaned.

By the middle of the 19th century Ancoats was densely developed. In 1851 Ancoats' total population was 53,737, larger than towns such as Bury and Blackburn. However, despite this large population, Ancoats lacked public buildings and spaces. There were no parks and the only public buildings were a few churches and a dispensary. As late as 1821 there had been no churches.

Foundries :

Cotton was not the only industry in the locality, as foundries and engineering factories were required to produce the machinery needed by the mills. The largest of these were those operated by the brothers John Muir Hetherington and Thomas Ridley Hetherington, which were established in 1830. Eventually the company became known as John Hetherington and Sons Ltd and the principal factory was at Vulcan Works on Pollard Street. The company was also the proprietor of Curtis, Sons & Company, which was established in 1804 at the Phoenix Works, which were on both sides of Chapel Street (now Chapeltown Street). On one side of the street there was a brass and iron works and on the other side there was a machinery factory. Hetherington's produced a huge range of machinery for the textile industry that included machinery for opening, preparing, spinning and doubling cotton, cotton waste, wool and worsted. Their speciality was a machine called a Combined Opener and Scutcher that was very effective in the cleaning of most types of cotton without damaging the staple or losing serviceable fibre.

Glass works :

Possibly the least known, but vitally important, industry in Ancoats was the manufacture of flint glass. More than 25 glassworks have been identified in Manchester, all built during the 19th century, and many of these were in Ancoats. Thomas Percival and William Yates established one of these on Union Street (now Redhill Street) in 1844. The works was equipped with two furnaces (later three), an annealing house, workshops, a warehouse and offices. In 1852, Thomas Vickers joined the company and William Yates left in 1862. After this, the company became known as Percival Vickers British and Foreign Flint Glass Works. It made a large range of glassware that included tumblers, wine glasses, decanters, vases, celery vases, salts and cake stands. One of the buildings in Ancoats, the Flint Glass Works, still exists today and has been converted into serviced offices.

Other industries :

At the top of Stony Brow (later Junction Street and now Jutland Street) there was the multi-storey drysalters factory of Thomas Hassall. It was said that this was the only drysalters in England and it supplied rock salt, moss litter and all kinds of other things. There were also chemical works (especially alum), floor-cloth works and finishing and calendering works that rolled cloth to smooth or glaze it.

Later Victorian period :

During the 19th century, due to political and economic circumstances, many Italians left Italy for a more secure life. Most of the Italians who arrived in Ancoats were from Liguria, in northwest Italy, and Frosinone and Caserta, southeast of Rome. Over the next hundred years they created what became known as Ancoats Little Italy. Large numbers of Irish also settled in Ancoats. According to the 1851 census almost half of the men living in Ancoats had been born in Ireland.

Religion and poor relief :

The Methodists were very active in Ancoats at the end of the 19th century – they ran both a men's workhouse and women's night shelter (with coffee tavern). There were dozens of pubs, however, of which only five buildings remain and only two of these are still open. The Salvation Army had a presence in Ancoats, with the Star Hall and Crossley Hospital in Pollard Street. Crossley Court, flats belonging to the Salvation Army Housing Association, now stands on the site. Ancoats Hospital was located on Old Mill Street, adjacent to the Ashton Canal. This has been closed to patients for some time, and is currently under residential development. Thomas Horsfall opened the Manchester Art Museum, a free art gallery, in Ancoats in 1886. His aim was to create a morally elevating alternative to pubs.

Given the historically high levels of Irish and Italian immigration, a large proportion of Ancoats' population has been Roman Catholic.[citation needed] Ancoats had a colony of Italians from 1835 and many of them became successful in business; e.g. the Ronchetti family were opticians, instrument makers and also waterproof manufacturers; J. L. Casartelli was an optician, instrument maker and manufacturing chemist.

Early 20th century :

Aircraft were manufactured in Ancoats and this factory was at Brownsfield Mill, which was on the corner of Great Ancoats Street and Binns Place at the point where the Rochdale Canal passes below Great Ancoats Street. Here, A.V. Roe (Avro) established his factory in 1910. Men from Ancoats serving in the Army in France during the First World War were aware that aeroplanes they saw in action above them had been made in Ancoats.

In 1939, the Daily Express newspaper company opened new premises, which were built in the "functional" style, using new curtain-wall technology identical to that on the company's Daily Express Building in Fleet Street, London and in Glasgow.

Post-war decline :

The substantial economic activity generated by such a concentration of mills was halted by the slump in the cotton industry in the 1930s. Thereafter, the prosperity of the mills declined steadily, and the only new industry to establish itself in Ancoats was newspaper printing. Ancoats, like neighbouring Miles Platting and Collyhurst, became very run down and notorious for deprivation and crime. Cotton spinning ceased in Manchester and other textile-related uses were found for the mills: clothes manufacture, machinery repairs and warehouses for imported goods' rag trade.

The 1960s witnessed further decline as, during the mass clearance of the area's terraced homes, the population was re-housed in the north and east of the city. The mills, attracting decreasing rents, fell into disrepair.

Despite the clearance of Victorian terraces during the early 1960s and the relocation of most households to overspill estates like Hattersley and Gamesley, many new houses and flats were built in Ancoats by the local council. Inevitably, the local area's population was lower by 1970 than it had been a decade earlier, as the new housing developments were more spaced out, and some former residential areas had been redeveloped for commercial and industrial use.

Newspaper printing, one of Ancoats' 20th century industries, fell victim to changes in technology, with the Daily Express ceasing to be published from its famous black glass building in 1989. The closure of Express Printers was also the start of Ancoats' renewal, as the impact of low investment and increasing unemployment became recognised.

Regeneration :

In June 1989, Manchester City Council designated land bounded by Great Ancoats Street, Oldham Road, Kemp Street, Wadeford Close, Jersey Street and the Rochdale Canal into a conservation area where a number of buildings were listed. While it protected a number of historically significant buildings, it made regeneration more difficult. In 1990, the Eastside Regeneration was formed, the first organisation created to regenerate the area. The Eastside Regeneration in turn spawned the formation of the Ancoats Build Preservation Trust in 1995 and the Ancoats Urban Village Company in 1996. Unfortunately, Manchester's bids for the 1996 and 2000 Olympics caused speculative buying of property in Ancoats in the early 1990s. When the bids failed the buildings were abandoned and decay accelerated. By 1998 it was estimated that 80% of business floor space in Ancoats was vacant.

In 2000, the government accepted the £250m New Islington Project to redevelop a 0.125-square-kilometre (31-acre) section of land between the Rochdale and Ashton Canals. To assist regeneration by preventing speculative purchase of land the North West Development Agency made a compulsory purchase order of land in the area. A target population of 15,000 by 2010 was set for the Ancoats area.

Landmarks :

The Grade II* listed former Daily Express Building on Great Ancoats Street

The Grade II* Murrays' Mills, one of the largest cotton-spinning buildings in the world.
The following Listed buildings are in the Ancoats conservation area:

Beehive Mill, Jersey Street. Built ca. 1820 and 1824. Grade II*
Brownsfield Mill, Great Ancoats Street. Built c.1825. Grade II*.
Church of St. Peter, Blossom Street. Designed by Isaac Holden & Son, 1859–60. Grade C.
Crown and Kettle public house, Oldham Road. Built late 19th century. Grade II.
Daily Express Building, Great Ancoats Street. Designed by Sir Owen Williams, 1939. Grade II.
Jersey Mill, Jersey Street. Built in 1804. Grade II*.
Mill to north-west corner of the junction Redhill Street/Bengal Street. Built early 19th century and 1842. Grade II*.
Murray's Mill (main block), Redhill Street. Built 1798. Grade II*.
Murray's Mill, Murray Street. Built ca. 1800. Grade II.
Paragon Mill, Jersey Street. Built ca. 1912. Grade II*.
Royal Mill, Henry Street. Built ca. 1912. Grade II*.
Sedgwick Mill, Redhill Street. Probably designed by Sir William Fairbairn, 1818. Grade II.
Sedgwick New Mill, Redhill Street. Built ca. 1858. Grade II.
Victoria Square, Oldham Road. Designed by Spalding & Cross, 1889–1894. Grade II.
St Michael's RC church,ca.1869

Culture :

The Hallé Orchestra is based at St Peter's Church, Blossom Street
The Band on the Wall music venue is on Swan Street
The Frog and Bucket comedy club is at the junction of Oldham Street and Great Ancoats Street
Sankeys nightclub was on Radium Street
Hallé St Michael's, a community space for the Hallé's artistic and educational activities, is on George Leigh Street
Cultural references
Ancoats has been the setting for several novels by Howard Spring, including Fame is the Spur. It was also the setting for Isabella Banks' novel The Manchester Man.

Ancoats was mentioned in the lyrics of Brian and Michael's 1978 UK number one hit, Matchstalk Men and Matchstalk Cats and Dogs, a tribute to L. S. Lowry.

A fictional singer, Ann Coates, is credited with backing vocals on the 1986 single Bigmouth Strikes Again by the Smiths.

The British trip-hop band the Baby Namboos released a song and album titled Ancoats 2 Zambia in 1999. The single was famously remixed by drum and bass producer Dillinja.

Notable people :

Hugh Oldham (1452-1519), Bishop of Exeter from 1505 to his death in 1519, was born to a family of minor gentry who lived in Ancoats. Bishop Oldham was a patron of education who founded Manchester Grammar School and was a major benefactor of Corpus Christi College, Oxford.
Richard Buxton (1786-1865), an impoverished shoemaker from Ancoats, published a botanical guide to the plants to be found around Manchester in 1849.
William Hepworth Dixon(1821-1879), the historian and travel writer was born in Great Ancoats.[clarification needed]
John Sibbit (1895–1950) was a British track cyclist who won a silver medal at the 1928 Summer Olympics.
Bernard Manning (1930-2007), stand-up comedian.
John Henshaw (born 1951), actor. Notable for playing Ken, the pub landlord in the TV series Early Doors.
Lesley Ann Downey, the youngest victim of the Moors murders, was from Ancoats. The fourth of the five Moors Murders victims, she lived in a council maisonette in Charnley Close with her family.

The first generation of cotton spinning mills were water powered and located in areas where there was an abundant and regular supply of water. Manchester’s first cotton mill dates from 1783. Located on Miller Street, it was built for Richard Arkwright and was water powered. It was in the 1790s with the introduction of steam driven machinery that Manchester began to develop as an important centre for cotton spinning.

Ancoats was one of the districts in which monumental multi-storey spinning mills were built in the late 1790s. Two massive mill complexes began to be constructed in Ancoats on land in Union Street (now Redhill Street), adjoining the proposed Rochdale Canal. They were built by two Scotsmen who had moved to Manchester to find their fortunes. Adam and George Murray had bought land on Union Street and by 1798 began erecting the first section of what was to become one of the country’s largest cotton mills. On an adjacent block, James McConnel and John Kennedy also erected a cotton spinning mill. In less than 20 years their original mill had become part of an extraordinary industrial complex. The buildings were audacious in their size, eight storeys high. Inside the mill, row after row of carding and spinning machines were powered by steam engines.

The Murrays’ mills, unlike McConnel and Kennedy, had a direct link to the Rochdale Canal. The canal was one of the means by which the all important raw cotton reached the mills. McConnel and Kennedy specialised in fine spinning which demanded high quality cotton, usually coming from the Americas. By 1816 both Murrays and McConnel and Kennedy were employing over 1,000 operatives, and their mills had become one of the wonders of the new industrial society.

Child labour
Such mills employed children for a number of unskilled and semi-skilled tasks, including cleaning machinery. This employment of young children in textile mills became a cause for concern, and beginning with the passing of the Health and Morals of Apprentices Act in 1802, legislation was introduced which attempted to regulate the working conditions and the number of hours pauper children worked in the cotton factories. The 1802 Act in Child LAbour was chiefly the work of the Bury textile manufacturer, Sir Robert Peel (1750-1830). Peel was a partner in a highly successful textile business, Peel and Yates, which signed the 1806 Manchester petition against Wilberforce’s Foreign Slave Trade Abolition Bill.

Reform and 'white slavery'
The debate over the employment of children had many parallels with the campaign to abolish the transatlantic slave trade. Factory reformers attempted to boost public opinion against the employment of young children by depicting them as ‘white slaves’. Thus when the factory reformer, Richard Oastler, presented evidence on the abuses suffered by children working in cotton mills to a government enquiry in 1832, he was following a familiar line of argument in suggesting that conditions in the textile factories were comparable to those found on slave plantations in the Caribbean and the Americas:

‘The demoralising effects of the system are as bad, I know it, as the demoralizing effects of slavery in the West Indies. I know that there are instances and scenes of the grossest prostitution amongst the poor creatures who are the victims of the system, and in some cases are the objects of the cruelty and rapacity and sensuality of their masters. These things, I never dared to publish, but the cruelties which are inflicted personally upon the little children, not to mention the immensely long hours which they are subject to work, are such as I am very sure would disgrace a West Indian plantation...’ Oastler’s evidence in the Report of Committee on the Labour of Children in Factories, 1832.

1818 ' Whitehall, September 15, 1818. WHEREAS it hath been humbly represented unto his Royal Highness the Prince Regent, that on Wednesday the 2d instant, VIOLENT and RIOTOUS ATTACKS were made upon the MILL of Messrs. Gray and called Ancoats Mill, Pollard-street, Manchester; and that there is reason to believe the same had been preconcerted, and was the result of wicked determination to destroy the Property of the said Messrs Gray and Co. His Royal Highness, for the better apprehending and bringing to Justice the Persons concerned in planning and advising the Outrages above-mentioned is hereby pleased, in the name and on the behalf his Majesty, to promise his Majesty's most gracious PARDON to any Person or Persons who shall give Evidence against the planners and advisers of the said Riotous Attacks, in order that they may be brought to Justice. SIDMOUTH. And as an encouragement, a Reward of 200 GUINEAS is hereby offered by the Constables of Manchester, to any Person or Persons who shall give evidence against the Planners and Advisers of the said riotous Attacks, in order that they may be brought to justice, which Reward will be paid on conviction of the parties accused.'

1847 'Fall of Part of a Mill and Loss of Life. An accident of a very serious character happened on Monday morning, at the mill of Messrs. J. and J. L. Gray, cotton spinners and lace thread manufacturers, in Pollard-street, Great Ancoats-street. In 1844, an addition was made to the old mill by the erection of a shed, about 40 feet in length by 32 feet width. The building was erected by Mr. Tomlinson, of Salford, Messrs. Butterworth and Whittaker, of Cross-street, being the architects, and it was not only made fire-proof, but, as was supposed, even stronger than there was any necessity for. The ground floor was used as a boiler-house. Over this there was a room in which were placed twelve new jack frames. The floor of this apartment was supported by strong iron beams, 32 feet in length, and weighing, on the average, 66 cwt. each. The beams had been tested at Mr. Galloway's Knott Mill Iron Works, and, in the opinion of Mr. Whittaker, were sufficiently strong to support a building four stories in height. All the beams were well trussed, but none of them rested on pillars, owing to the fact that there was not enough of room between the boilers for a wall. The roof of the jack frame room, like that of the boiler-house, was arched with brick, and strong iron beams ran across, in order to support a cistern, which went over the whole building. The depth of water in this cistern never exceeded seventeen inches, and when the accident occurred it was not more than six inches. At twenty minutes past ten o'clock on Monday morning, the fireman was in the boiler-house, putting his dinner to cook, when he was alarmed by a sudden crash, and promptly ran through a hole leading into the older part of the mill. In a moment after, about one-half the building fell; and a mass of bricks and machinery, together with a large volume of water, filled the cellar. At the time, there were six females at work in the frame room, (usually there are nine), and three of the unfortunate creatures were buried under the ruins. The remaining three, filled with consternation, ran to the windows, and called out for help; and a ladder having been procured, they got out of the apparently tumbling building unhurt. Prompt and active exertions were made to rescue the buried women, and this was soon accomplished; but unfortunately, one of them was dead. The name of this female was Elizabeth Woodward; she was a married with three children, but had been deserted by her husband, who, it is said, is living in Yorkshire with another woman. She was always exceedingly clean and tidy, and was as good a work woman as any in the mill. The other two females, escaped with only trifling injuries, it is supposed, from the machinery having so fallen as to protect them. The opinion of the surgeon who was called in was, that Woodward had died of suffocation. The inner half of the building is a mass of ruins, and the six jack frames which stood therein are broken into pieces. The damage, as well as can be now estimated, will amount to about £1,000. It is not known to what cause this accident is attributable, nor can it with certainty be said whether it was the lower or upper beam which first gave way. At first it was thought that the weight of water in the cistern might have broken the upper beam ; but this supposition seems now to be nearly abandoned, from the fact that there was at the time scarcely more than one-third of the quantity of water in the cistern that it has contained. Another supposition is that there has been a flaw in the lower and unsupported beam, which has caused it to give way.'

1850 James and John Livesey Gray listed as cotton spinners, doublers and manufacturers.

1875 Death announcement: 'On the 9th inst., at Middleton, aged 62, John Collins, much respected, for 16 years head engineer, Messrs J. and J. L. Gray's, Ancoats Mills.

Sale Notices, 1882

The full text of advertisements is given below, as it gives a good inventory of the type of equipment used in a large Victorian cotton spinning mill.

'On Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday Next. Ancoats Mills, Manchester.—To Cotton. Spinners, Doublers, Machine Brokers, and others. —Important and Extensive Sale of Cotton Spinning and Doubling Machinery, comprising over 100,000 Spindles and Preparation Utensils, Stores, and Effects.

'GRUNDY & SON have been favoured with instructions from Messrs. J. and J. L. Gray to SELL BY AUCTION, on Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, March 15, 16, and 17, 1882, commencing each day at eleven o'clock in the forenoon, Ancoats Mills, Pollard-street, Manchester, the Whole of The Valuable COTTON SPINNING and DOUBLING MACHINERY and EFFECTS, consisting of cotton opener, by Platt Bros.; single scutcher and lap machine single carding engines, each 33in. On the wire, with 15 self-stripping flats, by and Dobson and Barlow; 11 ditto, with 18 flats, by ditto; one iron ditto, with 42 revolving flats, by Platt Brothers; two double-grinding machines, by ditto; one ditto four-lap doublers, for combing machines by Hetherington ; two ditto, by Crighton ; five ditto, to double six into one, Hetherington; six-head cotton combing machines, Heilman’s patent., by Hetherington; six drawing heads, each with six deliveries; and ditto with eight deliveries; six slubbing frames of 55, 52, 48, and 40 spindles, 9in. lift, soft bobbin ; 23 first and second intermediate frames, 9in. And 7in. lift; 40 jack frames, 5,250 spindles, 4½in. lift, Platt Bros. and Elce and Co.; 14 pair organ hand mules, containing 27,080 spindles, 1¼in. gauge, Platt Bros.; pair ditto decked, containing 31,466 spindles, 1¼in. gauge; eight pairs rim-hand mules, containing 14,004 spindles, 1¼in. gauge, by Platt Bros.; 116 wet doubling frames, containing 31,716 spindles, 2in. lift; four double preparing machines, 17 clearing frames, 2,530 spindles, 2½in. lift; five warp winding frames, 728 spindles; three 12 yards warping mills for hand power; eight gassing frames, two 20-hank cop reels, three five and 10lb. bundling presses, cotton hoist, weighing machines, scales, and weights ; Horsfall's grinders, hot water kettle, stone and wood cisterns, driving apparatus for mules and Gallows pulleys, together with full complement of utensils, and quantity of new stores, counters, tables, desks, trucks, hand cart, stone bogie, and other miscellaneous effects —On view Monday and Tuesday next, March 13 and 14, from 10 to 4 o'clock, when catalogues may be had the premises, or earlier application to Messrs. CUNLIFFE, LEAF & CO., solicitors, 56, Brown-street; or the Auctioneers, 54, John Dalton-street, Albert-square, Manchester.

'Ancoats Mills, Manchester. To Engineers, Millwrights, Brokers, and others. GRUNDY & SON respectfully announce the receipt of instructions from Messrs. J. and J. L. Gray to SELL BY AUCTION, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, March 22, 23, and 24, 1882, commencing at eleven o'clock in the forenoon each day, the Ancoats Mills, Pollard-street, Manchester, the Whole of the Valuable STEAM POWER, MILLWRIGHTS' WORK, MECHANICS' TOOLS, Stores, and Effects, comprising two cylindrical steam boilers, each 30ft. long, 7ft. diameter, with two 2ft. 9in. flues, Low Moor furnaces, and four Galloway tubes in each; steam and water mountings, by Goodfellow, 1873; three ditto ditto, single rivetted, by B. Hick and Son; wrought iron superheater, 9ft. high, 4ft. diameter, by Goodfellow ; two Green's patent fuel economisers, each with 100 pipes; horizontal double-acting steam pump, with 4in. ram, Walker; vertical single-acting ditto, with 4in. ram, 6in. stroke , governors, flywheel, and pulleys, by Leigh; a pair of condensing beam steam engines, cylinders 35in. diameter, 6ft. stroke, with valves, spur flywheel, and fittings, by B. Hick and Son ; condensing ditto, cylinder 34in. diameter, 7ft. stroke, with valves, spur flywheel, and fittings, by Boulton and Watt; pair of excellent high pressure horizontal steam engines, cylinders 15in. diameter, 30in. stroke, turned flywheel, spur ditto, and cast iron beds, by Goodfellow, ashlar foundations for engines; a quantity of cast shafting, upwards of 4,000 ft. of wrought, turned, and polished ditto, from 8in. to 13in., with couplings, wheels, turned pulleys, hangers and pedestals, brasses, and fixings, &c.; upwards of 7,000 ft. cast iron steam and water piping, from 12in. to 2in. diameter ; 2,100 ft. of wrought iron ditto, from 2in. to ½in., with fittings: three 300-light and one 150-light wet gas meters, and piping for 1,500 lights; water meter, machine hoist for eight stoves, yard clock, by Armstrong; factory bell, &c.; the contents of well-fitted mechanics' shop and smithy, including double-geared slide and screw-cutting gap lathe, with 12½ in. centres, on 25ft. iron bed, by Kershaw ; double geared ditto, with 8in. centres, on 11ft. iron bed, by Collier: single speed boring and turning lathes, two vertical drilling machines, grindstones, glazers, vices and benches, drilling and screwing tackle, new steel and iron, 12 and six tons Haley's screw jacks, blocks and ropes, smith's hearth and tools, four bobbin lathes, circular saw, pulleys, brass tubing and wire, steel spindles, old brass and lead, fire hose, new timber, two cask iron oil tanks, circular tin oil cisterns, oil and tallow, oil pumps, joiners' benches and cramps, new steam and gas-fittings, files and steel, Irish moss, contents of paint shop, cast beams and gutters, round sycamore and ash timber, 13.60 hank bobbin reels, Hopkinson's indicator, cast piping, new bar iron, usable wrought iron, wrought and cast scrap, crabs, and other miscellaneous effects.—May be viewed on Mondays and Tuesdays, March 13th and 14th, and 20th and 21st, from 10 to four o'clock, when catalogues, may be had on the premises, earlier application to Messrs. CUNLIFFE, LEAF, & CO., solicitors, 56, Brown-street; or the Auctioneers, 54, John Dalton-street, Albert-square, Manchester.'


The 1849 O.S. map shows Ancoats Mill, directly across Pollard Street from the Soho Iron Works of Peel, Williams and Peel. The buildings took up about one third of a square plot of land surrounded on three sides by a branch of the Rochdale Canal. The progressive devlopment of the mill is indicated by the presence of three separate engine houses and boiler houses. Referring to the above sale listing, the date order of installations was probably Boulton and Watt, followed by Hick, followed by Goodfellow.

The site, and the adjacent site then occupied by the Soho Chemical Works and the 'Roman Cement Mill', were taken over as the Vulcan Works of John Hetherington and Sons. Adshead's 1851 Maps of Manchester, Map 16, shows the owner of the chemical works as Swindells and Williams. See John Swindells and Co.

Artist biography

Albert Vincent Reade was born in 1864, he was a portrait, landscape and still life painter. He studied at the Manchester Academy of Fine Arts and Colarossi's Paris, He exhibited  between 1901 and 1933 and lived in Manchester.