Paper Mill

Hallamshire Paper Mills © C Slinn
Photograph by courtesy of Cyril Slinn

Modern View

The Ecclesfield Paper Mills, in 1861, were owned by John Gladwin, who came from Brigg in Lincolnshire. Details of him and his family can be found on the 1861 Census Returns.

Given the ages of his children who were born in Ecclesfield, he must have lived in the village since around 1840, although he didn't take over ownership of the paper mill until 1850. The firm employed 17 males and 17 females, but according to the Census returns, of these, only seven men and four women and girls actually lived in the village.

The report of the Children's Employment Commission in 1862 recorded the following information at Ecclesfield Paper Mill.

"The stated hours are from 6 a.m. till 8 p.m.; steam as well as water power is used. Some machinery in a narrow entrance passage, which almost touches the passer by, and one or two bands are unprotected, but the place was said to be very fortunate as to accidents...The works are on a small scale. There are a few other smaller paper mills in the neighbourhood. A great quantity of paper is needed for wrapping up the Sheffield goods"
Interview with Mary Madin, age 12. Catch paper at the cutter. A big girl passes the paper into the rollers at the other end. Work here from 6 a.m. till 8 p.m., but now from 7.30 a.m. till 9 p.m. instead. Have an hour for dinner. Can read, write and do sums, i.e. £sd. Was at school until a year ago.

[We think that the girl concerned was, in fact, Mary Naden, who appears on the Census]

In the mid 1860s Gladwin was making paper scarves and ties as this advert from a trade directory attests.


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