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The Cottonopolis Album – Greater Manchester in the Daily Herald Archive

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The following post comes courtesy of our sister museum in Bradford, the National Media Museum, who have unearthed a wonderful selection of images of life in early-to-mid 20th century Manchester.

Here’s a special Collection Selection, resulting from when we opened up the Daily Herald Archive to the Pararchive: Open Access Community Storytelling and the Digital Archive – a research project funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council.

Under the guidance of Fiona Philip and Daniel Mutibwa (Pararchive Research Fellows at the University of Leeds), Niamh O’Donnell – a student at the School of Media and Communication – delved into the archive for the project. The team unearthed images of the working life of Greater Manchester’s cotton industry, as well as a couple of well-known music venues, the Astoria and Free Trade Hall.

This selection of photographs was made on behalf of Pararchive’s creative-technology partners, Arduino MCR and Bokeh-Yeah!. The images will support and inspire the group members’ Arduino projects and DSLR-shot documentary films, as well as being used in the online storytelling service, Yarn, which was co-produced by the Pararchive project.

Girls stitching patterns, 1931, Daily Herald Archive, ©National Media Museum Designers at work in a general studio of the Calico Printers Asso, Oxford Road, Manchester.

Designers at work in a general studio of the Calico Printers Asso, Oxford Road, Manchester, 1931

Pattern Stitching, 1931, Daily Herald Archive, ©National Media Museum Wire stitching pattern "swatches" in a C.P.A. works in Manchester.

Wire stitching pattern “swatches” in a CPA works in Manchester, 1931

Leaving a Salford Mill, 1936, Bishop Marshall, Daily Herald Archive, ©National Media Museum

Leaving a Salford mill, 1936, Bishop Marshall

Spinning room of Rigby Mill - Oldham, Photographed around 1938, White, Daily Herald Archive, ©National Media Museum

Spinning room of Rigby Mill, Oldham. White, c. 1938

Spinning room of Rigby Mill - Oldham, Photographed around 1938, White, Daily Herald Archive, ©National Media Museum

Spinning room of Rigby Mill, Oldham. White, c. 1938

Female worker at Machine, 1947, Daily Herald Archive, ©National Media Museum

Female worker at machine, 1947

Spirit of Cotton, 1948, Bert Abell, Daily Herald Archive, ©National Media Museum Typical of the all-out effort to ensure that the industry pulls its weight in the export battle is Mrs Margaret Colley, seen carrying an outsize load of bobbins to her frame - taken at the Brook Mills, Hollingwood, Near Oldham.

Typical of the all-out effort to ensure that the industry pulls its weight in the export battle is Mrs Margaret Colley, seen carrying an outsize load of bobbins to her frame – taken at the Brook Mills, Hollingwood, Near Oldham. Bert Abell, 1948

Now or Never, 1949, Thompson, Daily Herald Archive, ©National Media Museum Workers at Tootill Broadhurst Lee Sunnyside Mill Bolton, working extra night shifts. Kathleen Smith of Bolton on her row of looms.

Workers at Tootal Broadhurst Lee Sunnyside Mill, Bolton, working extra night shifts. Kathleen Smith of Bolton on her row of looms. Thompson, 1949

Droylsden by-election, 1951, Roland Hicklin, Daily Herald Archive, ©National Media Museum Lunchtime at the Marlborough Mill - Droylsden.

Lunchtime at the Marlborough Mill, Droylsden. Roland Hicklin, 1951

Droylsden by-election, 1951, Roland Hicklin, Daily Herald Archive, ©National Media Museum Children of mill workers at the Marlborough mill, Droylsden, at play in the mill.

Children of mill workers at Marlborough Mill, Droylsden, at play in the mill. Roland Hicklin, 1951

New Free Trade Hall, 1951, White, Daily Herald Archive, ©National Media Museum As the rebuilt Free Trade Hall is flood lit on the outside the Halle Orchestra and chorus rehearse for the fanfare for the Queen the following day.

The rebuilt Free Trade Hall is flood lit on the outside as the Halle Orchestra and chorus rehearse for the fanfare for the Queen the following day. White, 1951

New Free Trade Hall, 1951, White, Daily Herald Archive, ©National Media Museum With the huge platform packed to its full capacity, Sir John Barbirolli rehearses the augmented Halle Orchestra and chorus in preparation for the Royal opening of the rebuilt Free Trade Hall the following day. This is the first time the Halle have played together in full strength at this famous hall since the blitz.

With the huge platform packed to its full capacity, Sir John Barbirolli rehearses the augmented Halle Orchestra and chorus in preparation for the Royal opening of the rebuilt Free Trade Hall the following day. This is the first time the Halle have played together in full strength at this famous hall since the blitz. White, 1951

Lancashire Cotton Slump, 1952, White, Daily Herald Archive, ©National Media Museum Mr Edward Hamilton of St John St Lees Oldham a Cotton spinner with wife and four young children who, like others, has been on short time working owing to the depression reads the Sunday paper in the hope of better news.

Mr Edward Hamilton of St John Street, Lees, Oldham, a cotton spinner with wife and four young children who, like others, has been on short-time working owing to the depression, reads the Sunday paper in the hope of better news. White, 1952

Slump 1952, 1952, White, Daily Herald Archive, ©National Media Museum Men cotton operatives wait in snow to enter Oldham Labour exchange the scene is typical of many towns hit by the slump in the industry.

Male cotton operatives wait in snow to enter Oldham Labour exchange the scene is typical of many towns hit by the slump in the industry. White, 1952

Women workers leaving Oldham labour exchange, 1952, White, Daily Herald Archive, ©National Media Museum Women cotton workers leave the Oldham Labour exchange after receiving pay. The notice on the window gives names of the mills for which payment is being paid on this day.

Female cotton workers leave the Oldham Labour exchange after receiving pay. The notice on the window gives names of the mills for which payment is being paid on this day. White, 1952

Picture for General Election Prelim, 1955, White, Daily Herald Archive, ©National Media Museum Exterior views of the Jackson St. Spinning mill, off London Rd, Manchester.

Exterior views of the Jackson Street spinning mill, off London Road, Manchester. White, 1955

Mill girls rehearse mannequin display at Royton Co-op Hall, 1955, Roland Hicklin, Daily Herald Archive, ©National Media Museum Marion Gulley, a comber tenter at Delta Mill, Royton will later model rayon taffeta dress at the rehearsal.

Mill girls rehearse mannequin display at Royton Co-op Hall. Roland Hicklin, 1955

Astoria Ballroom, 1955, Daily Herald Archive, ©National Media Museum Stock picture of the Astoria Ballroom, Plymouth Grove, Longsight, Manchester.

Stock picture of the Astoria Ballroom, Plymouth Grove, Longsight, Manchester, 1955

Cotton Protest March, 1962, L Blandford, Daily Herald Archive, ©National Media Museum Nineteen-year-old Jean Rogers, from Oldham and her friend Joan Hayes, take a quick breather in Hyde Park before joining 6000 other Lancashire cotton workers in a two-hour march through cheap cloth from India, Pakistan and Hong Kong.

19-year-old Jean Rogers from Oldham and her friend Joan Hayes take a quick breather in Hyde Park before joining 6,000 other Lancashire cotton workers in a two-hour march against cheap cloth from India, Pakistan and Hong Kong. L Blandford, 1962

Staff work hard to meet export orders, 1967, Roland Hicklin, Daily Herald Archive, ©National Media Museum Staff at Willaim Tatton’s of Golborne, Lancs, work over Christmas to meet export orders.

Staff at Willaim Tatton’s of Golborne, Lancashire, work over Christmas to meet export orders. Roland Hicklin, 1967

About the Daily Herald Archive

The Daily Herald Archive is part of the National Media Museum’s photography collection. It contains more than 3 million images taken for the Daily Herald – at one time the world’s top-selling newspaper – from 1911 until its closure in the late 1960s. Documenting regional, national and international news for over half of the 20th century, the Daily Herald Archive encompasses everything from images of royalty and celebrities to local curiosities.

You can explore the Daily Herald Archive further by visiting Insight: Collections & Research Centre at the National Media Museum, Bradford.

See more images from the Daily Herald Archive.

If you have any licensing or editorial enquiries please contact the Picture Library via email: picture.library@sciencemuseum.ac.uk


Image source: Daily Herald Archive

Image copyright: National Media Museum

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