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Carrying the Can - the UK Cotton Industry and our ancestors' place in it


Although the UK grows no cotton, in the 19th century half the world's cotton cloth was produced in the UK and in 1800, 95% of the world's spindles were based here so it's not surprising so many of us claim cotton factory workers in our family tree.

Adèle Emm’s talk will explain the history of the UK's cotton textile production, when and why it arrived and what caused its decline.

We know what spinners and weavers did (do we?) but what about tenters, beamers, sizers, big/little piecers and doffers etc?   She will also discuss employees’ daily life and hazards of working.

Join Adele in the dark satanic mills.


About the speaker:  Adele worked in television production and later taught media production. She now researches and writes full time specialising in media, social history and family history. Adele's most  recent  book is My Ancestors Worked in Textile Mills published in 2020 by the Society of Genealogists, plus Tracing your Trade and Craftsmen Ancestors and Tracing your Female Ancestors both published by Pen and Sword. 

You can read her blog and website at:

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