Bottoms Mill

image collection V E tomlinson

Around 1850 George and James Stubley set up a business of their own in a part of Batley known as The Bottoms. Initially they operated as comission spinners, said to have been working largely for the Sheards. This prospered and they started making cloth themselves, and did extremely well during the Crimean War. However, the war's end brought the cancellation of a large contract for army blankets, and the firm's survival was endangered. They were, however, able to persuade their creditors to stand by them.

The firm underwent other vicissitudes, with a major fire in 1860. In 1863 a gale took off the roof of a mill described as new, and workpeople were fortunate not to be injured. A further fire occurred in February 1866, damaging a building described as some 12 months old, and workpeople were fortunate that a prompt alarm allowed them to escape. Stubleys then rented some space in the Prospect Mill at Birstall, only to have that burn down in December of that year!

Despite this, the firm continued to expand, and in 1875 the brothers took on extensive mills at Wakefield.

image collection V E Tomlinson

Eventually those creditors who had stood by them in earlier days were paid out in full, and a dinner was held at the Batley Station Hotel to celebrate this.

When in 1907 the firm of Messrs Michael Sheard and Son had to close, it was Stubleys, once their commission spinners, who bought their Hick Lane Mill