Lisburn Exiles Forum

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linen bleaching

My father's father worked at Hilden Mill as a bleacher and the did spread the linen outover the fields to bleach. My father said it was a sight to see yards of linen stretched over the fields. To harnee my daughter asked if you knew any Webbs. My older sister was Sybil Webb and we lived in Church Street, I don't know if you remember me Norrell (Webb) Thornborrow. All the best Norrell.

Re: linen bleaching

Norrell, I dont remember you but i do remember your sister Sybel i do remember your family living in Church st and i can recall when youall went to Canada .We were able to see all the linen being bleached when we went to Belfast on the train ,my husband worked for a short while at the Lambeg bleaching I used to live on the Old Hillbboro road

Re: linen bleaching

Hi all,
Was browsing through the Forum and read this. I lived in Hilden, my whole Family worked in Barbour,s mill for generations and I in 1959 worked there for a short while.
Barbours in Hilden manufactured Linen thread and fishing nets before starting in the late 1950,s to produce nylon threads. There was a very large Dyehouse there, but no cloth bleaching faculities , the back mill race ran through the Dyehouse. I remember my cousin Tommy Mateer from Tullnacross was employed in the Dyehouse, also an older man from Down Villas called McIlroy. The bleaching of Linen cloth was done next door at Glenmore bleach works who owned the bleaching green beside Hilden Halt which Harnee mentions . I remember cows grazing in those fields and as boys we used to collect mushroons, there was also a natural spring with fresh cold drinking water.
The Bleachworks entrance was at the top of Bridge St, Hilden but could also be accessed via a pedestrian tunnel closed at both sides with lockable arched steel doors which ran under the railway line from the Belfast Rd about halfway betwen Hilden and Lambeg. Probably built to gain fast access to the water reservoirs which belonged to the Bleachworks but were situated on the other side of the railway. A small pathway led from the tunnel exit ,through the above mentioned field to the Bleachworks. The Bleachworks had their own Quay for unloading coal at Hunters corner below the Hilden locks and the remains of a Bridge at these locks is still standing, built probably to gain access to other bleach greens once belonging to the Company. I remember the fields there beside the Lagan were known locally as " the Middle Green " and there was a Stile facing the remnants of the bridge which is mentioned in May Blair,s " Once upon the Lagan ". I can only assume these were originally Bleachgreens.
Have a nice week everybody and lets start writing

Re: linen bleaching

To Norrell,Harnee,Donald or anyone else who worked for Barbours. Did anyone Know a Sammy Smyth.? He was Private Secretary to Sir Millen Barbour,or something of that nature .
I remember the Bleach fields spread out with Linen.
I also knew Tom Kyte a salesman here in Canada who sold to all the mills in Norin Iron" Hardwood Bobbins" For Thread. They had a lumber yard that only handled Hardwood Maple,Dried it & shipped container loads to Belfast. He would talk to me on his return & say where he had been & where he stayed while in Norin Iron.
Winter is upon us here in Canada & Christmas is only 2 weeks away. I Wish all those who read the Forum A very Merry Christmas & a Healthy & Happy New Year.
Lord Downshire.

"When spreads thy cloak of shimm'ring white"
At winter's stern command,
Through shortened day and star -lit night,
We love thee Frozen land.
We love thee .
We love thee.frozen land.

Re: linen bleaching

Hallo Lord
The Sam Smyth I knew lived in Crafton Cresent in Bridge St Hilden and had some sort of high clerical position in Hilden Mill. He also ran as a sideline a credit draper buisness ( tick man ) from premises in Lambeg village and if my memory serves me rightly him and his family were devout Christians, worshiping in Lambeg church.
The snow is starting to fall here as well
Happy Xmas to everybody