Novel about Burnley weavers’ mill hits bookshelves

A NOVEL inspired by a historic Burnley weavers’ mill has hit the bookshelves.

Author Linda Sawley, 63, discovered her family’s ties with Oak Mount Mill in Wiseman Street when she was researching a local history project at Burnley College in the 1980s.

Now, three decades on, she has decided to use the tale of Sutcliffe and Clarkson as the template for her eighth and final book ‘Weaving Through The Years’.

Her great grandmother Margaret Clarkson took over the mill in 1911 with her brother James Sutcliffe, who would later go on to be the Mayor of Burnley in the 1920s.

Linda, a former children’s nurse and University of Central Lancashire lecturer from Read, said although the story is a work of fiction it was heavily influenced by her own family’s tale.

She said: “I’ve always been interested in the mills and it was very unusual for two weavers to work together in those days.

“Margaret had 12 children and continued to work in the mill even after she’d had the last one.

“I think they expanded and had about five mills in the end. Some facts from the family story have crept in and there will be a lot of familiar Burnley street names and place names.”

After working at Barden Mill for 20 years, Mr Sutcliffe entered the Town Council in 1915 as a Conservative representative for Fulledge ward before being elected as Mayor from 1925-27.

The advent of e-books coupled with the demise of independent book stores has led to Linda declaring this book will be her last.

“I’ve never made any money – I write because I love writing, but now I’m ac tually losing money in production.”

A percentage of proceeds from the book will be donated to Ribble Valley Ladies’ Luncheon Club’s chosen charity and Derian House in Chorley.

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