Eric Watt documents cotton spinning mills in Glasgow and Paisley. Some of these are now destroyed, such as almost all of J&P Coats Ferguslie Mills, and the ring mill of the double Glasgow Cotton Spinning Co in Dalmarnock. He was also in Darvel to record the SIHS visit to Smith and Archibald, lace makers.

Eric Watt’s repeated visits to New Lanark give a striking impression of the progress made there by New Lanark Conservation Trust and the New Lanark Association from 1963 onwards, past the closure of the mills in 1968 and their passing to a scrap metal extraction company, when the roof of the school fell in as if to show the mills at their nadir. That is what makes New Lanark a byword for regeneration. The cotton mill villages of Stanley and Deanston were also visited by SIHS, twice when Stanley was still producing textiles, then when the mills had just been acquired by Historic Scotland and SIHs provided guides one Doors Open Day.

Linen and jute is sparsely represented, mainly by the Perthshire weaving village of Spittalfield. Eric’s photo of Denburn Works in Brechin, captures that weaving factory before its residential conversion. The photos of Dundee were given to Eric by Mark Watson (also SIHS).

Cotton Lace & Thread Mills

Cotton Mill Villages

Linen & Jute Mills

Wool Mills