Teenager fighting to save iconic mill

17-year-old Charlotte Cropper is leading a local fight to save Wesley Street Mill in Bamber Bridge
17-year-old Charlotte Cropper is leading a local fight to save Wesley Street Mill in Bamber Bridge

A 17-year-old girl is leading a campaign to save a landmark mill earmarked for demolition.

Charlotte Cropper, an A Level pupil at Cardinal Newman College, is trying to mobilise residents of Bamber Bridge behind preserving Wesley Street Mill.

It comes after plans were submitted to tear down the derelict and vandalised 106-year-old building to make way for 200 homes.

Earlier this year South Ribble Council bought the former Mackenzie Arms site in Station Road, to open up the way for development.

Charlotte, of Brindle Road, said: “The mill is a huge part of the history of Bamber Bridge.

“It’s something I could point to in years to come, and say to my grandchildren, ‘this is where you come from.’

“It’s a monument to the cotton trade history of this area, and many people will have ancestors who used to work there.

“I’m a firm believer that when something’s gone, it’s gone, and we must stop that happening.

“The building is beautiful and strong, and I look at it every time I go past.

“I believe it could be made into apartments, like they have done in New Hall Lane. Perhaps there could also be a gym or shops.

“People do say that it’s an eyesore, and I can understand where they’re coming from because of the vandalism, but it’s only broken windows.

“I am 100 per cent confident that when the economy picks up there will be someone ready and willing to come in to transform the mill.”

The building, which is the former home of Bamber Bridge Spinning and Weaving Company, was one of the largest in the Preston area, with 135,000 spindles. It closed as a working mill in 1959.

Charlotte, who says she has always had a strong interest in history, is now calling on interested people to attend a planning meeting at South Ribble Council in West Paddock, Leyland, at 6pm on Wednesday.

A Save Wesley Street Mill group on Facebook has nearly 90 members.