18 September, 2016

Queen Street Mill

Queen Street Mill

Queen Street Mill in Burnley, Lancashire is a working museum, and the last steam powered mill in the world. The Mill opened in 1894, and was only shut in 1982. This elevates the museum from one that looks at people in funny hats and clothes, into the history of one generation back. Indeed many of the staff demonstrating the machinery previously worked here. The building feels in many respects as though the doors were shut in 1982, and everything has been preserved in time. The Mill has been featured in TV and film, including the Oscar winning The King’s Speech.

Unfortunately, the Mill is a museum owned by Lancashire County Council, and soon to be a victim of the enormous budget cuts facing the county, imposed by the Conservative Government. The museum will close it’s doors on the 30th September 2016, and will remain closed unless a buyer is found. These samples were recorded in an attempt to preserve a moment of British history.

Samples 6 and 7 were recorded in the main weaving shed, with sound levels at approximately 110db. Many workers would endure this with no ear protection for 10 hours a day. They developed lip reading and a sign language known as “mee maw” to communicate.

These samples were recorded around the site capturing the sounds of the machines at work. It was recorded using a Zoom H1 and samples have been edited with fades using Logic Pro X. No additional processing has taken place and recording levels vary. The samples are in 96kHz sample rate and 16 bit recordings. Feel free to download the samples, and please let me know if you use any of them in any music you create.

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