Firstly, from the site visit, we can assume that there has got to be a connection between Platts’ making the textile machinery (specifically cotton-spinning machinery) and Oldham becoming the biggest cotton town in the world. On the site visit we saw the New Offices which were built in 1883/84, even though the actual Works were built in 1844.

They may have built them much later because that is probably when they actually rose to a status of being a pretty big company and so that is also probably when they were gaining more and more business, and so making more and more profit (They were just starting out another new factory in 1845 so they weren’t as important or as essential to Oldham’s textile industry when they first started out with this new venture. ). The design of the building of the New Offices contains elements not necessary to its use, eg.

There is a prominent clock tower decorate with ornate wrought iron, slate towers at each end of the building and stone pillars at the entrance. These were intended to impress employees and customers by showing the company’s status and importance to them. The New Offices also show the ambition of the company (of which the company fulfilled its potential in the Cotton Famine). This confirms the importance of Platt Bros as a major participant in Oldham’s textile hey-day. Building 30 (Millwrights and Tool Shop) has an exterior from which we could notice twin pediments facing on to Suthers Street; these are irrelevant to the building’s function.

Instead, this is intended to increase the dignity and importance of the plant and what went on there. These will have been put there probably when business was good as they could afford to put stylish ( it would seem stylish in those days) designs on buildings to show off their highly established status. Embedded in the floor of both the ex-Millwrights and Tool Shop is a narrow gauge railway track to allow for rapid and easy transport of heavy or bulky equipment within the Works.

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This internal railway system shows the vastness of the size of the whole Works as well. Inside the building the feeling of space and height emphasises how big the entire complex must have been by looking at the scale of the block plan. This complex of buildings illustrates the scale of Platt Bros operations, the sophisticated production techniques employed (eg. Internal railway) and some indication of the size of the buildings.

‘Hartford Works’ (‘Oxford Mill’ on block plan and A. E. Wolstencroft) is a large, multi-storied building obviously incorporated into the Platt Bros complex because of name picked out in white stone ‘Hartford Works’ – the name of the entire complex – and its association with Building 30. It was originally Oxford Mill when Hartford Works was first built but as Platt Bro’ Works grew they felt the need to expand and bought the building from the small business operating there originally. It was used then as a showroom to display the machinery to customers and so shows that they were publicly growing as they obviously wanted to impress with their displays.

By its appearance its obvious original use was as a textile mill; an indication of the importance of textile manufacture (as well as machinery manufacture) in Oldham’s industrial past. By the large-scale building evidence at the site visit and using the maps, we can deduce that Platt Bros was an important company in Oldham’s cotton-spinning industry. Generally, we saw separate mills on the skyline one the hills{which are obviously not mills anymore} and we can conclude that they are remnants of an industrial enterprise which could well have been the motor of Oldham’s rise to pre-eminence.


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