Harry Rutherford's
Festival of Britain Mural

Friday, 4 June 2010

Senior Service

You might know this as Hyde Mill, Pattreioux's, Gallahers or Senior Service it dosn't matter now as it's gone for good. It as however left behind many memories and story's for many people.


Hyde Mill, was designed by architect Sidney Scott, and was completed in 1906. The site had been acquired by Hyde Spinning Co Ltd from the trustees of C. J. Ashton. The Mill was four storeys in height, 47 bays in length and faced with bright red bricks with a water tower at its south western corner. When the mill was fully furnished with all the machinery it contained 116,532 mule spindles. Quite a cotton mill in its day.


Hyde Spinning Company closed in 1958 and the mill was sold to J. A. Pattrieouoex, makers of Senior Service cigarettes. Gallahers purchased the bussiness not long after and it continued making cigarettes for over 40 years. The factory closed in 1999 with the loss of many jobs and production was moved to Northern Ireland. The building was then taken over by Findel Education, a supplier of educational products. They are the ones who built a new office block where the Bowling Green and Social club once stood. The mill as we knew it was demolished 2009/10.


Middle Age Blues

Terry Ireland

Kids and tobacco, you've got to be joking.
Filter tips and low tar you don't call that smoking.
Do you remember Senior Service
and Capstan Full Strength?
Full of lethal potential
every inch of their length.
You cleared your tubes
with a good morning cough
then lit your first fag
to start the day off.
You could feel every puff
tearing your chest
that was tobacco
at it's very best.
And if you wanted to know
why your mouth tasted manky
you blew a gob full of smoke
through somebody's hanky.
There wasn't a tooth brush
sufficiently keen
to remove all the brown
and leave your teeth clean.
But a bottle of domestos
with the fragrance that lingers
took the nicotine stains
from even gnarled fingers.
Kids and tobacco, you've got to be joking.
Filter tips and low tar can't be called smoking ...
Thanks Terry for letting us use the poem


Just before demolition.


Tom said...

A memory I have of this factory is the smell of the tobacco wafting up Talbot Road....
When I smoked and we were skint with no cigs in the house it always seemed to be at it's best then... I only wanted one cig.. but the aroma reminded me that just down the road dancing along brightly shining conveyor belts were millions of the little buggers.. I imagined them dancing around the factory like deadly ballerinas, mocking my addiction to nicotine..
I no longer smoke... I had my last cig waiting for an ambulance to arrive after an heart attack.. that was 7+ years ago... at times I still get the odd craving.. but it's not as bad without the seducing aroma of Pattreioux's finest blend playing on my nostrils. ;o)

Hydonian said...

I remember that smell well ,Tom. My Nan ,god bless her, lived on Bennett St and you could smell it from her house. I quite liked the smell in a funny way - is that wrong? lol

Tom said...

Nancy: The smell you could smelt was pure Tobbaco, not the obnoxious smoke that comes out of the cigarettes. It was kind of sweet, and earthy... I never found it unpleasent like some did. When you think we also had the printworks and the boneyard wafting over it is a wonder anybody visited Hyde at all.

I do like the last picture you have included, it shows the brickwork and the building at it's best.

imac said...

I do remember these smoke-poles,lol.
Nice poem too, with the history.

Tom said...

Great picture of the protest ... led by Tom Pendry I see.

JaneS said...

All these years and I never realised it was spelt 'Pattreioux'! You could smell it on Astley Grammar playing fields as well. I think the dyeworks (near Hyde Park) smelt far worse.

philip worley said...

Sorry to hear the Mill is no more.My slight connection was that my Paternal Grandad was the Chief Engineer until "Pats" took it over. he was Solomon Worley and lived on Birch Lane,he used to call in the Dukinfield Arms for a Whisky most nights. I was allowed to visit Grandads Engine house just once and I remember the tiled floor was spotless and to go onto the steam engine itself you had to have a mill cloth in each hand as your sweat would have marked the bright shiney steel handrails.This I believe was a hanging offence.
Once "Pats" took over and they cut up and scrapped his beloved steamengine it was the beginning of the end for Sol he only lived a few more years after it affected him that much.His second in command was a gent called Alf.And now its all gone what a brilliant building that from the photos still looked in good condition.
Philip Worley (grandson)

Tom said...

Hello and welcome to the blog Philip.. great memories.. thanks very much for sharing them... if you have a picture of your granddad and would like to add a few words about him and his job I will post it along with a picture of the mill. Our email is top right.

Catching Kiwis said...

My dad worked there throughout the 80s when I was a kid growing up. We lived on Talbot road and that factory was all I could see from my bedroom window growing up. The blue lights like something from vegas at night. When my dad come home from work in his beige overall he would smell of the tobacco . I suppose I have a fond memory of that smell for that reason. I can still remember exactly how it smelled . Thanks for posting the pics I enjoyed looking at them and reading about the factory.