One door closes yet another opens

The end of an era at Otterburn Mill

The End of an Era

Many of the Mills were privately owned, like Otterburn Mill and, during the second world war, substantial profits were made.

After the war, engineering materials were in short supply. Resulting in a lack of investment in modern textile machinery and systems until the late 60’s/early 70’s. By then, the investment required was too large for many companies to afford.

This general lack of investment allowed world wide competition to overtake the UK woollen trade. Although rearguard action was taken by some textile companies through amalgamation, the lack of marketing and capital investment took their toll.

The Mill at Otterburn suffered from a lack of investment. It had to close manufacturing in December 1976.

The machinery lay idle until John Waddell sold the business and premises to Euan Pringle. A member of yet another famous family of Scottish woollen manufacturers, in 1995. Since that time, the site has undergone a substantial period of redevelopment to produce the facilities you see today.

The Mills archieve

Not many have heard of the Mills Archieve but they aim to preserve and protect records of our milling heritage, to make them freely available to the public. There purpose is to become the national centre of excellence for learning, understanding and research on mills, milling and the historic uses of traditional power sources.


seek and acquire historical and contemporary records of mills and milling;
store, care for and keep together collections placed in our care;
encourage research into our milling heritage;
make as much of our material as possible available for public inspection;
provide facilities for research and education at the Archive and on the Internet;
offer advice and support to collectors, promoting future deposits;
build close links with existing organisations holding mill material, with a view to sharing information and possibly resources;
actively encourage an interest in mills by developing and promoting education and information programmes based on local communities and on the need for lifelong learning.

There worth a look

The end of an era
New opportunities can be tinged with anticipation and sadness as one chapter draw to a close.