A brief history of Springfield Mills in Denby Dale.
In 1979 Springfield Mills was acquired by the Charlton family to display, store and
distribute American furniture made by Broyhill Furniture Inc., one of the largest
furniture manufacturers in the US.
This furniture was supplied to Harrods, Debenhams, Selfridges, John Lewis Partnership
and other stores nationwide.
After trading successfully for several years, the business suffered greatly by the
strength of the dollar and it was decided to create and rent off separate units for
retail and business use.
To help their tenants they offered short term contracts which, at that time, was
almost unheard of.
When the mill was bought from Qualitex it was closing down with around 105 people
having to loose their jobs.
Now it gives the Charlton family great pleasure that 100 or so people from the surrounding
area are employed at the Mill full or part time!
The Mills history is a little sketchy as to when it was first opened but records
indicate that Brownhills & Scatchard moved to Springfield Mills in 1900 from nearby
Inkerman Mills where they had been from 1868.
These owners occupied the mill for many years specialising in the making of fine
silks and chiffon for gowns and wedding dresses. In fact the company produced a
bolt of silk for the Queen Mother’s wedding dress for her marriage to the future
George VI in 1923.
During the war years the company also produced parachutes.
Brownhills was taken over in 1961 by Qualitex Silks of Colne, Lancashire and this
company ended manufacturing at the mill in 1979 where it was let dormant until it
was purchased by the Charltons.
Opposite is an illustration of a J. Brownhill & Co. Ltd bill head, dated March 31st
You can also see from this that the company had offices in Bradford and Glasgow,
and was established in 1858.