I read an article about the old mills and how they are in a state of disrepair and neglect. It is difficult to believe that a once thriving industry which employed thousands of people is now abandoned.
It seems such a shame, particularly as these mills formed the heart of the working community, it built life-long friendships and connections that my parents still talk about today.
My father, Yakub Asmal (who had managed to procure a small terraced house on South Street, having moved from Cross Bank, Batley), worked at Thomas Carr Mills as a woollen yarn twister, having arrived in the North of England in 1960.
I vividly recall him talking about two friends Colin and Daphne whom he helped to find employment at the mill.
It was also Colin who gave driving lessons to my father and taught him the highway code.
There was such a sense of community spirit. Money may have been a scarcity but friendship and a helping hand were never far away.
The inevitability of progress meant that things change and the old mill closed down. We as a family moved to the East Midlands and family commitments meant the contact between my parents’ oldest friends, Colin and Daphne faded. As a parent myself I would love to show my daughter where we grew up, the people that we shared a life with and the old mill that was the epicentre of our lives.
I do hope these grand old manufacturing mills find a new lease of life so the memory of them stays alive for generations to come. We are planning a nostalgic trip to the great north to re-visit my family home and anyone who remembers my parents, Sakina and Yakub Asmal, the old mill or even the schools, we would dearly love to hear from you.
On behalf of Sakina and Yakub Adam-Asmal