Combing Machine

Combing Machine

Fire Pump

Fire Pump


Bradford's Industrial Museum has permanent displays of textile machinery, steam power, engineering, printing machinery and motor vehicles, along with an exciting exhibitions programme. You can enjoy the splendour of Moorside House where the Mill Manager lived, or visit the Mill-workers' terraced houses dressed to reflect three different time periods. In the 19th century, Bradford was famous for its worsted cloth, although life was hard for the workers. The displays show how a fleece was transformed through various stages into a suit. There is a demonstration of the working machines several times a week: contact the Museum for current demonstration times. You will be able to follow the cloth through the various stages; preparation, combing - with both the Lister nip and Holden combs, drawing, finishing and spinning. Spinning is the final stage in converting wool to worsted yarns, the roving being drawn out to its final thickness and twist added for strength. There are three types of spinning machine or frame in common use in the United Kingdom, namely flyer, cap and ring. Another machine used for spinning worsted yarns is the worsted mule. All three types of machine or frame are similar in their method of drawing out or drafting the roving to make the required count or thickness, but differ in the way in which twist is imparted and the yarn wound onto the bobbin. Drafting takes place between the back and front rollers. The front rollers revolve faster than the back ones, drawing out the roving to the fineness of yarn required. Between the rollers are carriers which support and help to control the fibres as they are being drafted.


The era of Industrial Revolution weaving machinery gave rise to technological jargon in places such as Yorkshire with a strong local dialect. The resultant inscrutability of linguistic terms has given rise to such jokes as the one from Monty Python's Trouble at Mill sketch:'One on't cross beams gone owt askew on treadle', meaning "One of the crossbeams has gone askew on the treadle". The treadle was a rocking pedal, powered by the worker's foot. The treadle in turn powered a reciprocating beam, and the power from that was transferred to the machinery. On a loom, these reciprocating beams were called lams, and were connected with the treadles by strings which were also connected with jacks to work the yelds. In big factories, power could be transferred from one large drive wheel to another across a wide room via a reciprocating beam, called in that situation a crossbeam. Out of skew is a dialect expression meaning in incorrect position. The weaving gallery includes both domestic looms and power looms. The hand loom with the witch is typical of many that were used in the mills by cloth designers to develop new fabric designs and patterns. The hand loom with jacquard is a wooden hand loom typical of the many thousands of looms that were used in the domestic cottage industry throughout the British Isles. The plain Hattersley Domestic Loom was specially developed for cottage or home use and designed to replace the wooden handloom; the Domestic is similar in construction to a power loom.


The mill's first owner, John Moore, lived at Moorside House with his family until 1887, followed by the later owners of Moorside Mills. The house interior is now a museum display, furnished as if the 19th century mill-owners were still living there. Gaythorne Row is a row of Victorian back-to-backs. It was rebuilt here in 1986, and is now furnished as for mill workers of the 1870s, 1940s and 1950s. The Horse Emporium was once the mill's canteen block. The displays are arranged on the theme of horse power. Among other exhibits there is a heavy-duty British Railways dray, a decorative chaff cutter and a horse fodder measure. There is a saddler-at-work display, plus horse brasses, horseshoes and other harness. In a stable there is a blacksmith's workshop and farriery display, complete with many horseshoes, anvils, and metalworking tools. The Stables building was a 1918 motor car garage. At one end it contains restored horse-drawn vehicles. There is a reproduction of an 1890 garden seat omnibus, with wooden, slatted seats on top, like garden seats. These vehicles have not been used in the UK since 1931. This reproduction has hydraulic disc brakes for safety. There is a brougham, a 19th-century gentleman's light one-horse carriage. This design is said to have been named after Lord Chancellor Brougham in the early 19th century. There is also a steamer, or Shand-Manson steam fire pump of ca.1880. A team of horses pulled it, and steam powered it, at 250 gallons per minute. Firemen could get it ready in 7 minutes. It was successful enough for the manufacturers to export it worldwide - for example to the Warsaw Fire Guard - but it was expensive in coal and horses, and was superseded by motor pumps in ca.1900.


The Printing Gallery is a representation of a busy Victorian general printing office. All the machines are authentic and have been carefully restored to full working order by a team of dedicated volunteers. Compare this to the fully restored mid twentieth century printing office, again all the machines and fittings are authentic and have been restored to full working order. Each Wednesday throughout the year the volunteers are on hand to demonstrate and explain the craft of letterpress printing. Each visitor is given a souvenir bookmark, type set and printed on the premises. There are also temporary exhibitions such as 'Handbags and Gladrags' through Sunday 17th April 2016 and 'Beastly Machines - Kinetic Sculptures by Johnny White' Saturday 7 May 2016 - Sunday 6 November 2016. There is wheelchair access. Disabled car parking, lifts, disabled toilet, one wheelchair and baby changing unit. Bradford Museums and Galleries are proud to announce the introduction of AppEar; a new system to help the visually impaired explore our collections. Visitors can now borrow a PenFriend from our reception desk to hear visual descriptions of the surrounding displays. For more information on the introduction of the AppEar system please contact Kirsty Gaskin tel 01535 618231 email



Location : Moorside Mills, Moorside Road, Eccleshill, Bradford, BD2 3HP

Transport: Bradford Interchange (National Rail) then bus. Bus routes : The 660 bus from Bradford Interchange stops right outside

Opening Times : Tuesday to Friday 10:00 - 16:00; Saturday, Sunday & Bank Holidays 11:00 - 16:00

Tickets : Free.

Tel: 01274 435900