Carpeting The Calder Valley
The final shot from this strip of negatives places Clark Bridge Mills – at the time the headquarters of Homfray Carpets – at the centre of the action. Henry James Homfray may have been one of the lesser-known carpet barons of Halifax, but with mills in Sowerby Bridge, Luddendenfoot, Birstall and Halifax, he made a notable contribution to carpeting the entire Calder Valley. In 1952, Homfray Carpets were the first firm in the UK to produce tufted carpets (the Crossleys Brothers would probably have shuddered at the very thought of a tufted carpet), but this movement in the direction of the cheaper end of the floor covering market didn’t save the firm. Faced with increasing debts, the firm was sold to a wholly owned subsidiary, Riding Hall Carpets in 1966. Production of carpets at the mill came to an end in the 1970s, and it was eventually demolished in July 1980.