A group of mill workers from the past have a price on their head… a reward for information.
Restaurant boss Thomas Randell bought the enlarged framed photograph from the Debra charity shop in Barnoldswick and hung it up at Cafe Cargo, where it has mystified visitors and sparked countless conversations about where and when the picture was taken.
Now Thomas is offering a £50 worth of vouchers at the cafe-restaurant for anyone who can solve the mystery.
Thomas himself is a history fan, and has researched the past of the Leeds and Liverpool Canal Company in Foulridge and the converted 200-year-old warehouse which is home to his family business. He has lots of history-themed paintings and old photographs on show there. But the old mill photograph has left him stumped.
“Customers have been fascinated by the picture,” said Thomas’s wife Ombra. “They’ve come up with different theories but nothing certain.
“It could be from the 1930s. Some have suggested it’s in Foulridge, some said Barnoldswick but some said it could be down Rossendale. We just don’t know
“We put the picture on our Facebook page, but the older generation who might have worked in a place like that probably don’t look at Facebook.”
There are several clues:
- The photograph was taken inside a typical mill building with northern light windows.
- All the workers are men, when many mill workers were women.
- The man in the foreground seems to be operating a press of some sort, with a pile of cut-out shapes, of indeterminate material, piled up at the side.
- He also has a weighing machine, as do two others in the picture.
- Some of the large baskets have ‘BP’ marked on them.
- There’s a man in the left background apparently holding a fishing rod.
- The wooden picture frame has fixings that indicate it was on display somewhere, possibly in a factory.
Anyone who knows for sure is invited to call in at Cafe Cargo or call on 01282 865069.