Samuel McLerie

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John Henry Hirst

Originally from Pipin Bank, Bacup, a strong Wesleyan and Sunday School Teacher at Newchurch Wesleyan Church.

Governor of Old Newchurch Grammar School, a liberal in polotics (Waterfoot Liberal Club), a members of Rossendale golf club, Ratwenstall Cricket Club and Rossendale United FC.

1884 - started slipper manufacturing with J R Brooks as Hirst Brooks at Piercy Mill with J W Rothwell as manager.

1886 - Left Brooks and bought Hollins Mill

1891 - Needed more room bought Whitewell Works (old cotton, weaving shed built 1880)

1910 - Extended into Clarke Holme Mill (which was extended again in 1920)

1911 - 1917 - President Rossendale Shoe & Slipper Manufacturers Association

Died 28th May 1922.

Had 3 children - only son Walter Hirst born 1900 joined company 1921. Managing director until 1973.

Walter Hirst - son, John Kenneth Hirst born 21st May 1931. Worked as assistant to Mr Frederick Howarth (LHS), married Miss Margaret Oldham 1955. 1962 Salesman...ended up as MD and chairman J H Hirst Group.

 

The Slipper King

Born: Waterfoot 23rd June 1857

Aged 8 - 'half-timer' (37 hours work then school in evenings). By the age 17 he was apprentice block printer at Joshua Tricketts felt works - Greenbridge Felt Works.

1881 - Took over from J W Rothwell as treveller at Gregory & Co.

1883 - aged 26 borrowed £75 and started own business at Carr Lane Mill, Cowpe in a first floor room 15yrd X 10 yrd with 2 workers soon took another 4 on.

1889 - Bought Gaghills Mill (old cotton mill), Burnley Road, Waterfoot for £1100 and by 1890 was employing 145 male and 75 females producing 30 - 35,000 pairs of slippers per week; 'savior of Waterfoot'.

1892 - introduced profit sharing scheme

By 1900 he was employing 1000 people and making 72,000 pairs slippers per week.

1901 - formed limited company

1902 - forst person in Rossendale to have a car

By 1906 he had offices all over the world; London, Paris, Hamburg; Bucharest; Cairo, Johannesburg; Cape Town Jamacia.

1909 - November knighted by King Edward VII

Five time mayor of Rawtenstall and a JP

First factory to have a 'rest room with medical superintendent

Died at Home (Gaghills House) 3rd August 1913

 

J W Rothwell 

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J R Brooks

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J H Parker

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Richard Ashworth Hoyle

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