John Willie Johnson - E Sutton & Sons

This is a comprehensive recording by one of the most interesting characters in the footwear industry – John Willie Johnson.

It covers his family history with his father working in the mines. He talks about the quarry men, Rossendale hunt and his early working life as an apprentice locksmith. Wearing clogs and getting them mended at Smith & Pilling clog factory in Stacksteads Mill.

He explains his schooling and attendance record, the day he nearly levelled Bacup exploring a secret room and his working life, wages and conditions in the mills mentioning ‘acknowledgement payments by H W Trickett from 1914 – 1916 supporting families of workers who had gone to fight in the first world war.

He talks about working for Maden & Ireland factory at Kilnholme Mill and travelling to Leeds. From 1926 – 1929 as an examiner and then from 1929 – 1933 as foreman in the closing room before leaving in 1935 to take over holmes mill (Springholme Ltd). Buying Waterside Mill in 1942 and taking 18 years to pay for it.

He has an encyclopaedic  recall of events. This recording really is packed with too much valuable information to summerise!

To listen to this special recording please click on the green button with the white triangle below.