Archives: “there is something about the smell and feel of a one hundred and twenty year old piece of paper..”

 Bolt Label Stickers

Greetings to all the readers. My name is Dennis Bourne and I am a second year history student at the Manchester Metropolitan University. I have had the pleasure of working with the staff at Bury archive for the past 3 to 4 months; and have been blessed with the opportunity to do some research work on the Bealey archives. Myself and my research partner Ashley Parkes ( whose blog you may have already read) have been tasked with finding out as much as we can about the Bealey bleach works and the trade marks they used.

Bolt Label Stickers

One of the colourful images which were stuck onto wrapped bolts of cloth for export.

This has been a blessing as we have had the chance to gain access to a wealth of original documents, which you just don’t get to access at university, unless they are online. Trust me, there is something about the smell and feel of a one hundred and twenty year old piece of paper which a computer screen will never replace. One of things I found most interesting were the large leather bound catalogue books of what we believe to be Trade Marks, Combination Marks and Bolt labels. Here is a sample of some of the designs contained in one of the catalogues.

One of the catalogues was in a really bad state when it was presented to the archives, and had to be sent for repair and restoration. This gave us the opportunity to meet Nic in the conservation department at Greater Manchester County Records Office (Nic you’re a legend!!); see some of the designs in the damaged volume; and learn about some of the techniques in restoration (I now know how to bind a book).

Bolt Label Stickers

I won’t ramble, but I would like to thank Joanne, Gill, Karen, Kirsty and Donna at Bury for making us feel at home, and hopefully (or maybe not) you will hear from me again soon. Goodbye readers.



About bealey

Bury archives has employed a professional project archivist who is sorting through the papers of the Bealey family and their company The Bealey Bleachworks based in Radcliffe near Bury. These records are being catalogued so they can be made available to the public.
This entry was posted in Archive News, The Bealey Papers. Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to Archives: “there is something about the smell and feel of a one hundred and twenty year old piece of paper..”

  1. Pete Spooner says:

    Thanks for the insight, nice to hear people saving our history for (I know it sounds corny) — future generations.
    Also nice to hear some names 🙂


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