Reddish Vale Country Park

Print Works 

Agriculture was the main occupation of the people in Reddish, although bleaching, hand loom weaving and hat making had been carried out on a small scale.


Established in the 18th Century, the Print works at Reddish Vale was one of a number of Printing firms established to the south of Manchester and expanded in the 19th century to become an important employer in the area.

In 1825, the site was owned by John Fletcher and then by 1840 it was operated by the Becker Bros, who had 4 printing machines and 118 block printing tables. In 1862 the Print Works was acquired by Bradshaw, Hammond & Co of Levenshulme before becoming part of the Calico Printers Association in 1899.

The buildings comprised of a typical print works layout with single and two storey buildings together with a number of reservoirs, as printing required vast amounts of water. Once the water had been used, some of it was discharged into the river, causing pollution problems, not only for Reddish, but for other areas. In the 1880s, the Levenshulme Local Board of Health was complaining about the state of a stream and argued that the pollution emanated from the factories and mills of Reddish. The river Tame was not only polluted by the mills and print works along its bank, but also from discharges from sewage works 

By 1975, the Print Works had closed down and the buildings converted into industrial units, the buildings were demolished to make way for the Butterfly Conservation Field which opened in 1999.

One of the few buildings remaining was the weighbridge building, which stood at the entrance to the Print Works. The building was damaged after a break in at the begining of 2010, and was demolished.

reddish vale country park, history, print works, weighbridge

The photos below possibly taken around 1979, photographer unknown.

Photos taken by the county Engineering Dept, 28th February 1979, click on images to enlarge

reddish vale country park, printworks

Ariel photograph of Reddish Vale Print Works, no date as to when the photo was taken.

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