George Hattersley1798-1869
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Richard Hattersley 1761
Richard Hattersley was the founder of the company that subsequently designed and manufactured weaving machinery. Having served an apprenticeship at the Kirkstall Forge in 1784, Richard set up his own business in 1789 at Stubbings Mill, Airworth, to manufacture nuts, bolts, screws and small parts for textile machines. The business expanded and diversified into manufacturing spindles and rollers. This prompted a move to larger premises in South Street, Keighley.

He brought his son George into the business, with George subsequently taking over. In 1834 George was asked to build a power loom for worsted weaving. The first loom was completed in 1834. At that time, it was considered that the best worsted was a hand made product. The Hattersley loom disproved that theory.

The original power loom was destroyed at Nab Wood near Shipley. En route to Hattersleys customer in Bradford, it was smashed by a group of 'Luddities'. This was a group of hand weavers, fearfull of their jobs. A replacement was soon manufactured, successfully delivered to their customer and put into full time production. Ironically it created many more jobs for former hand loom weavers.

Hattersleys went into full production and produced a variety of different power looms. This included the 'Dobby' which created much more intricate patterns. A loom for the creation of narrow fabrics was also developed, which was a great success producing tapes, webbings and medal ribbons for the First World War. It was around this time that the company workforce numbered around 1100.

Hattersley looms became the most commonly used in Harris Tweed production in the Outer Hebrides. Thirty looms arriving in 1919 and the first six of an upgraded type (able to weave a wider fabric), arriving in Stornaway in 1924.

The loom business traded until 1983. However, part of the business still in production, known as Hattersley Alladdin, is based in Keighley. They supply narrow woven products to many high profile customers, see

A descendent of Richard, the owner of Yorkshire Garden and Leisure, Stephen Hattersley Smith, has the accompanying picture of Richard on its web site (under the Hatties Restaurant heading), see Here you can read more about the Hattersleys.

Kirkstall Forge. Founded in 1779 by the Butler family, it occupied an historic site close to Kirkstall Abbey. Tradition says iron was first smelted on the site by monks around 1152.