Victorian Powys for primary  schools
Powys Digital History Project
Newtown and district
The flannel industry
  The end of the industry  
  Despite the boom in the industry in the 1870s and 1880s things gradually declined once more.
There were several reasons for this...
  1. The mills of Newtown changed to steam power too late. The great mills of the north of England converted sooner, and were always producing more than local mills.  
  2. Coal had to be brought a long way to fuel Newtown's mills. This meant it was more expensive to produce the cloth, and the price had to be higher.  
  3. Just as the coming of the railways helped the industry in Newtown, it also helped the industry in the north of England which was closer to the big cities where the markets were.  
  4. The demand for woollen goods around the world declined.  

For these and other reasons things began to go wrong for local factories.
Some mills closed in the 1890s, some carried on into the 20th century. When most of the Cambrian Mill burned down in 1912 that really meant the end for the industry in Newtown.

The workers and their families faced a difficult choice. Many left the area to find work elsewhere. Some stayed and were unemployed, looking for what work they could find. There was always the danger that they would be taken to the workhouse, though. The end of the industry meant difficult times in late Victorian Newtown.


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