Rayon (Artificial Silk) Manufacture

Rayon is an early man-made fibre made from Cellulose using a complex process. Littleborough had two Rayon Plants albeit the first which occupied Atlas mill (later used by the Tannery) only lasted for a few years and produced little Rayon even though relatively large amounts of capital was invested in a ‘new’ process.

Python Mill

Python Mill was rebuilt from Tyne Mill which had been built as an asbestos factory in 1916. It was later taken over, sections added and adapted by Breda Visada to produce Rayon.

It opened on 15th July 1926. In 1929 Breda Visada was taken over by British Breda Silk Co. The company remained in production for over 20 years and during the Second World War it produced large amounts of Artificial Silk for the war effort purportedly for making parachutes, The war resulted in 12 of their employees losing their lives in the fight against the Axis powers which included the only known female casualty from the Littleborough Area.


Private Nora Caveney (19)

ATodmorden lass who worked in the “Reeling Room” within the Littleborough Plant at Python Mill. On possibly her first engagement with the enemy, she was operating a range-finder on an anti-aircraft battery site when she was struck by a bomb splinter

Following numerous rationalisation in the European Rayon Industry, the Rayon Factory It closed down in tlate 1953. Part of the mill was later used by other companies before final demolition to enable the Lidl Supermarket to be built.

Full details of both Rayon Plants are included in our new booklet (right) which pictures Python Mill on the Front Cover