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Saturday 14 February 2009

Wakes Weeks

Sarah Lancashire TV programme, Disappearing Britain about Lancashire Wakes Weeks.

Mill towns used to shut down for a fortnight each year, during which, maintenance was done on machinery in the cotton mills.

I grew up in the mill town Clitheroe, Lancs. in the mid 20th century when Wakes Weeks still survived. The various towns closed one after another, so no two were on 'holiday' at the same time. Families used to save up all year to have money for the fortnight because they weren't paid while the mills were closed.

Even in the 1950's - early 1960s, the tradition survived, and people by then had holidays with pay. Essential shops (grocers) opened in the mornings, newsagents sent lads to sell newspapers in parts of the town (mornings).

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