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The Canterbury Woollen Mills.

Yesterday, afc the invitation of the ■general manager of the Mosgiel Woollen Company, a number of gentlemen inspected the buildings and machinery of the Ashburton WooUen Mills, now known as "The Canterbury Woollen Mills." The chief object of this inspectionatthe present time was to afford the members of the Fire Insurance Association of Canterbury an opportunity of seeing the alterations made in the machinery, and the new buildings erected with the view of minimising the risk from firei The representatives of the Fire' Insurance Companies arrived by the express, arid were met by Mr Morrison^ the general manager; the party consisting of Mr Croxton, Chairman of the Fire Insurance Association, and Manager of the South British Company; Mr D. Craig, of the New Zealand Insurance -r Company ; Mr; F. Graham,, Colonial; Mr .J. tßird, Liverpool and London, and Globe ; Mr Simpson, Equitable; Mr Beaumont, London and Lancashire,; Mr Grierson, Victoria ;~ and Mr A. Corrick, National.. There were also Messrs Warner, Shanks, Triggs and Hobbs of Christchurch.

The party proceededto the Commercial Hotel where a sumptuous cold luncheon was served by Host Henry, to which the above named gentlemensatdown, together with Messrs Friedlander, Shury, McOwen and A. Orr, representing Ashburton interests. Mr Morrison took the chair, Mr Croxton discharging the duties of croupier. 1 After the good things had been discussed, Mr Morrison apologised for the absence of Mr Robei#?, the Chairman of the Mosgiel Company, who had intended being with them, but had that morning telegraphed his inability to be present at the inspection of the premises of the .Company by the Fire Insurance Agents. The speaker considered fire insurance a very good thing for the country generally, but at the same time thought the less the Companies had to pay, the as losses must accrue at", every He proposed "The* Health of the Members of the Canterbury Fire Insurance Association," coupled with the name of Mr Croxton, Chairman of the Association.; - This toast was heartily honored. Mr Croxton replied, trusting that any risks takenby the Association with the Mosgiel Company, -would prove satisfactory to all parties. He thought Ashburton should be grateful to the Mosgiel Company for stepping in and taking the factory up when they did. He proposed " The Success of the Mosgiel Company," coupled with the name of Mr Morrison, the manager. After the toast had been honored, Mr Morrison replied, stating that he thought Ashburton people would find it to their benefit that the mill was now in the hands of the Mosgiel Company. All industries helped the country on, particularly, he thought, the woollen industry. The Company possessed special advantages in Ashburton, as for instance the fact that the wool vised was grown in the district. He thought the woollen industry of New Zealand was the industry that afforded a good lesson to all the colonies. It was firmly intended by the Mosgiel Company to make the Ashburton factory equal in all - respects to tho Mosgiel factory ; (md the alterations and additions recently made, though oausing delay in the manufacture of goods, would in the end result in, this factory turning out goods in every way equal to the Mosgiel goods. After those present had inspected the factory, he hoped they would return with him and have a glass of wine before parting.

THE WORKS. The party were then driven to the factory and on arrival were shown over the whole buildings by Mr Morrison, and Mr Row-fin, the company's manager at the Ashburton Mills. The wool store containing a large stock of wool in bales and bulk, was the first building viewed, next coming the building (a new one) containing the dyed wools in bins. Opposite this is another new brick building, with concrete floors and iron roof. This is divided into three parts, containing the MDevils," two fast running machines for breaking up the wool and preparing it for the carding mills, also the drying machine for tempering tho manufactured flannels and tweeds, the heat in this compartment being obtained from steam pipes from the main boilers, raising the atmosphere to about 150' —a similar climate to that of Brisbane, according to the genial Dunedin Manager's idea. The other room in this block is utilised as a drying room for loose wool, after scouring and dyeing, and in a corner runs a 10-horse power Tangye's patent steam.engine of recent importation from England, TMb Us driven % steam from the main boijers; but thege buildings being quite distinct and separate from the main buildings, the risk of fire is minimised as these are the only machines, fropi which there ia any prospect of danger by heating, friction, or waste wool. The main boilers, now five in number, are covered with a composition which effects economy in fuel »nd also prevents radiation of heat from the boilers. Yesterday the two new ' boilers only were used, the fuel utilised at Ashburton being smajl Westport coal or nuts. At MfiSgiel, however, only b\\§ nat}v.e.' poa| — lignite — is, consumed in the furnaces. The oflice and storproom, with Messjs Ferguson and L,ewis in charge, were next visited, a large stock of tweeds and flannels being in stock. The main engines of twenty horse power are at the back of these rooms, the motive power being carried to the machinery in the main building by heavy rope belting. Three sets of carding jnacjiines are at work, wit|i new system of feeding qff the wool,-as adopted % the Mosgiel Company, and the fibre is balled off by Platt Bros', automatic balling machines fron} the carders. The spinning machines or mules adjoin, There are two pajrs., with a total of }.46Q spindles, and Mr Kersel has charge of this department. The Factory has 25 power looms in work, and two hand loomß, turning out at present 'flannels and tweeds of yarious patterns. These, of course, erqploy a number of hands, the o^her machinery being mostly automatic, and run without much manual labor, fJPhe scouring and darning rooms are at the south side of the mill the latter room being the only one built of wood in the whole factory. The scouring room is fitted up with a full set of jiy< i!ti»ii Mrv fr'v cleansing the wool and 1 ■ ',■■.■■, 1 ■ ,■•. .1 goods when they come from the looms. The dye house adjoins the scouring house, the water coming from the condensers of the boilers, the vats with their boiling and f^c Ah:ncliri".r«it" mating vjsitop in xn'iiifi of 1 h-.- !:•■■ :■■>•• /•• ■ <# tjie North'lsland. Mr .'•. i. 1.«.:-"v:.;:!. ''the boss dyer," waxed ' r .'.•■■ i;--jii--i : in his description of the various dye woods and chemicals used to produce the many I tints, and showed with pride samples of colored yajais, ;i sanie as he sentj'to the Dunedin Exhibition for the Company." The finishing room under Mr Wildsmith is at the back of the new boiler house, and is also a brick building,. and much more commodious than the room formerly used by the old Company t Mr D-empster, the designer, has. in the jhain buikling, and was busy at work on new patterns of tweed for winter wear.

, The party having completed the round of inspection of the whole buildings, returned to Asljburtpn: a;nci were again entertained at the Commercial Hotel, by Mr Morrison, who informed' the visitors that the factory here was now complete with appliances for the carrying on of every pyoegss of woollen manufacture from the first scouring of greasy wool, to the finishing of the finest tweeds, flannels and rugs. The visitors returned to Christchurch by the express.

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The Canterbury Woollen Mills., Ashburton Guardian, Volume VII, Issue 2399, 12 April 1890

Word Count

The Canterbury Woollen Mills. Ashburton Guardian, Volume VII, Issue 2399, 12 April 1890

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