Generally speaking, art is an under-represented feature of the textile recycling industry in Yorkshire, which is something of a paradox as the craft of textile recycling is so artful. This is something iinouiio is trying to change with our aspiration to fund and create some community theatre events.
However, two fictional novels are an exception to this:
Value for Money by Derrick Boothroyd, published in 1953 by J. M. Dent & Sons Ltd: London
Shoddy Kingdon by Derrick Boothroyd, published in 1955 by J. M. Dent & Sons Ltd: London
The late Derek Boothroyd (whose dad was a rag merchant in Batley), editor of the Batley News and the Wool Record (an industrial journal that featured my dad’s textile recycling mill (Colin Parkinson Ltd) and later ‘Evergreen’ wrote about secrets and intrigue within families of textile recycling businesses in his fictionalised novels Shoddy Kingdom (1955) and Value for Money (1953). In 1955 Value for Money was made into a film with Diana Dors playing a lead role alongside other such as John Gregson, Susan Stephans, Derek Farr, Frank Peppingell, Leslie Phillps and Jill Adams. Much of the film was shot on location in Batley, but Dors never came to the town and her parts on location were played by a stand-in, Norah Miller.
Both of Boothroyd’s novels capture the secrets, competition, underhand tactics, brash personalities, ‘uneducated’ men making plenty of brass (money) and yet being expert at ‘crying the poor tale’ (pretending to be poor).
Derek Boothroyd was the boss of the Batley historian (Malcolm Haigh) who was deputy editor of the Batley News. In Malcolm’s best-known book, The History of Batley:1800-1974, I am included in the list of subscribers (along with my family). I remember Malcolm’s visit to our mill in 1977 – how wonderful.
There are other entertaining biographical works of living in the Heavy Woollen district around the towns of Dewsbury and Batley such as:
Up the Snicket by Fred Butler, published in 2000 by FAB Publications: Mirfield, Yorkshire
Down the Ginnel by Fred Butler, published in 2002 by FAB Publications: Mirfield, Yorkshire
Over Yonder by Fred Butler, published in 2006 by FAB Publications: Mirfield, Yorkshire
Nowt so Queer as Folk by Derrick Boothroyd, published in 1976 by Watmoughs Ltd: Bradford, Yorkshire