We’re thrilled to be bringing the exhibition to Batley, the birthplace of shoddy, at the end of the month.
Shoddy will be on show in Batley Library and Art Gallery, to coincide with Batley Vintage Day on Saturday 28th May, which will bring plenty of people to town.
The exhibition will remain on display until 11th June.
Batley Vintage Day has a focus (but not exclusively) on the 1940’s, so between now and then I’ll share some information about disabled people’s lives at that time. And of course, some more about shoddy in Batley.
As mentioned before on these pages, the invention of Shoddy is generally attributed to Benjamin Law of Batley. Around 1813 he invented the process of reclaiming fibres from woollen rags and mixing it with a small amount new wool to make Shoddy. Although Morley also has a claim to being the place where shoddy was invented, as the first shoddy mill was on the very border of Morley and Batley, in Benny Parr Woods. However, Batley became the centre of the shoddy trade, which transformed the town and indeed the textile industries.
Batley Art Gallery and library are in a splendid building on the Market Place, opposite the town hall. The gallery is on the first floor, accessible by lift or stairs. As well as the front entrance (which has steps) there’s a side entrance to the ground floor, with automatic doors.
It’s an honour to make the link with Batley and the town’s history.