somewhereto_ campaigner Charlotte Cropper leads the battle to save iconic mill
Recently somewhereto_ has noticed the emergence of some incredibly inspiring young people who have poured their passion into making a stand in their community.
Charlotte Cropper is a 17 student from Bamber Bridge who has been mobilising residents in her area to change the fate of Wesley Street Mill, a landmark location destined for demolition.
somewhereto_ roving reporter Anthony Price talks to Cropper about the campaign ‘Save Wesley Street Mill’ – a mill that packs a huge part of history with the potential to become the next generations future.
“Mum, I’ve thought of an idea, I’m going to start a campaign to save Bamber Bridge Mill!’’ - a bold, daring and much needed move!
Wesley Street Mill is currently a disheartening sight, its windows shattered and future bleak after being marked for demolition.
However the structure stands proud, sprouting enormous amounts of potential in becoming, again, a central part of the Bamber Bridge community - given the right people and the right organisations to take notice.
People just like Charlotte Cropper, a 17 year old student of Newman College who knows she must do something to help save the mill and is currently heading up an online campaign.
How did you get started with the campaign to save Wesley Street Mill?
“When I heard the shocking news about an offer being made to the council from a company who wants to demolish our mill I immediately knew I had to do something. From that minute onwards I got on the phone to family members to ask them how I would start this campaign, it wasn’t something I had ever done before and I had no idea where to start.
“All great things have a beginning and one of the keys to the process is gaining the nerve to face something new and tackle a seemingly daunting or even impossible task.
“I did my research and came across a campaign to save the mill. I contacted the individual in charge and expressed how passionate I was about saving our beautiful mill and I asked if there was anything I could do to save it. The campaign had dried up and supporters had unfortunately lost interest. I was immediately promoted to take over and since then I have thought of fresh new ways to save our mill, gained media publicity and doubled the supporters.”
Media publicity is correct with Charlotte being asked by a number of people, myself included, and organisations such as somewhereto_, a national youth movement who’re equally striving for Wesley Street Mill to be saved to continue their aim: to liberate disused, underused and empty spaces for use by young people for creative projects.
somewhereto_ exists to provide young people with opportunities like empty spaces for their creative ambitions. Do you think that having them on board is a useful tool to save the mill?
“I think organisations that provide young people with opportunities to explore their creative ambitions is absolutely fantastic. Having somewhereto_ on board is very useful in helping my campaign to reach a wide network of people who feel the same about preserving our history. I believe somewhereto_ has close links to a lot of companies who’ll perhaps see Wesley Street Mill as the next big project they may be looking for.”
With somewhereto_ wanting to help your quest to save Wesley Mill what do you think their impact will be?”
“I really appreciate this huge amount of support, I hope that the impact will be that more and more people support and help me in my quest to save the mill. I would absolutely love if an individual or a company looking to start a project would consider Wesley Street Mill, I would absolutely love it if someone out there could see the huge potential of this site, it would truly be a dream come true.”
Why is it important for young people to care about their environment, particularly about great spaces that are gathering dust?
“I think it is so important for everyone -no matter how young or old- to care about their environment, after all we don’t inherit the world from our ancestors but borrow it from our children.
“There are many great spaces out there collecting dust that could be of great use to young people, I believe that being young is a time to flourish but how can young people flourish without spaces to do so?”
The 106-year-old mill is scheduled to be ripped down and taken from the community to make way for a new 200 home development site. Charlotte Cropper urges the community to help support the cause and help save an iconic building steeped in heritage and history.
“I believe having a lot of support can help me with my quest, it is fantastic to hear like-minded people who adore the mill and can see the great potential of it, hearing other peoples passion and positivism really helps, a good support network will 100% help, so if there are people out there who would like to support me in my quest it would be absolutely fantastic to hear from you. I will be holding events and meetings.”
It’s undeniable that the sheer scope required to do-up the mill is gargantuan but by just taking influence from the members of the ‘Save Wesley Street Mill’ campaign online and even the excellent revival of the former Horrock’s mill on New Hall lane, there’s no shortage of possible ideas to preserve the once majestic mill.
Go like the Facebook page ‘Save Wesley Street Mill’ and spread the word.
Let’s save our mills!
Anthony Price – somewhereto_ reporter
If you’ve got a space like Charlotte or you’re looking for space, please let us know here!