Friday, 14 December 2012

NO TIME LIKE THE PRESENT


When Smith and Nephew departed from Brierfield
And the working factory was decommissioned
The iconic clock
In the heart of the iconic Mill complex
Stopped
Ticking

As the only civic clock in the town of Brierfield
The town’s time now stands
Stuck
At different times
On different faces
A constant reminder of a past time
An industry passed on
A disused Mill
An abandoned space
Void of civic life and productive activity

Thanks to public money, councilor’s support, and partnership working (Pearl2, a partnership agency: Pendle B.C. and Barnfield Investment Properties Ltd), Brierfield Mill - currently a silent space - is now in transition and to become Pendle's flagship economic regeneration project. The Leader of Pendle Council, Councilor Mike Blomeley, said:


The Homes and Communities Agency gave us 100% of the money needed to buy it… We'll be preserving this fantastic Grade II listed building and ultimately creating hundreds of jobs over the coming years!


Tim Webber, Chairman and Managing Director of Barnfield Investment Properties, said:

As a Pendle company we're passionate about the Brierfield Mill complex. It has fantastic potential. Not only does it mean we have an opportunity to preserve it for generations to come but we'll be creating jobs and hopefully a landmark for the region!

The Mill is already a landmark, and holds a special place in many local people’s lives and hearts. Touching testimonies can be read on the Brierfield Mill's Facebook page as well as in comments section under flickr photos and YouTube films of Brierfield Mill. Brierfield Mill, as was, is the reason why so many people moved to Brierfield, resulting in a culturally diverse community; lives, then, linked and intertwined like the fabrics that were spun on the factory floors. A common workplace and the social activities arising from the Smith and Nephew camp – trips, football matches, walks up Pendle hill, and the like – bonded the citizens that make up the community of Brierfield and Reedley. Brierfield Mill is more than simply significant: it is the cornerstone of a community. No wonder so many people feel so passionately about it. And the Mill could indeed hold a key to the future prosperity of Brierfield. Some members of the community may have their say on what the future could hold for the Mill. Pendle M.P., Andrew Stephenson, is reported to have contacted 150 households to ask what they would like to see happen to Brierfield Mill, and there are lots of possibilities…


Ultimately, this socially significant structure has great potential. Brierfield Mill could, once again, be a reason to move to Brierfield, and a reason to stay in Brierfield. However, a regeneration project on this scale, and in these economically challenging times, will not happen overnight. It is estimated that it will take ten years to complete the regeneration of this landmark building. That ten-year time span has just begun. Work has started with a major clear out operation: stripping the interiors back to the bare fabric of the 1834 build; making the building ‘regeneration ready’. This first step on the road to a new life for the Mill is estimated to take nine months. And with these first steps the ten-year countdown has begun, the metaphorical clock ticking…


But, what of the actual clock?
The clock with four faces
Housed in a tower
In the heart of the Mill complex
The clock tower

An iconic sight
Stuck in time
But hopefully not for ten years time
There is hope that
The times are a changing
And that the clock will ring in the changes
Now, as work has begun, is the opportune time
For the bell to chime
A new beginning

And, with the Homes and Communities Agency’s statutory objectives (as defined by the Housing and Regeneration Act 2008) including:

Support, in other ways, the creation, regeneration or development of communities in England or their continued wellbeing.

There is no time like the present
Let’s not let time stand still as lives move forward
And lest remember, a stopped civic clock raises no civic pride
A clock that tics
Does.