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M248b Diamond Wove Envelope mould - closeup

M248b Diamond Wove Envelope mould - closeup

Stationary was a major part of Hayle Mill's business for many years and apart from a wide variety of papers and sizes, we also produced huge quantities of envelopes. Many were folded from diamond shaped slips. In this case 6 slips were made as part of a larger sheet (442 x 724mm - 17 ½" x 28 ½") which after drying and glazing was torn along the heavy watermark "tearing wires". Moulds made by E Amies & Son 8/1909.

These pictures bring back a sad memory of the closure of Turkey Mill, Maidstone in 1976. This was Whatman's main mill in the 18th century subsequently owned and run by T & J Hollingworth. They switched over to machine production in the mid 19th century and in many respects 20th century production was little changed from 100 years earlier. At the time of closure I visited the mill a number of times, mainly to buy small items of equipment for use at Hayle Mill although I also acquired some archive and museum items. I could not contemplate taking the larger machinery. This included a fine Fourdrinier paper machine, a fabulous and by then rare spar drum dryer and an even rarer diamond sheet cutter. This took machine reels, slit them to the correct width and chopped them to length. A normal sheet cutter has a fly blade turning at right angles to the sheet direction and can only produce rectangular sheets. These could then have been guillotined to diamond slips wasting extra operator time and the offcuts. The diamond cutter had a blade that could be swiveled to about 45 degrees giving great versatility and it was beautifully engineered. It was probably unique by then and maybe a hundred years old. Sadly I didn't photograph it and I was unable to find a new home for it such as the National paper Museum. The Mill was in the hands of the scrap merchant, whose priority was to cut equipment up. Fortunately the Mill has been preserved as a business centre.

© Copyright Simon Barcham Green 2011. Not to be copied or reproduced without written permission