Locked doors are opened and residents pour into the once thriving mill to learn about its future.


Northlight (Brierfield) Mill had been locked and empty since the departure of Smith and Nephew in 2006. During that time the people of Brierfield had been eagar to see it brought back into use. Working in partnership with Pendle Borough Council, the mill was “Unlocked” for the weekend in November 2013 to launch the master plan for its redevelopment. Members of the public were invited for the first time to learn about the ambitions plans to bring it back to life.


Northlight remains an important feature of the town and its history in the memories of many local people, so we celebrated its past and future with a number of installations on the first floor. Unlocked was also our first public event and marked the (unofficial) launch of In-Situ. It was a great opportunity for local people to discover what we do and engage with our work.

Our contributions:

► William Titley installed sounds of looms spinning, which echoed memories of past industrial days down the stairwell

► Kerry Morrison revealed the past by ‘scrubbing and mopping’ the quarry stone tiles

► Artist-in-residence, Jane Lawson created a timeline of key events in Brierfield’s history from 1870 up to the present day. She set this against a national and global backdrop of what was happening elsewhere at the time, particularly in Pakistan and India. The timeline sparked conversation and encouraged visitors to reminisce amusing moments in the town’s history

► Artist-in-residence Helmut Lemke suspended the huge selection of keys which had been discovered and collected by the on-site mill manager, Paul Fyles, over the previous two years

Talkaoke generated discussion about the history of the mill and the plans for its future

Photography: Keith Blackburn

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