This is Tulketh Mill, just up the road from us, and clearly the most important building in the neighbourhood. It was a cotton mill, the largest and most modern in Preston when it opened in 1905, but it didn’t last long as such. THe cotton industry went into decline after world war one, and by the 1960s the mill had shut down. It was converted into a distribution centre for Littlewoods, a clothing catalogue company, and then in 2005 was turned into a call centre for a mobile phone company, which is what it still is. They’ve been building a kind of strip mall along the Blackpool road frontage which will house a couple of restaurants and a Tesco’s I believe.
The Tesco’s is sneaky. When we first moved here there had just been a fight to prevent a Tesco’s opening up across the road from the mill, which had been won by the anti-Tesco’s campaigners, led chiefly by the Booth’s supermarket a few blocks away. Since then, the Booths has become less a supermarket than a convenience store, doubling the amount of booze it stocks and severely limiting the amount of fresh and raw food. Personally, I’m hoping for the Tesco’s to bring some competition back.