Rope Making

Text: Malcolm Dick

Image: This photograph of about 1897 shows Lowe’s Rope Manufactory, the most important in Bewdley, against a steam train and railway viaduct of the Severn Valley Railway. To the left finished ropes are shown laid up on stretchers. In the yard two men stand in the background with two-wheeled carts in front.

[Image from: Bewdley Museum]


The records of Lowe’s Rope Manufactory provide a detailed picture of one significant Bewdley business. They provide an insight into the experiences of its owners and workers and the nature of its markets and customers in the 19th and 20th centuries. Remarkably, photographs also survive, which present people at work, the tools they used and the machines which turned flax into rope and twine. These varied sources enable more to be written about this local industry than most other manufacturing concerns in the town.


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942-0Industry and Agriculture: Rope Making and Horn Working in Bewdley 943-0Rope Making 288-0Rope Making and Bewdley 279-0Lowe’s Rope and Twine Manufactory 301-0Lowe’s Rope and Twine Manufactory 272-0Work and Labour 282-0Work and Labour 273-0Products and Markets 299-0Products and Markets 286-0Rope Making: Dressing or Hackling 280-0Rope Making: Spinning 283-0Rope Making: Laying the Rope 296-0Rope Making: Inserting the Tops 285-0Rope Making: Stretching 291-0Rope: Making: Mechanisation 300-0The Decline of Rope Making 751-0Hornworking