The Decline of Rope Making

Image: Lowe’s Rope Manufactory, Bewdley in a derelict state in about 1973. Strand separating boards are shown to the left of the picture.

[Image from: Bewdley Museum]

Rope making in Bewdley declined.

  • The market for many of its products fell. The water trade virtually disappeared, the Kidderminster carpet industry declined and the use of adhesive tape reduced the need for twine.
  • Lowe’s Rope Manufactory prided itself on its ability to meet the individual demands of different customers. Its specialised production meant that it could not compete with cheaper items, which were manufactured elsewhere and man-made cordage made from nylon, polythene and polypropylene.

Lowe’s was one of the last ropeworks to produce hand-made products. After it closed in 1972, its premises were demolished, but examples of its equipment and products were relocated and displayed in Bewdley Museum.


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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