Barbour Threads, Urban Decay : The Signs

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Today I spent just over two hours wandering around the grounds of the old Barbour Threads Mill in Hilden, Lisburn. I previously photographed the exterior of the site from the safety of the Lagan walk (see the photos here).  Despite the factory closing in 2006 there are still parts of the mill that look like they were only vacated yesterday, desks, calculators and even cardigans on the backs of seats can still be found 4 years on.

I haven’t had a chance to look at the photos in any great detail but I will probably release them on site in mini themes. The first theme is the easiest  entitled “signs”, not the modern day fire exit displays but those that looked to have been there for a few years.

It was amazing to see the very stencils that created many of the signs still in existence littering a small spray area. There is no doubt given the quality of the handmade stencils signage was probably someones full time job. A few of the signs have had some graffiti added while the mill was still operational.

It was clear the employees of Barbour Threads were proud of their workplace. I saw a number of the above signs scattered around the site reminding people to keep their company tidy and the statement a clean yard makes to visitors.

Four years after closure the site was eerily quiet with only the Lagan flowing and the unnerving sound of crows overhead breaking the silence. It is no doubt a complete contrast to how busy the mill would have been even ten years ago.

It will probably take a number of weeks for me to process the different images I managed to capture today. Although there just may be one or two reasonably photos the collection won’t probably be of much interest until the Mill has gone having been transformed in to a new residential development.

Photos from “Through the Mill”


David is a documentary and landscape photographer covering everything from dramatic long exposure landscape photography through to live music. David is a former Official Fujifilm X Photographer.

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