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18 June 2014
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Cambrian Woollen Mill
© BBC
Pryce-Jones: Pioneer of the Mail Order Industry

At the end of the 19th Century the local woollen mills were once again faring badly. The coal that powered the machinery wasn’t available locally, and the cost of transporting it from further a field was reflected in the price of the cloth. Without a direct railway link from Newtown to the South Wales Valleys, the local manufacturers were forced to send their Flannels to the North where the competition remained fierce. Eventually Rochdale supplied much of Pryce-Jones’ “Welsh” Flannel.

Newtown’s largest factory, the Cambrian Mills, succumbed to closure in 1912 following extensive fire damage. After that Newtown was no longer a major centre for the woollen industry and many workers migrated to find work elsewhere. Pryce-Jones’ company enjoyed continued success until the depression of the 1920’s and 1930’s, and the business was sold to a Liverpool firm in 1938.

Words: Carolyn Cowey

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Internet Links
Victorian Powys
–Read more about the Victorian age in mid Wales
Gathering the Jewels
– The website for Welsh cultural history
Cambrian Woollen Mill
–BBCi Mid Wales Where I Live
Powys: A Day in the Life
–Digital History Project
The Story of the Welsh Woollen Industry
–Museum of the Welsh Woollen Industry
More on Pryce-Jones
– BBC Wales History Hunters
Pryce-Jones
–BBC Wales Hall of Fame
The Industrial Past of Wales
Newtown Online
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