Warehouse on St Peter's Street (photo: A Nicholson, 2005).
Warehouse on St Peter's Street (photo: A Nicholson, 2005).

Industries. One of the greatest workshops in the parish is the Colliery, in which there are nearly five hundred men employed below, and nearly one hundred above ground. The shaft is fourteen feet in diameter. A heading driven from Wollaton pit to Radford pit, about 1½ miles, supplies ventilation, and the dip of the coal being eastward, 1 in 16, enables Wollaton coal to be brought to the Radford bank. A fan placed at the surface of Wollaton Colliery. 42 feet in diameter, working at forty revolutions a minute, produces a current between the two shafts. The coal is hauled to the shaft at Radford by endless ropes, to which tubs are secured by clips, and the ropes for safety travel three miles an hour.

Mr. Stretton gives particulars of the strata of a small colliery, the pit of which was sunk in 1819 to a depth of 71 yards to "strong Grey Stone of unknown depth, under which it is supposed there is coal again."

The Corporation Gas Works were erected in 1844, and are regarded as out of date, but 1½ million cubic feet of gas is produced daily.

The palaces of the parish are its factories. Huge hives of industry swarming with men, women, and young people gathering the honey which they take and store or use in the lesser hives of their homes. They are great buildings where attention has been paid not merely to size, but to air, light, sanitation and comfort.

The Lace Machine. That perfection of mechanism, the modern lace  machine, owes much to the ingenuity, adaptation, dogged perseverance, and determination to succeed of the men of Redford. It takes Mr. Felkin more than five hundred pages of his "History of the Machine-Wrought Hosiery and Lace Manufactures" to tell of the marvellous developments from the Rev. William Lee's stocking frame, to the wondrous combination of the great machine as it now stands, and among the multitude of competitors for improvements Radford men figure largely. Robert Brown, Edward Whittaker, John Brown, Benjamin Moore, John Leavers, James Fisher, William Crofts, James Wright, and many others did their part, and deserve honourable mention for their painstaking care to produce something better than had been done in the past.

Capital and Labour. Here we have a living example of the happy combination of capital and labour working for the mutual advantage of all parties. In one of those large buildings there may be a capital employed of thirty thousand pounds, and there may be three hundred workpeople. The three hundred could not, except by long-saving, get together that £30,000, in the absence of which there would be less work, but the £30,000 would be of little use without the three hundred workers. The energy the capitalist has put forth in addition to what he inherited, the thought, care, skill, and enterprise in the selection and working of up-to-date machinery; the materials, patterns, finishing of goods, obtaining markets for them, financing and directing all the operations, those three hundred workpeople could not do, and it would take them years to learn. They can manage Co-operative Stores, but they could not in the present attainment of ordinary technical instruction do all the operations of taste, design, skill and finance necessary to carry on a manufacturing business, and especially when times are bad, and orders cannot be obtained, and money cannot be got in, and profits are nil—their bank would break. On the other hand, the machines would be of little value without workers to use them; but when all happily combine, when head, hand, eye, foot and purse act together; when the workpeople do their best by industry, skill, care, and attention, and the employer pays a fair day's wage for a fair day's work, and acts with due consideration, then confidence, security, and continuance are ensured, to the mutual advantage of all parties concerned. We must, however, remember that the interests of the employer, and the persons employed, are not the only ones to be considered; there are those who buy and use the articles manufactured, and if the selling price is increased, or the quality for wearing purposes diminished, the purchasers suffer. Permanency and prosperity can be secured by reasonableness as regards wages, profits, qualities, prices, and due consideration for the rights of others. Furthermore, there is foreign competition to be considered, for we are a manufacturing people, making more than we consume, and requiring more food than we grow. We must export and import, and our prime costs and charges are influenced partly by foreign workers. All this requires a spirit of fairness, of mutual consideration and concession, for in trade a selfish policy is the policy of suicide.

What then is the object we must have in view in the study of local or national history and present welfare, and what is the unanimous testimony of the best men and women in the parish and city? And what is the ultimate object of the churches, schools, libraries, and every other social convenience? Surely it is to aid in the development of character? It is not fortune, or luck, or self-assertion, or platform talk, but character, begetting confidence, reliability, stability, ensuring credit, developing trade, and by co-operative effort increasing production, extending employment, rewarding skill, securing economies, and so making wages better while creating capital.

There are now in the district a large number of capitalists in a small way—people who are out of debt, and who have money in the Savings Banks, or other securities. This capital might well be employed in developing local industries, and this can be secured only by creating confidence and stability. But it is necessary to add a caution, because many attempts at joint manufacture have proved failures, arising from lack of experience, good judgment, energy, or integrity; or through selfish greed, bad trade, or otherwise, involving the loss of capital. By the adoption of judicious means everybody concerned may be benefited, and the war between capital and labour that has raged elsewhere may be avoided, it being to the disadvantage of all persons concerned, as Trade is like a sensitive plant which rudely handled trembles, shrinks, and decays.

"The soul of reformation, is the reformation of the soul."