A Progress Report by Sue Friar

The former Gateacre Brewery - later Clegg's Flock Works - has now been converted to residential apartments,
and renamed 'Brewery Gardens'.

(Photo taken in February 2012)

We took on a daunting task, and a labour of love, when we started developing the former site of A Clegg & Son. These buildings have been in my family since 1931 and much time and effort have been spent on developing the site for felt manufacturing over three generations. We had to demolish 75 years of steady growth, surviving recession and war, before we could commence our journey.

We formed a new company and, in March 2006, work started. My father, Rex Clegg, was very happy to see new life begin to emerge from these lovely old buildings. It took some time to get plans passed and there was opposition to 'yet more apartments'. However, we set out to build large spacious apartments of a very high standard which would retain as much of the character of the buildings as possible. Outwardly, there appears to be little change (other than the large glass staircase) but internally the large empty spaces gave us a blank canvas on which to work.

My husband, Mike, has been the builder and totally in charge of the whole development. He has been very dedicated to this project as it is very close to our hearts. My father died four years ago and did not see the transformation; sadly, he only saw the early days. We are only half way through, but at present the house and all the apartments are occupied. The tenants have all moved from outside Gateacre and are therefore helping the local economy.

The site of 'Brewery Gardens' is not yet complete. However, we feel that the lack of large vehicles continually holding up the traffic in Gateacre Brow must be a good thing. When I look through the new black wrought-iron gates, it looks inviting and I love seeing lights on in the apartments at night. Life has come back to the former brewery, and I am told it is a lovely place to live.

For further information visit the Gateacre Society's
special Clegg's Felt Factory
web pages

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