carl.roach3 on December 14th, 2010

The Warwick Mill is an imposing landmark in the centre of Middleton, sadly it has been empty and largelyderelict for a good number of years now. However the building is now back in daily use and virtually fully tenanted. The latest of these tenants is Inspire Middleton, a local charity set up a couple of years ago by Middleton resident Carl Roach.

In February 2010 Inpsire Middleton signed a lease to move its office into the ground floor of the Warwick Mill with a view to setting up a new community drop-in centre called ‘The Lighthouse Project‘. The Lighthouse opened its doors to the public on 7th June and is currently offering a number of activities to the people of Middleton, including free internet access and online computer training.

Being in the Warwick Mill was an intentional choice for us, and whilst the buildings future is still a little uncertain we were keen to take the space so that we could play our part in bringing some new life to this grand old building. Carl says “If it was up to me I would love to take this building on, restoring its exterior and bringing some new uses to the inside.”

Many people who have visited us in the Lighthouse have told us of how they used to work in the ‘knicker factory’, or some other part of the building when it was used for clothing manufacture. It seems that the building has played a part in the lives of many people. In recognition of this, and being curious local people, I am interested in finding out some more of the stories about life in the Warwick Mill.

So my question is simple, “Do you have memories of working in the Warwick Mill, and are you willing to tell those stories for the benefit of local people?”

If you have any old pictures of the building when it was in use, or of the people you used to work with, then I’d be glad to see these as well. Please get in touch with me.

My address is – Carl Roach, Inspire Middleton, Warwick Mill, Oldham Road, Middleton, M24 1AZ. You could also come down in person and visit us at the Lighthouse between 10am – 4pm any day, Monday to Friday. For those who use computers my email address is –

Lat year we ran a photography competition called ‘Faces & Places’ where we wanted to inspire local people to tell positie stories about Middleton through the use of photographs depicting the face of someone who had inspired them, or a place of interest, or place of work that held good memories.

We will be running the ‘Faces & Places’ competion again later this year, and the Warwick Mill would be a great place to focus on for some good stories.

Carl Roach

carl.roach3 on December 14th, 2010

Living in Middleton all my life I have noticed that there is quite a mix of views and attitudes about the town, some good, but sadly many bad.

I’ve heard it said many times that things can’t or won’t change, but I don’t believe that this is true. Do you?

I have a positive view of the town and want to see things change for the better, and I’m looking for like minded people who have a similar view and want to get involved in making a difference for the people of Middleton.

I’ve already made a start in setting up Inspire Middleton a new local community development charity, and have opened a new community resource called the Lighthouse Project, which provides a place where people can be encouraged and supported to develop and release their potential.

Its not as hard as you think to do new things if you have the passion and motivation to get things done, there are many great resource in the town, and one of them could be YOU!

So, if I wanted to change your view of Middleton and inspire you do do something positive how would I go about it?

How hard is it to turn negative attitudes into positive actions?


carl.roach3 on December 14th, 2010

Community Organisers
In the past few weeks more information has been released by the Government a bout their plans to develop a Community Organising programme. We know now that there will be:

  • Rules for Radicals - Saul Alinskey5,000 Community Organisers.
  • 500 will be full-time ‘Super’ organisers, and receive a bursery for their first year.
  • 4,500 will work part-time and not receive a bursary.
  • They are to be asked to work using a code of conduct/ethics.
  • A national tender is out at present looking to identify an organisation to deliver the 5 year Government supported programme of training.
  • Based on the models of Saul Alinsky and Freire.