Who is Hattie?

We serve breakfast, morning coffee, cooked lunches and afternoon tea.  Groups and coach parties always welcome.  Disabled toilets and baby change facilities available.

hattie's Restaurants - owned and run by Stephen H. Smith's

Hattie’s is owned and run by Stephen H. Smith - the H in Stephen H. Smith is for Hattersley - the oldest firm of loom makers in the world established in 1789 by our ancestor Richard Hattersley - shortened to Hattie's we aim to serve top quality locally made food that he would have been proud of!

Hattersley built the first wool weaving power loom which met its end in Shipley when it was smashed by a group of “Luddites” - revolutionary hand loom weavers fearful for their future - a wood carving of the scene appeared in The London Times on August 16th 1862. Many Hattersley pedal powered looms are still used today to weave Harris Tweed in Scotland.

After serving his apprenticeship in 1784 at Kirkstall Forge, Richard Hattersley set up his own business at Stubbings Mill, Airworth, manufacturing nuts and bolts.  The business expanded and diversified into manufacturing spindles and rollers, prompting a move in 1800 to more spacious premises at South Street, Keighley.

Richard Hattersley 1761-1829

Richard's son George came into the business and took over its running.  In 1834 he was asked to build a power loom for weaving worsted cloth.  Despite the fact that it was generally accepted that good worsted cloth could only be produced on hand looms George was to prove them wrong as he completed the world's first worsted power loom.  The original power loom met its end at Nab Wood, near Shipley, en route to Hattersley's first customer in Bradford where it was smashed by a group of "Luddites" - revolutionary hand loom weavers - fearful of their future livelihood.  Not to be deterred by this temporary setback, the company soon manufactured a replacement machine and successfully delivered it to their customer and it was not long before they went into full time production of their revolutionary looms, ironically creating jobs for many of the former hand loom weavers who had tried so hard to stop their progress at the outset.

Woodcut print from The London Times August 16th 1862

In 1867 Goerge Hattersley and Sons created a major breakthrough for the textile industry in the form of the "Dobby", a mechanical heald lifting device which allowed weaving of much more intricate patterns on any looms to which it was fitted.  

Hattersley's continued to prosper with the number of employees peaking to around 1100 just prior to the First World War.  In 1908 Hattersley developed the world's first smallware (or narrow fabric) loom.  Despite the fact that this innovation was not taken seriously by the industry, the directors showed their confidence in their own product by buying Cabbage Mills in Keighley, filling it with their own machines and starting the production of tapes and webbings for industry in general.  This venture was an unqualified success, with them working around the clock during the First World War to produce tapes, metal ribbons and webbings for the services. This "narrow fabrics" part of the business was eventually relocated to the larger premises of Greengate Shed in Keighley, where it continues to operate as Hattersley Aladdin Ltd to this day.

Hattersley heavy wire loom with works foreman
Mr Smith Midgeley
In 1921 the Hattersley Standard Loom, designed and built by the company, was to sell in its thousands, bringing considerable financial success to the company.  In the 1930's progress continued when rayon (man made silk) was invented and Silsden, near Keighley, became recognised universally as being the centre of the rayon fabric manufacturing industry, with all companies involved using the specially developed Hattersley Silk Loom to achieve this end.  

Hattersley exhibition stand in Roubaix France 1911

The Hattersley "Domestic Loom" was manufactured until 1981 - having being developed for markets overseas in the British Empire.  Ironically it was Scotland's Harris Tweed Industry which adopted it in the greatest numbers.  The loom combined all the know-how of 19th century loom engineering into a small, compact format.  The first thirty Hattersley's were sent to the Outer Hebrides in 1919.  These were 36 inches in the reed space and single shuttle. In 1924 the first six shuttle, 40 inch reed space looms arrived in Stornoway and this type of loom was the most commonly used loom in the islands and is still in use today.

Success continued for George Hattersley until the 1960's. After this point, along with much of the British Textile Industry, the company, despite diversification into other products, was hit by a general decline in trade culminating in the closure of George Hattersley and Sons Textile Engineering factory in 1984.

The "narrow fabrics" part of Hattersley continues to be a successful business to this day - manufacturing wicks for use in paraffin heaters and in refrigerators used in disaster areas where there is no electrical power.  Their webbing is used in Barbour wax coats, Morgan cars, commercial boiler doors, zoos and fashion accessories. Visit www.hattersleyaladdin.co.uk.

Hattersley "Domestic Loom" working in Blackhouse Village,
Na Gearrannanin on the Isle of Lewis 2009.
Photo: Mandy Sutter