Heritage

Picture of directors and office staff in 1913The company was founded by Abraham Moon in 1837, the year Queen Victoria succeeded to the British throne.

Abraham Moon a figure of considerable standing in the community of Guiseley supplied many local families with yarn to weave cloth on hand looms in their homes. When the cloth was woven he would collect the pieces, paying the weavers for their work. The cloth was then scoured (washed) locally and hung out to dry in the surrounding fields. Abraham would then transport the pieces by horse and cart to Leeds for sale in the market.

In 1868 Moon had a three storey mill built on Netherfield Road, Guiseley, less than 300 yards from his house at the top of Oxford Avenue. The mill had an abundant source of local water which was soft and ideal for scouring and other processes necessary in woolen manufacture. The newly built railway to Leeds ran directly behind the mill which had its own sidings. This proved an invaluable form of transport both inward (wool for processing, coal for power) and outward (distribution of cloth to the expanding customer network). The company's records show exports to countries including Japan as early as the 1890s.

Picture of warping department, 1937In August 1877, Abraham Moon lost his life in an accident and was succeeded by his son Isaac. The business continued to flourish, but in 1902 the original multi-storey mill burned to the ground. Undeterred Isaac Moon built a much larger single storey mill. There was a large pool of skilled textile workers in Guiseley and none of Moon's workforce has far to walk as the new mill occupied a central position in the town. By this time the mill had become fully 'vertical' i.e. all processes - dyeing, blending, carding, spinning, weaving and finishing taking place on one site.

Design and pattern books which date back to the early part of the Twentieth Century tell a story in themselves. Fashion fabrics from 1900 to 1913 gradually give way to army shirting, trouserings and greatcoat cloths in 1914 which in turn are replaced by the emerging fashion of the 1920s.

Isaac Moon took the business forward until his death in 1909. In 1920 the Moon family sold their shares in the company in order to pursue other Interests.

The shares were purchased by Charles H Walsh who was both designer and mill manager at the time. Charles borrowed the sum of £33,000 ($52,500) to buy the business.

Charles Walsh died in 1924 and the company then passed to his son Frank who was already in the business. Thirty years later Frank's nephew Arthur took control. Arthur's son, John Walsh, succeeded as Chairman and Managing Director and remains in this position to present day; the fourth generation of the family which succeeded the Moon dynasty.