Introducing the Fabric of our Town project

Factory and landscape.

The Fabric of Our Town web pages were put together by Bexley Local Studies and Archive Centre, in partnership with Crayford Manor House Historical Society and funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF).

This website marks the contribution that the calico and silk printing industries made to the development of Crayford. It marks the bicentenary in 2014 of one of the key local companies, Swaisland’s, but also covers the story of the other major company David Evans. Together they made Crayford ‘the Mecca of calico printing’ – a claim verified by Swaisland’s winning a gold medal at the Great Exhibition of 1851. However this site is more than a simple industrial history. It recognises, for the first time, the contribution Crayfordians from these factories made to Chartism – the campaign to give the working man the vote – and to supporting Lord Ashley (later the Earl of Shaftesbury) famous campaigns to restrict child labour.

This social history of the textile industry in Crayford can be shared thanks to a £64,300 grant from the HLF. This funding has been used to create a range of resources that are available to view and download free of charge from this website.

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