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What has happened to this piece of Tean’s history?

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6 months, 7 hours agoNo Comments.
3 JUN

What has happened to this piece of Tean’s history?

By timesecholife on in All News, Featured News

For our latest Tales from Yesteryear feature, Tean resident Ivy Willetts-Brunt talks about an unusual and “barbaric” piece of history in the Moorlands.

For our latest Tales from Yesteryear feature, Tean resident Ivy Willetts-Brunt talks about an unusual and “barbaric” piece of history in the Moorlands.

Does anyone know where the breast feeding door and hatch has gone to?

When the Tean Mill was emptied of its machinery etc, this breast feeding door was put in a building in Hall Yard.

I went to see the secretary in Hall Yard who was working for the new owners of the mill, asking her what has to happen to the breast feeding door and hatch. She herself did not know the answer to this, as the buyer didn’t know the answer.

It was in a shed in Hall Yard for many years as I still kept check on it.

In the early 2000’s I was interviewed by a Radio Stoke commentator in a part of Tean Mill where the breast feeding door etc was. I had to show them the door and tell them what it was for, there were historian people there and ex Tean Mill workers.

This was a live Radio Stoke broadcast, after this I think that the door was put back in the Hall Yard shed.

I tried very hard to get this door kept in Tean, but now in 2021 I’m told that it has disappeared.

This is a rare piece of Tean Mill history now gone, to where, I don’t know.

My daughter Sarah took this photograph of the door in the Tean Mill when we both were allowed in before the mill was renovated.

Here is a history of it: Baby minders would go into the front of the mill with a baby, someone was always near by ready to go looking for the baby’s mother, through many parts of the mill.

The mother would then go to the door, slide a panel away to reveal a round hole, the baby and minder on the other side could not been seen, the mother would then have to push a breast through the round hole and baby would feed from it.

I call this ‘barbaric,’ the mother would be squashed up tight to the door, she would have to stand with her face sideways to the wooden hatch. If she was tallish then she would be bent a little, if she was a small lady then she would have to stand on something. Not a very comfortable position for either.

No contact was made by the mother and baby, and when this was over, the mother would be taken back to her looms. How sad I find this.

So now where do we find this barbaric apparatus, so that we could bring it back to Tean, probably stand it in Great Wood Hall for visitors to see just what the poor working mums had to be subjected to.

The photo shows on the left the door, only opened by workers leaving the mill. Over on the right is a square kind of hatch with a round circle cut out, this had a sliding door to it.

Do you know where the Tean Mill breastfeeding door has ended up? Email us at news@timesandecho.co.uk.

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