"Owld Tim Feather", as locals knew him, lived in nearby Stanbury. Born sometime in 1825, Timmy was the last hand loom weaver in the district, making Twill cotton.
Martha Heaton recalls a Saturday picnic with her mother to Stanbury one holiday time. On reminding Timmy of their distant relationship, their mother extracted this invitation from him; "Coam-oan up charmer and I'll we-ave the a pick o' two for thee-ase lasses". Martha recalls watching him in the upstairs room pulling and pushing away at the loom. It has been estimated by Whitely Turner, in "A Springtime Saunter around Bronteland", that he would have pressed the treadle 540 million times in his working life time. Martha's mother bought a length of cotton - it was "sevenpence awpenny a yard" (until the rising price of warp increased it to 8d) - and she made a new top for Martha's Sunday petticoat, along with nightcaps for father. When Timmy died in 1910 it marked the end of an era.
Note - "Chamer" is dialect for chamber, the upstairs room he used for weaving.
The following census information (other than 1901) is kindly researched and supplied by Joan Madsen, many thanks Joan.
Timothy Feather age 75 born Yorkshire Stanbury, County Yorks W.R. parish of Stanbury occupation Hand Loom Weaver, single and living alone at Buckley Green Bottom (no number).
Next household; James Feather (head) Widower aged 47 occupation Farmer. James Feather (father) widower aged 90 occupation retired farmer and hand loom weaver. Robert Feather (son) single aged 17 occupation farmer's son.
Previous household; Margaret Feather (head) Widow aged 69 occupation farmer (born Gisburn). Mary Anne Feather (single daughter) aged 32 occupation farmer's daughter. Spencer Feather (single son) aged 28 occupation quarryman. James Whitaker (grand son) aged 5. All others born Stanbury.
Timothy Feather age 66 single, cotton weaver Timothy is now regarded as the head of household. Brother George Feather (78), retired worsted weaver, is now a widower.labourer. Also in the house is William Feather (58) warp twister. Dwelling: Buckley Green Bottom. See the Census .
Timothy Feather (b.1825) age 56 unmarried hand loom weaver head of household is William Feather brother. William Feather (1819) age 62 unmarried twister at a worsted mill. Dwelling: 1 Buckley Green Haworth.
Next household; James Feather head married male age 71 farmer of 9 acres. Betty Feather wife married female age 66. Ann Feather dau. unmarried 42 dressmaker. James Feather son unmarried male 25 weaver in a worsted mill. All born Haworth, Yorks Eng. Dwelling 2 Buckley Green. Census place Haworth. FHL film 1342039. PRO reference RG11. Piece/folio 4353/6. page 6.
Timothy Feather age 44 single, worsted hand loom weaver, head of household is George Feather (62), labourer. Also in the house is William Feather (58) warp twister. Timothy and William are both brothers of George. Dwelling: 5 Buckley Green Haworth. See the Census.
Aged 36, living with brother (who was the head of household) in the township of Haworth. "England and Wales Census, 1861," Familysearch.org.
Buckley Green (no number). James Feather head m. 41 hand loom weaver (stuff). Betty Feather wife 36 hand loom weaver. William do unmarried son 16 hand loom weaver. John Feather son 14 woolcomber. Ann Feather daughter 12 bobbin winder. Hannah Feather daughter 9. Thomas Feather son 7. Sarah Feather daughter 4. Mary Feather daughter 1. Timothy Feather brother unmarried 25 hand loom weaver. All born Haworth. FHL film 087479
Stanbury, Bucklies Green Bottom. James Feather 30 stuff weaver (age 30-34). Betty Feather 25 (age 25-29). Timothy Feather 15. William Feather 6. John Feather 4. Ann Feather 2. Hannah Feather 2 weeks. FHL film 464255
The following is taken from the Keighley News "Memory Lane" segment of 24th December 2013, by Ian Dewhirst.
Survivor of a bygone lifestyle, this was Timothy Feather – the last handloom weaver in the area – who died in 1910 at his Buckley Green cottage near Stanbury, aged 85.
During his later years, he became a popular postcard subject, photographed weaving at his upstairs loom or sitting at his bobbin-winder outside, or as here in his kitchen amid a bachelor's clutter.
Its contents included two oak chests, a chest of drawers, four empty bird-cages, two cases of stuffed animals, assorted clocks – of which only one, a cuckoo-clock, was in working order – and pots, plates, jugs, pictures and even treacle tins.
During his long working life, Owd Timothy wove an estimated 234,780 yards of cotton cloth, his thumb and fingers wearing a deep imprint in the wooden sleyboard of his loom, which can be seen in Cliffe Castle Museum.