Black Dyke and Apple Records - John Foster 1819

John Foster (1819)

John Foster has been weaving suiting fabrics in and around Bradford, England for almost 200 years. The eponymous John Foster was a classic Victorian philanthropist who built a whole community around the original Black Dyke Mill in Queensbury - providing houses and facilities for his workers. At its peak in the late 1900s the Black Dyke Mills employed around 8,000 people.

Foster was an innovator in cloth weaving processes. At the Great Exhibition in 1851, the company won prizes for its alpaca and mohair fabrics.

At Stanley Mills, their current Bradford facility, British-owned John Foster continue to innovate and weave sought-after fabrics from wool, mohair, cashmere, silk, linen and cotton - 70% of which is exported. Every little helps our trade deficit. Your tailor may be interested to know that the fabrics can now be ordered online.

Below you can see:
  • 9.5oz black and white Puppy Tooth in super 120s wool and cashmere.
  • 10oz Birdseye in super 120s wool and cashmere.

Black Dyke Band and Apple Records

You've probably guessed that there is a John Foster connection with the Black Dyke Band. The famous brass band was formed at the mill in 1855, and John Foster was himself a member. He provided the band's uniform too. John Foster cloth, of course.

Brass bands like the Black Dyke Band provide a musical soundscape to northern English industrial heritage that is still evoked to this day, even though much of the associated industry may have disappeared.

One of the high points of the band has to be the recording of the Lennon and McCartney composition Thingummybob on the Beatles' own Apple Records label. The single was produced by Paul McCartney and recorded on location near Bradford in 1968. Look at the record label above and you'll see the artist labelled as John Foster and Son Ltd. Black Dyke Band. Not many companies can claim such a pop cultural legacy.


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