March 4, 2020


Read Harborough Mail's appeal to help find lost pictures of our former woollen mill

Harborough furniture store, Russell Francis, are appealing to Mail readers to help find old photos of their building (inside and out) as they prepare to celebrate 20 years of trading in the town.

Having tried many different sources, including the Harborough library, the team at Russell Francis has so far only found one image of this iconic building. So they are asking readers to scour their lofts, cupboards and drawers for any photos they may have and pop them in to the shop to help create a ‘community display’ tracking the history of 98 St Mary’s Road. Business owner, Russell is offering a prize for the most ‘interesting’ picture, so start searching! “It’s strange, said Russell, “we have only been able to find one image” (see above). You would imagine that a building like this - the former home of Francis Willey Wool Merchants back in the 1920’s - would have more memorabilia?”

In its heyday the mill’s sheepskins were delivered by horse and cart and hoisted in by rope for storage and manufacture. When the mill closed the building became very ‘unloved’ until Russel took it over in 2000 and coverted it into a stunning three-storey furniture and bed showroom. Russell said “Lots of people in the town would have known this building, in fact over the past 20 years we have had customers who have said they have worked here and have talked about their happy memories spent with work colleagues. We are hoping this appeal may be able to potentially put them back in touch again”.

Readers who uncover any interesting photos or information on the former mill are invited to pop them into the shop where they are welcome to have a coffee and look at the changes made to this beautiful building.

Alternatively, you can email them to

The shop serves customers in Market Harborough, Leicester, Northampton and all of the surrounding villages, London and even holiday homes in Europe!

Coming soon! Russell Francis will be offering 20% off ALL furniture and beds to celebrate 20 years of trading in 2020!

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