MORE than 125 years of textile history ended yesterday when weaving stopped at one of the Huddersfield area's proudest firms.
The last piece of cloth at Huddersfield Fine Worsteds, of Kirkheaton, came off the looms - bringing the redundancies of the final 16 weaving staff.
The workforce, which originally numbered about 120, was decimated at Christmas, with the lay-off of nearly 50 staff.
The firm went into administration last August, along with sister firm Globe Worsted at Slaithwaite.
But efforts to find buyers for the businesses have failed.
Now, the final 50 staff in other departments at Huddersfield Fine Worsteds - including finishing and mending - are on tenterhooks to find out when they will be leaving the firm.
Many of them have worked at the mill for decades.
Susan Senior, 59, from Kirkheaton, had worked at the Bankfield Lane site for 18 years.
She said: "It's the end of an era. We have been kept in limbo since August last year. Now it's all over.
"This company is like a family firm; that's how close we are here.
"Over the years we have had ups and down, tears, laughter, grief, everything and we have all stuck together."
Anne Ainley, 53, said she had worked at the traditional firm for 22 years.
She added: "We really feel like a family.
"A lot of people are too old to go looking for a job or re-training and don't know what sort of future they face.
"It's bad for the workers and their families, but it's also bad for the community. If people aren't working there's less money to spend in local shops and businesses."
Long-serving employee Janet Brady walked through the mill gates for the last time yesterday lunchtime.
She had spent just under 30 years at the firm. She said: "People have given the best part of their lives - and what have they got?
"The staff have been the key. We have had a laugh with each other. It has been more than workmates; it has been a community. We have known each other so long, our children have gone to school together.
"We will have to look for jobs from Monday morning. I think that's when it will really hit home."