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The British Newspaper Archive

British Newspaper Archive

Read about historical events at the time they were happening. Perhaps you'll discover your ancestor in their local newspaper?

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ProfilePosted byOptionsPost Date


Jayne Report 25 Dec 2012 21:03

I have found that an ancestor was working as a tickler in a mill but cannot seem to find this occupation on any listings. Does anyone know what a tickler did?


GlitterBaby Report 25 Dec 2012 21:05

Could be tackler

Overlooker of weaving shed workers


AnnCardiff Report 25 Dec 2012 23:49


Tackler Overlooker of weaving shed workers


AnnCardiff Report 25 Dec 2012 23:50

TACKLER An overlooker of power loom weavers


AnnCardiff Report 25 Dec 2012 23:54

Tickney Man: itinerant trader in earthenware pottery.

Tickney Woman: female itinerant trader in earthenware pottery.


brummiejan Report 26 Dec 2012 00:13

Jayne, you might find this site useful for Victorian occupations:



GlitterBaby Report 26 Dec 2012 01:01

Might be worth viewing the image


Jayne Report 27 Dec 2012 14:03

Thank you all for your responses.
I have re looked at the census and it looks like tickler woolen mill.
She was just 13 so not sure that she would be old enough to be an" overlooker of weaving shed workers".
I have looked at lists of occupations and can't seem to find anything similar and I cant seem to find any info on wollen mill sites.

Any other suggestions would be great, or it may just remain one of those mysteries.


brummiejan Report 27 Dec 2012 14:56

Can you post details here please so folks can have a look?


Jayne Report 28 Dec 2012 14:25

the details are :
Her name is Martha H Sutcliffe born 1887 in Halifax.
the census is 1901, she is shown as age 13 and living with William and Mary Sutcliffe plus her siblings. The address is 3 Exchange street.



brummiejan Report 28 Dec 2012 14:39

Are you sure that 1st letter is a T? Might it be H? Though I am sure the 2nd letter is an I, might be worth considering this:

'Hackler A person in the linen trade, who separated the coarse part of flax or hemp with a hackle, an instrument with teeth.'



Dea Report 28 Dec 2012 14:45

What would make much more sense is if it said a 'Picker' in Woollen Mill, particularly for a 13 year old girl, however, the 'l' before the final 'er' does seem to be there.??

Dea x


Jayne Report 28 Dec 2012 14:51


the job Hackler sounds as though it could be a job for a youngster.
I thought at first the T may not be a T but then thought there was the small mark where they check it off and then looked at Hartley Blackburn further up the page where he is a Taker in of and the first letter looked the same so thought it must be a T.
Really not sure
thanks for your help. I was intrigued as to what it was, but some things are hard to
work out.


Jayne Report 28 Dec 2012 15:16

Picker sounds a possible job too.
I guess that still in 1901, a person was completing the census from information given by the family and it could be easily misinterrpreted Picker- Ticker-tickler!



brummiejan Report 28 Dec 2012 15:39

It might be a very local term which just died out.
The only other thing I can suggest is to see if there are people out there who have a particular interest in the history of the woollen industry who might be able to help.
Did a quick google search, maybe this site might be of interest:



Jayne Report 28 Dec 2012 16:04

Thank you Jan .
I have sent them an e mail and see if they can shed any light on it.


lancashireAnn Report 28 Dec 2012 20:46

I think it looks like tickler. The T is identical to the T of Thomas above. The other letters apart from 'l' seem clear but I can't think what else it could be.

Like the rest of you I can't find what a tickler might be.


SuffolkVera Report 28 Dec 2012 21:17

Could it be something to do with "tick" which was a linen cloth used for clothing and bed-linen?


Jayne Report 2 Jan 2013 15:25

brummie jan- thanks for your idea of world of wool history. I contacted them and they responded.
They have said that there used to a be a job called Tickler, who ran the tickler-machine in the silk industry.
I am not sure if this is the answer because it does say wollen mill on the census
but it looks like the most feasible answer yet.

thanks to everyone for their help

 Sue In Yorkshire.

Sue In Yorkshire. Report 2 Jan 2013 16:18

A Tickler was a person who used to comb the wool into straight stands of wool..