Futuro House - Home of the Future


"The house was made by Waterside Plastics in its Waterside Mill, Rochdale Road, Todmorden, in West Yorkshire, NE of Manchester. Until 1960 Waterside Plastics was a famous old textile spinning and weaving firm called Fielden Brothers. The family went back to the sixteenth century in the business. They were once the biggest employers in Todmorden. The firm stopped textile operations in 1960, starting a plastics business instead. They seem to have specialised in glass fibre, and also made sailing boats. The Futuro house was a one off and I understand they only made one. It was exhibited in Todmorden in 1971 for the town's centenary. Waterside Plastics invested a lot in their machinery, partly because the family felt they owed a lot to the people of Todmorden. The Government offered compensation to firms going out of cotton textiles, so I suppose they had the money. The company went out of business in 1990. There are still people here who worked for it.

The house was exhibited outside the Abraham Omerod medical centre (now closed) in the town, near the railway viaduct. I have also been told that it functioned as offices for Waterside Plastics for some years. Many people living in the town at the time remember going in it.

I have been told that it went from Todmorden to the Lake District. I do not think it is still here.

I know of only one photograph of it, which shows it peeping out between Victorian mill buildings when it was being moved on a lorry in 1971. It looks very incongruous. This is reproduced in Law BR (1995) Fieldens of Todmorden; A Nineteenth Century Business Dynasty, Littleborough: George Kelsall, probably out of print. It gets a passing mention, but more about Waterside Plastics. There must be other contemporary photos. In a 1971 pamphlet I have on the centenary it is mentioned briefly and there is a photo, but it is a cropped version of one which I noticed on your site, and I do not think it was taken in Todmorden (wrong kind of trees - pines)."

Quoted from: Malcolm Stroud, Email Recv'd.

Put together a pdf file of a couple more pieces of information I was able to gather from Martin and the Todmorden Library [like to thank them both for their assistance].
Todmorden Futuro from Waterside Plastics

Photos courtesy of David Martin

If anyone has more source material on this Futuro [especially photos], pls let me know. Thank you, Len.

Updated: Sunday, 2010 May 22


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