Dreams/Snakeley Mill

As it once was
(picture from SWOP website)

Dreams today

From one store in '87
Dreams became a bedtime heaven,
Beds for every shape and size,
Mattresses and futons prized.
All now comfort, cushion soft
For every bedroom, attic loft,
But years ago, this was a mill
With shadows of a nightmare still.
The tale in general isn't good,
A miller lost his livelihood,
For this is where he made a stand
Against a riot on his land.
The men themselves had every cause
To want to battle down his doors
But, once encircled, went to gaol
Transported off, no chance of bail.

The site of Dreams was originally part of Snakeley Mill, later the home of Fords Blotting paper, and many locals will remember its chimney. Long ago, in 1830, it formed a pivotal point in the story of the paper riots where disenchanted mill workers, afraid of losing their jobs to machines, fought the Buckinghamshire militia at its gates. The fighting was quite violent, and many of the rioters escaped to Flackwell Heath or Fennels Wood. The rioters were rounded up, taken to Aylesbury gaol and given life sentences, later commuted to transportation to Australia. Leaving wives and children behind many never returned.

From the web: Dreams was launched in 1987 by Mike Clare who was born and bred in Beaconsfield. Mike was educated at High Wycombe College (now Bucks New University) before starting a career in the retail furniture industry, which ultimately led to him opening his own bed store at the age of 30. Dreams grew to over 200 superstores before Mike eventually sold most of his shares in 2008 and stepped down as Chairman and CEO.
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