Albion in Flames
Albion in Flames is a specially commissioned play from Curious Curators, supported by Southwark Council’s Blackfriars Stories initiative. It tells the story of the Albion Flour Mill on the south bank of the Thames by Blackfriars Bridge. Opened to much acclaim in 1786, the Albion was the world’s first steam-powered flour mill and London’s first great wonder of the Industrial Revolution. Its production capacity far exceeded traditional milling practices since it could grind corn 24 hours of day.
But not everyone was happy. London’s traditional millers (wind and water) watched in horror as this five-storey titan rose over the rooftops of Bankside and beyond. Just five years later, on the morning of March 2nd 1791, the Albion caught fire and burnt down. Foul play was immediately suspected but while many thought the fire was the work of machine-breaking traditional millers, the cause was never firmly established. The charred remains of the Albion stood for a further 19 years on the banks of the Thames and prompted William Blake to coin his infamous phrase that dark satanic mill.
The play is written by Linda Wilkinson and directed and performed by the award winning Phil Willmott theatre company. Performances take place at the Union Theatre, Union Street SE1 in September 2019. Further details to follow.