HOUSED in a large building new to Radcliffe's industrial topography, a massive machine hungrily swallows porridgy pulp and turns it into huge rolls of paper.

The specially designed machine is a major part of a new £1 million development scheme at the Dumers Lane works of John Wild and Sons Ltd ­— a firm dealing in specialised papers.

It was recently installed together with ancillary equipment including a semi-automatic stock preparation plant, new reeler and new cutter.

Among the papers it produces is one known as "imitation parchment" used for wrapping food and making fish and chip bags.

Seen from a catwalk above the machine is a roaring, shining mass of mammoth rollers and heavy equipment built with the precision of a fine watch.

The complete unit is capable of producing 150 to 1,000 feet of paper per minute and was made by Walmsleys (Bury) Ltd, with parts from other local firms.

A comprehensive and up-to-date control panel with a vast range of gauges and buttons controls the plant, and an electrically lit diagram indicates where and when each process of the paper-making is going on in the unit.

With a long history John Wild and Sons are undoubtedly and old established company. But with this glittering new pant and state of the art machinery the firm are proudly thundering into the modern industrial era.

BUILDING work is progressing well on Tottington's project to provide flatlets for the district's old people, as the first property is roofed.

The scheme in Wesley Street, which will include 28 purpose built old people's flatlets with warden accommodation, was started in August last year and will cost more than £87,000.

Work on the scheme is being carried out in two phases.

Building work on the first is at roof level and is expected to take 18 months. However foundation work has also now begun on the second phase.

The project forms part of a redevelopment of the Wesley Street area scheduled for completion in five years.

New roads and sewers are also planned in the area, but it has not yet been decided by Tottington District Council how much council property will be built as part of the scheme.