The Carding Shed is home to IK Sports Classic and the Oil Can Café- two unique businesses established by Ian and Nicola Kellett. The Carding Shed is part of the former 200-year-old Washpit woollen mill complex, located in the Holme Valley near Holmfirth.
IK Sports Classics offers a complete range of car restoration services to Uk and international collectors, including engine rebuilds, body shop, parts manufacture, paint spraying, servicing etc. Currently there are 90 classic cars, some dating back to the 1930’s, being worked upon or being stored for collectors at the Carding Shed.
The Oil Can Café, run by Nicola, is home to an eclectic mix of motoring and cycling ephemera and has become a destination attraction with its own regular clientele, together with bookings for its events space. The Café takes its inspiration from the Goodwood Revival Festival and has grown to a point where it serves between 1000-1200 meals a week. Nicola also ran a vintage clothing business from the mill but has since closed this to concentrate on the Café. Both businesses currently provide employment for 30 local people.
Ian originally set up and ran his own business at Dobroyd mill in Hepworth, but as the lease neared expiry Ian and Nicola began the search for a new location. Finding an alternative mill was an important consideration as a traditional mill environment was in keeping with the theme of classic and vintage cars. The Carding Shed, part of Washpit Mills, became available however substantial work was needed to update the run-down mill including building a bakery, extensive partitioning to create separate workshops and filling large pits under the Carding Shed floor with polystyrene blocks before concreting. The building was finally finished in May 2018 and both businesses now occupy circa 40,000 square feet at Washpit Mills.
Ian and Nicola live on site in a flat located within the mill and have a strong bond with the building. According to Ian - “The first time we walked into the mill we had the feeling that it was saying ‘thank goodness’, I’m now going to have something going on that I’ll enjoy… It’s a whacking great mill and it’s the best thing ever ...It’s very welcoming and protective.” (B)