The present work was presented to the Glossopdale College by L.S. Lowry on 10 May 1960 to mark the opening of the school. Over forty five years later, the school has achieved Art College status, and the Parent Teacher Association have elected to auction this work to raise funds for a multi purpose theatre that will house student productions and a venue for touring companies. The benefit to the students and local community is within the spirit of Lowry's original gift.
The artist's mill scenes from the 1950s and 60s are composites of the landscape that Lowry had painted so regularly over the previous forty years. The regeneration of slum housing to improve living conditions for the inhabitants had resulted in many of Lowry's favourite landmarks disappearing from view. The artist, however, continued to represent these generic scenes in which the same people and places are depicted, with little representation of the modern city. In the present work, figures walk or travel by bicycle, and a 'contraption' can be seen on the far left hand side of the composition. The domineering mill and smoking chimneys are the familiar landmarks, and the wrought iron gateway with the central lamp is a long standing motif, appearing in his compositions over a period of sixty years (see J. Sandling and M. Leber, Lowry's City A Painter and his Locale, Salford, 2000, p. 12).