I have some seriously exciting news for you all this week! Back in February Channel 4 filmed their first ever factually inspired historical drama series at Quarry Bank, in conjunction with Darlow Smithson Productions. After five months of us staff and volunteers itching with impatience, the show is airing on Sunday 28th July at 8pm!
The series is a clever blend of fact and fiction, but based on stories from our archives here at Quarry Bank. The Greg family feature heavily, as do several apprentices who we have only ever known through records and are now brought to life, including runaways Esther Price and Lucy Garner.
The drama explores a turbulent period of the Mill’s history; a period in which workers and apprentices begin to fight for their rights against their employers. At the same time, the Greg family are dealing with their own struggles as the battle for control of the Mill escalates between the head of the firm and founder of Quarry Bank, Samuel Greg, and his son, Robert Hyde Greg.
If you want the fact behind the fiction then take a look at our page dedicated to The Mill, as well as our history pages: http://www.nationaltrust.org.uk/quarry-bank-mill/our-work/the-mill/http://www.nationaltrust.org.uk/quarry-bank-mill/history/
All the exterior shots of the Mill were actually filmed on site, as were all the exterior and interior shots in the Apprentice House, with some scenes taking place in the actual rooms they happened in nearly 200 years ago. As the Mill is now a museum the production team set up a few mule rooms in Murray Mill in Manchester for the interior Mill scenes.
The series stars several well-known actors including Donald Sumpter as Samuel Greg, who has recently starred in Game of Thrones, and Kevin McNally as Apprentice House superintendent Mr Timperley, who played Mr Gibbs in the Pirates of the Caribbean films.
I was lucky enough to have a sneek peak of the first episode at the press launch and I cannot wait to see the second episode in August, we all feel it really captures the atmosphere of Quarry Bank in the 1830s.
Here is a link to the trailer as well as some articles which include interviews with the actors and writers:
Photos courtesy of Ryan McNamara and Channel 4 Picture Publicity.