The Mill – Series 2 – Behind the Scenes

We’ve been keeping fairly schtum these past few weeks about the fact that Channel 4 and Darlow Smithson Productions are back at Quarry Bank, filming series 2 of ‘The Mill’. It’s once more been a brilliant, hectic, surreal experience having them back , and on the days filming took place in the Mill Yard, all the staff and volunteers have had great fun bouncing along the rubber cobbles used to set dress the driveway.

The cast of Series 2 of The Mill
The cast of Series 2 of The Mill

It’s been fantastic watching the set and props departments transforming various areas of Quarry Bank, from the Mill Yard and the Mill Manager’s Office, to the Apprentice House and Styal Village. I experienced a bizarre moment whilst having a quick nosy around the Apprentice House when I stepped into the Treatment room to be greeted by all the ‘apprentice’ extras, keeping themselves amused on their mobile phones.

Susannah (Holly Lucas), Esther (Kerrie Hayes), Miriam, (Sacha Parkinson) and Lucy (Katherine Rose Morley) pose for an anachronistic photo (Derek Hattan)
Susannah (Holly Lucas), Esther (Kerrie Hayes), Miriam, (Sacha Parkinson) and Lucy (Katherine Rose Morley) pose for an anachronistic photo (Derek Hatton)

Perhaps the most remarkable feat the set department pulled off was the construction of a cottage on Styal Green, which acted as Daniel and Susannah Bate’s home for the series.The recreated cottage was built due to the logistics of the storyline. In the second series there is more interaction between the characters that live in the village and at times, the storyline requires them all to be communicating with each other from their doorsteps. This would have been very difficult to achieve with the linear layout of the cottages in the village, but by adding an extra dimension with a set build, the scenes worked.

The cottage under construction
The cottage under construction
The finished product
The finished product

Series 2 will see the return of several familiar faces, including Esther Price, Lucy Garner, Miriam Catterall, Daniel and Susannah Bate, and Hannah Greg. We’re also introduced to several brand new characters, including the Howlett family, (a historical family who came to Styal in 1835), led by headstrong father John, who clashes with his nephew Will Whittaker, an apprentice shoemaker (the historical Will Whittaker was born and raised in Styal, but was not related to the Howletts).

John Howlett is played by Mark Frost
John Howlett is played by Mark Frost

When you watch the second series you may notice that William Greg, (who’s back to run the Mill in his brother’s absence) looks a bit different, and you’d be right, as this series he is being played by Andrew Lee Potts. Management has a new face, and now that the Timperleys are gone, it’s the Windells who are in charge; James is the Mill Manager and his younger brother George is running the Apprentice House. There’s also Peter, who has arrived at the mill from the other side of the world. A former Greg slave, Peter is brought to England by Hannah Greg to speak of his experiences of slavery.

William Greg, played by Andrew Lee Potts, and James Windell, played by Justin Salinger, in between takes (Derek Hatton)
William Greg, played by Andrew Lee Potts, and James Windell, played by Justin Salinger, in between takes

The second series covers the period 1838-1842 and once more explores the themes of workers’ social and political rights as the characters navigate their personal relationships.

The Howletts (Derek Hatton)
The Howletts – Abe Whittaker (David Hill), Will Whittaker, (Mark Strepan), John Howlett (Mark Frost), Rebecca Howlett (Laura Main) and Jack and Timothy Howlett

Series 2 starts on Sunday 20th July at 8pm and the Series 2 Exhibition will be open from Thursday 17th July in the Mill.


Images by Derek Hatton and Alison Todhunter

9 Comments Add yours

  1. atearsarahjane says:

    Going to be pedantic here. It’s Laura Main not Maine (as put under the Howlett picture)

    1. Whoops! Thanks for letting me know, changed it now.


  2. Suni says:

    Any idea when it will be screened?

    1. Hi Suni,

      ‘The Mill’ series 2 is set to air in July/August, we haven’t received the exact dates yet, but will be keeping everyone up to date on the blog.



  3. ksfever says:

    starts 20th July 2014 on channel 4 x cant wait

  4. Katie says:

    Will there be a series 3. I live it. Best programme I’ve seen for ages.

  5. Katie says:

    I meant that I love it!!!

    1. We haven’t heard anything from Channel 4 yet but are keeping our fingers crossed!

  6. Joy Priestnall says:

    There has to be a Series 3 because we do not know exactly what Daniels sentence was or where he went. Did Peter ever find out about Windells and Patience found the book!! Did Patience get her just deserts for lording it over the other girls…..oh and of course the introduction……finally of the Charter!!!!! So much more xan be filmed…….please, , please do another series.

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