Accidents at Quarry Bank Mill – The Mill Series 2 Episode 2

In Episode 2 of The Mill we see Jack Howlett nearly reach a horrific end, when his head is almost crushed between the draw frame and the back plate of the spinning mule. Luckily for Jack, his father John Howlett in an act of superhuman strength brings the mule to a stop by grabbing the…

The Mill Series 2, Episode 1 – The Poor Laws

Series 2 of The Mill has kicked off  by exploring of one of the most contentious pieces of legislation of the 19th century; The Poor Law Amendment Act of 1834, which saw the wide-scale introduction of the infamous workhouse, as we greet a brand new family; the Howletts. Daniel Bate: Robert Greg’s asked the Poor…

Calling all followers…

One of the things I love about writing this blog is seeing all the places it has been viewed across the globe, by my last count, it has been viewed in 98 countries! What I would really love, is if all you lovely people who follow the blog and our news at Quarry Bank would…

Voices from the First World War – Heroes of Adventure

This weekend we were lucky enough to be visited by Margaret (Susan) Fowler, the daughter of Helen Greg who features in our new exhibition Heroes of Adventure. Margaret provided us with an invaluable oral history interview, as well as loaning us boxes of letters, postcards and photographs of the Greg siblings; Arthur, Bobby, Madge and…

Introducing Heroes of Adventure

On Saturday, our brand new exhibition Heroes of Adventure opened. It explores the effects of the First World War on the Greg family, the workers and the Mill. It’s been a year in the making and an emotional experience for Ally and I, as we have become very attached to the individuals we researched. The…

Styal in the 1860s

Whilst doing bits and bobs of research this past week, Ally directed me to a brilliant document, compiled by a man named Thomas Tongue in the 1920s, who, at the age of 74 recalled from memory some truly fantastic anecdotes about the men who lived in Styal village, that I had to share with you…

The ‘real’ Esther Price

If you’ve been watching The Mill you’ll know that Esther Price’s story is central to the series.  As I’ve been discussing here on the blog, with most historical dramas some parts of the truth are adapted to make the story seem more compelling or to fit in with story lines –  and so I wanted the opportunity…

Apprentice life at Quarry Bank

So who watched The Mill last night on Channel 4? If you did you’ll already have seen that the plight of the apprentices is a central part of the story – but what was life really like for the apprentices of Quarry Bank? Between 1790 and the 1830s approximately one-third of Samuel Greg’s workforce were…