Series 2 of 'The Mill' underway at Quarry Bank

Taking a break on the set of series 2 of the Mill © Ryan McNamara Channel 4

Taking a break on the set of series 2 of the Mill

Latest update 23.04.2014 15:40

The cast of Channel 4’s ‘The Mill’ took a break earlier this month from filming the highly anticipated second series at Quarry Bank.

Following the success of the first series in 2013, the new six-part second series will cover the period between 1838-1842 focusing on the lives of the mill workers against a background of significant social and political changes following the Poor Law Amendment Act of 1834 which made a distinction between ‘deserving’ and ‘undeserving’ poor. This is a time of the great Chartist rallies and the birth of modern democracy with the movement for the right for working class people to vote sweeping across the country.

Inspired by the archives

The drama is inspired by documents from Quarry Bank’s extensive archive describing the lives of the workers and apprentices who worked for the mill’s founder, Samuel Greg, and his family during the 19th century. ‘The Mill’ is driven by a young, spirited cast who find filming on location at Quarry Bank particularly moving: ‘Filming scenes in the rooms in which the events actually took place is the strangest feeling,’ says Kerrie Hayes, who plays the lead role of feisty Liverpudlian apprentice Esther Price, ‘We get a real sense of the history.’

Other members of the cast are enjoying the simplicity of the costumes and unanticipated benefits of not wearing make-up. ‘It was really freeing to experience a disregard for vanity as it can put such a pressure on women in modern life,’ says Sacha Parkinson, who plays young apprentice Miriam Catterall. Other returning characters from the first series include progressive young engineer Daniel Bate, played by Matthew McNulty with his new wife, Miriam’s sister Susannah Bate, played by Holly Lucas.

Huge interest in Quarry Bank

Eleanor Underhill, General Manager at Quarry Bank said: ‘We are delighted to be involved again with this project. Inspired by the archive at Quarry Bank, last year's drama series generated increased visitor numbers and stimulated huge interest in Quarry Bank and its history. The series led to some fascinating conversations with our visitors about the lives of the mill owners and mill workers who lived here. We look forward to series 2, and further interest in this extraordinary place, and the stories we tell here.’