The Mill Series 2 on Channel 4
In 2014 Darlow Smithson Productions returned to Quarry Bank to film Series 2 of 'The Mill' for Channel 4 inspired by our archives and real events and personalities.
The new six-part series focuses on the lives of the mill workers against a backdrop of turbulent social, political and industrial change.
The story is given added drama by the creation of events and characters that are entirely fictional.
Meet the characters
This section of the page features an image gallery, so if you're using a screen reader you may wish to jump to the main content.
Chartism and the General Strike
Daniel is trying to get the workers to realise the importance of the People's Charter, a revolutionary petition which will bring universal suffrage for working class men, ensuring that men of all walks of society have a say in their lives.
The struggle of the Chartists is explored throughout the series, often with disappointing results.
The Poor Laws
The New Poor Law of 1834, severely limited the amount and the ways in which the poor could obtain relief, leaving the formidable workhouse as the only available option.
Many unemployed labourers in the south jumped at the chance to work in the mills of the north, including John Howlett and his family.
In the series we see Peter, a freed slave from the Greg's plantation in Dominica, searching for justice.
Samuel Greg's uncle, John, founded the Hillsborough plantation in Dominica in 1765. Samuel and his brother Thomas later inherited the plantation in 1795 after their uncle's death, but it was run by their aunt, Catherine, until her death in 1819. It was then run by a series of managers, overlookers and lawyers.
The life of an apprentice appears to be a monotonous and without reward, but in comparison to the children living in the workhouses and working in the city mills.
We see much more of village life in the second series, complete with pub and shop. The villagers are a tight-knit group leaning on each other for support.
Samuel Greg had begun developing Styal village for his workers back in the 1790s when his workforce first began to expand.
The Gregs employed hundreds of workers from the local area, Greater Manchester and sometimes from further across the country.
Mill workers performed difficult, exhausting tasks during long working days and were always at risk from accidents and industrial illnesses.
Childbirth and Motherhood
The themes of childbirth and motherhood are explored in the series, highlighting the difficulties and the terrors women faced in a world without proper medical care.
The Mill website
The Channel 4 website (external link) about The Mill is full of even more information about the cast, characters and the research that inspired the programme
Children of the Mill
This brand new book accompanies the series, and is written by David Hanson, the story-finder for Series 1 of The Mill.
Buy a copy in our shop or order over the phone 01625 445 835.