Well hello everybody and welcome to part two of my incredible time travel story!
How are you all? I hope everyone reading this is having a good day, I know I certainly am :). This morning Bethany came over to play with Pablo and it was so much fun, I couldn’t stop laughing the whole time! Danny was so moody though, the lazy boy was still in bed when she arrived, and kept groaning at us to be quiet and let him sleep.
In my last post, I explained my journey to the year 1821 to Quarry Bank Mill to do some secret detective work and discover things about the past. While I was there, I met a lovely little girl called Emily who was 8 years old and worked in the mill.
As I walked towards the mill from the apprentice house with Emily, I looked around at my surroundings with absolute pleasure. My skin was warmed by the beaming sunlight, and the new, fresh plants were almost wilting – it was hard to believe it was only March! The sky was a peaceful blue with dainty little clouds floating along the horizons. It was magical.
However, the beauty of my adventure was about to end.
Inside the mill was stifling, and little cotton threads floated around like snow. The clunk of the heavy machinery was deafening, and they moved quickly which I found very frightening. Emily noted the terror on my face and reassured me that this was ‘a good mill’ and that there was hardly any accidents involving the machines. Somehow, that didn’t make me feel much better.
“We need to carry all these cotton barrels to the other machines!” she yelled above the noise. “Hurry up!”
Oh goodness, the cotton barrels were heavy. After moving one about, my hands were tender and my arms burned from the strain of my muscles. Alas, I had no time for a break – for what seemed like hours (I have no idea how long it was) we laboured in the heat, the windows by policy tightly shut. The experience really made me appreciate how times have changed I can tell you that much!
I was SUPER relived to get a break at dinnertime, a whole hour! Which many of the children were happy about. The food wasn’t great, it was a kind of lumpy porridge. Normally, I would have been repulsed by it but the hard work had made me build up an appetite.
Something strange began to happen in the sky around lunchtime, but I appeared to be the only one to notice. Ugly tears began to form between the clouds and dark shadows appeared inside. I stared at them, half because I couldn’t turn away, and half because something inside me knew I had to show them to SHARP. I have seen tears before, as some of you may know, but NEVER like this. Never tears so grotesque and big.
I knew I had to return home.
So yeah – that concludes my story about Quarry Bank Mill. I have a few facts that I have learned about the children’s’ work which may interest you
- The working day was a WHOPPING 14.5 hours! That is MAD
- For the cotton to be in the right condition, the mill had to be VERY hot!
- The air was incredibly stuffy
- Unfortunately, the pay was terrible
- The work was painful and very repetitive
Thank you for reading!
~ Jenny ~