I don’t know where the weeks fly to these days. I seem to have less time now that I only have half-a-job than I did when I was working full time.
Mind you, compared to workers in the Nineteenth Century, I’ve got it easy! Long days, harsh conditions, no comforts….
Last weekend I had a trip with the Shropshire Community Flickr Group to Quarry Bank Mill in Cheshire. It was a pleasant day – grey in the morning, but sunny and warm in the afternoon. Steve Green has blogged his adventures here. I had a less energetic experience. I paid the entrance fee and saw all the buildings and gardens.
I particularly enjoyed touring the mill itself, which is a massive building. I learnt a lot about the process of turning bales of raw cotton into thread and thread into fabric. These days the old spinning and weaving machines are restored and working, and turn out teatowels to be sold in the National Trust Shop. Some of the looms are once-again powered by a waterwheel, driven by the river that flows through the valley.
On the steep bank of the river, the mill-owner’s garden is being lovingly restored. Very much a work in progress, but already full of colour in the borders, attracting butterflies and dragonflies, and with the dappled shade of old trees at the top of the garden. I hope I can revisit it in three or four years when the restored beds have matured a little.
There’s a set of pictures on Flickr, but photography was not allowed within the mill, so I can’t show you the wheel and the machines.
The mill offices have also been beautifully restored. Looking at the high desks and stools for the clerks, and the inkwells, I was reminded of a little piece I wrote a few years ago. It was on my old website, and I have now transferred it to the blog. The Story of Encs. Enjoy.