On 15 May volunteers from Quarry Bank Mill visited the Greater Manchester County Record Office to look at the mill’s historic archives and to get a tour around the archive strongrooms.

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Quarry Bank Mill, in Styal, Cheshire, is a National Trust property. The estate is one of the best preserved eighteenth-century mill complexes in the country. It also boasts Europe’s most powerful working waterwheel and Apprentice House, which housed the pauper children who worked in the mill.

The volunteers are at the start of a project to catalogue and make accessible archives still held at the mill. Some of the archives were given to the city in the 1960s including records relating to Greg family, the mill’s child apprentices and its adult staff.

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Image © National Trust / Nick King

Among the apprentice records on display were documents relating to Esther Price and Thomas Priestley, whose stories tell us about how difficult life was as a child apprentice.

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Also on display were pattern books from other mills. These are vibrant, colourful books of fabric swatches used to try out patterns and inks.

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Image © National Trust / Nick King

We’re happy to report that Quarry Bank Mill have been successful in the first stage of their Heritage Lottery Fun bid. Archives+ looks forward to working with them on their exciting project.

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