Bad working conditions
Source B suggests that factory owners operated bad working conditions for their employees. From your study of Quarry Bank Mill and the Gregs explain whether you agree with this interpretation. Refer to sources A-D carefully in your answer. Source B, written by Pauline Greg, has been taken from the book ‘A Social and Economic History of Britain. ‘ Source B has been taken from the seventh edition, which shows it, has been updated. After World War II more people were interested in the middle class people because the class system changed.
People who were of lower class were not as discriminated as much as before. Source B is a generalisation of the factory conditions, therefore it may not be an accurate piece of evidence regarding the conditions at Quarry Bank Mill. Historians may have a new approach to the way in which they viewed sources because of the time they were living in. There may have been a tendency for historians to be shocked about the way in which people were treated at the mills because of the time period.
The conditions the workers may have experienced may have been seen as suitable for the factory owners, however for Pauline Greg she may have been astonished by the appalling conditions. Pauline Gregg has written in a very one-sided approach. Pauline Greg has only written about selected factories and about how dirty they are. She has not written about any of the clean factories and well-kept ones. Pauline Greg has given a very negative view of the working conditions. She has used words like ‘sickening’ and ‘ramshackle’ which portrays the extreme conditions.
Pauline Greg seems to think that all the employees were badly treated. She has written how the employees are punished and given no respect and how immoral she thinks they were treated. VISITED QUARRY BANK! The conditions in the apprentice house did not seem as bad as how Pauline Greg describes. Pauline Greg writes how the apprentice houses were in terrible conditions although when I visited, the apprentice house at Quarry Bank Mill, had very substantial architectural quality.
The conditions seemed appropriate for the time of Samuel Greg. The building looked strong enough to house a large amount of children many years after the apprentice house was no longer in use. Visiting the apprentice house at Quarry Bank Mill, enable me to see the evidence first hand and the source is not secondary. The apprentice house was very large and did house many of the children. I am sure the conditions could be improved in the apprentice house, however from what I saw the conditions seem to be liveable for a child at the time.
The life a child was provided with when joining at Quarry Bank Mill was better than what most children would have received. Source A seems to disagree with what Pauline Greg wrote. Source A was written in 1833 when the first Factory Act had been passed which effectively reduced the number of hours the children worked and children under 9 were not allowed to work. This Factory Act was affective because inspectors were appointed to check on what was happening at the factories.