Thursday, 3 July 2008
I *heart* the Industrial Revolution
On Monday I got to go to Richard Arkwright’s mill in Matlock. The one he built in 1771. The one that helped kick off the Industrial Revolution and all that malarkey. I had a love affair with the Industrial Revolution. Maybe it was coming from Manchester, and being aware of the buildings around me and what they meant in the grand scheme of things. I passed Victoria Square, the world’s first tenement flats, every time I went into town. I spent art school afternoons sketching the old weavers cottages in Cheetham Hill, imagining the world they knew changing so much in just a short span of time.
I like to know the history of places. I like to be able to put my finger on changes and to understand how and why they happened. I’ve been past Arkwright’s Masson Mill many many times, without ever venturing inside. It is now part factory shop, part restaurant, part conference rooms, part museum. It is great inside. There are lots of old weaving things arranged on windowsills, and little rooms with old scales and mechanical bits and bobs inside. I definitely felt excited to be in a place so steeped in history, a place that played a huge part in moving the wheels of time forward for the entire world. It was nice to be there in a Time Travel Opportunists capacity, because it really did feel like we’d stepped back through time. It was also nice to nerd out on the history part of it.