I have been greatly frustrated with my TV viewing recently as I kept missing Michael Wood's Story of England, but I caught up with episode 5 last night, which dealt with the industrial revolution. There was some very nice footage of Foxton Locks for canal fans.
I was fascinated by the item on hosiery trade in Leicester and the visit to the Framework Knitting museum, as this was the first time I have seen one of these machines in action. Wood used witness statements from the Framework Knitters Select Committee of 1844, when the trade was in an acute state of depression, to bring the workers' story to life. The select committee discovered children learned the trade from an early age; five and six year olds worked at stitching gloves or chevening (embroidering) stockings. They began learning how to use the stocking-frame when they were about nine or a little older. The story of Britain's child workers is the subject of my forthcoming book, and I hope to have some news for you soon.