|Crown Terrace, Belper.|
Belper boy Samuel Slater was one of the child workers whose stories I told in The Children History Forgot. Samuel began his career as an apprentice to Jedidiah Strutt; Slater became one of the founding fathers of the American cotton industry.
|More millworkers' housing, Belper.|
The factory hours were from 6am until 6pm, including dinner and tea-times. Most of the children could read; the Strutts funded a Sunday school and day schools in the town, and built a Unitarian chapel (1788).
|Nail Shop, Joseph St.|
The Strutts told a parliamentary select committee (1816) that their mills had benefits for local families as well as providing them with work: ‘before the establishment of these works, the inhabitants were notorious for vice and immorality, and many of the children were maintained by begging; now their industry, decorous behaviour, attendance on public worship, and general good conduct, compared with the neighbouring villages, where no manufactures are established, is very conspicuous.’
|East Mill, Belper.|
|Unitarian Chapel, Belper.|
However, if you visit the Memories of the Mills website you'll discover millworkers' memories and oral histories of life in the Derwent Valley factories during the twentieth century.