Life of Workers in Staithes Essay

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Close by the giant textile mill row on row on row of drab terrace houses huddle together as if to fend off the bitter cold of a winter night in December of 1811. Night obscures the narrow streets of the industrial village of Holmeside as morning’s hesitant light pokes through the canopy of dismal clouds. Inside the mill, workers have been toiling for hours. They rose from their beds early and put on their work clothing. The lucky ones ate a crust of bread and drank the remains of yesterday’s milk before stepping out into the chilly darkness to make their way to the mill. They carried the smallest children. Older children plodded along sleepily as if newly raised from the dead and not yet accustomed to walking. The eldest child is the…show more content…
All that is human is troubled by their failure to benefit except by Death’s summons. The portal of the grave is their only means of escape.
Some said the disadvantages of the poor were their own making. Many believed that the working poor were not fully human, but a bestial and inferior species, unlike themselves, specifically supplied by Providence as servants through whose labour they ran profitable enterprises. The poor were seen as a raw material in the same class as wool and cotton. They were cheap to employ and easy to replace. Those that looked down on workers failed to see that working conditions in textile mills were why workers were afflicted with conditions for which no treatment existed.
These early morning people move in procession through the streets, uniting with others at street junctions to form broader streams, merging with other streams as they neared the mill to form a grand current of humanity closing on the massive iron gates of the mill that were symbols of imprisonment. Once inside the gates, workers fanned out to go to various work stations to work as machine minders in the manufactory. This was the common condition of men, women, and children in the hard textile country of Yorkshire’s West Riding. The characters of Yorkshire folk were forged in the crucibles of harsh terrain and exacting industrial environments.

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