The Mill (2013) s02e01 Episode Script

Series 2, Episode 1

Afternoon, Master Greg.
- Bad dream, Mr Boon? - I wasn't asleep! Eh? I haven't got time to sleep.
What are you all grinning at? - We're happy in our work, Mr Boon.
- That's not right.
- (Women sniggering) - What's going on? Wouldn't know where to begin, Mr Boon.
It's a long tale.
(Women laughing) Hey, any sign of Jack-in-the-box? No, not yet.
Get Daniel to grease your hinges, that'll speed things up.
(Laughter) It won't be long now and I can't wait to get out of those weaving sheds.
- (Coughs) - Are you not coming back? You won't know what to do, all that time on your hands.
With three kids and a husband? - It'll be great to be out of here for good, though.
- I'm so jealous! Esther.
What's happened? Smallpox.
- Paddy died.
- Come back! The lads have been spared, thank God.
I haven't got it.
Yes, and we've been vaccinated, we can't catch it.
- Where are the lads? - A neighbour.
There's no work back home, Esther.
There's work here.
They've just built a new weaving shed and Susie's about to give hers up.
I'll ask Master Robert in the morning.
- He'll be glad of the extra hands.
- And you can stay with me tonight.
We could probably sneak her into the apprentice house shed.
No, you can keep me company.
My husband will be out most of the night at one of his Manchester meetings.
- If you're sure? - She's sure.
You did the right thing coming here.
Maybe you should just leave Angie and Maud at June Bibby's tonight? They've been vaccinated, Miriam.
What about the baby? And Daniel, eh? What will he say? How do you know the vaccine thing even works? Daniel believes in two things - science and helping the poor.
(Cheering) Three cheers for James Hammett and the Tolpuddle men.
- Hip, hip.
- Hooray! - Hip, hip.
- Hooray! Excuse me.
You're an inspiration.
Transported to Australia for daring to form a trade union, the nation rose up and forced the government to return them to their families.
Now, that campaign must act as the inspiration for our fight to put working men into Westminster to resist the new Poor Law.
Robert Greg's asked the Poor Law Commission to send workers from the South under this new this new migrant labour scheme.
These men are farmers.
They've lost land, lost everything.
And they're being forced up here and they'll be desperate.
And the men I speak for, they're scared.
They're scared they'll drive down our wages.
They are not the enemy.
They are victims of the Poor Law.
We have to unite with them, not fight them.
Save your famous rage for them that deserve it, Dan.
(Chuckling) (Breathes heavily) There's a neighbour run to Wilmslow for a midwife.
Please, Mr Windell.
I'll be back as soon as it's over.
My hands are tied.
At the end of the day, I have to head count and the numbers have to tally.
My brother's very strict about it.
- Well, she won't be alone.
- No, you're right, she won't.
Heavenly Father, watch over us this night and preserve us from all harm.
We give thanks for thy bountiful gifts and the kindness of our benefactors, the Gregs.
(Coughs) We commit ourselves entirely to thy disposal whether we enjoy or suffer or live or die may we be mercifully accepted as thy children and disciples of thy son Jesus Christ.
- Amen.
- Amen.
I told you.
I'll get you a job tomorrow.
(Cries out) JOHN DOHERTY: It used to be our moral duty to take care of the poor and the vulnerable.
That's what the carpenter's son from Nazareth preached.
But our parliamentarians could teach that humble water-walker a thing or two.
Teach him that poverty is a crime and the criminals are the paupers.
It's their idleness, insobriety and vice that causes poverty.
(Moans) - I think it's coming.
- (Cries out) (Moans) The English labourer did not cause the downturn.
A banking crisis in America started it.
So why should he suffer? All right, Abe? This won't do.
This won't do at all.
Who are you? James Windell, mill manager.
John Howlett.
Pleased to meet you.
Standard hand span's four inches.
Little, nimble fingers are what's required here.
I can turn my hand to any kind of honest toil, sir.
You'll find me a more than willing worker.
Your wife and boys might suffice.
Poor as I am, I hope I'd never stoop so low as to allow my wife to work in a cotton manufactory.
And me and my grandson are shoemakers, highly-skilled artisans.
- I'm Job, Granddad.
- Ah, Job here.
He isn't even staying.
It's just me and the two youngest reporting tomorrow, sir.
The wise men in Westminster know that the solution to poverty is not to increase wages or end unemployment.
The solution to poverty is to make the hungry hungrier inflict even more suffering and indignity upon the unfortunate so that sooner or later, they will find employment or die.
Either outcome reduces the financial burden on the ratepayer.
I've allocated the cottage to the Howletts, the cellar to the Whittakers.
We won't be needing the cellar, we're all one family.
So that'll reduce the rent, will it? It's not so bad.
- It's nice, Dad.
- Oh? If you pass tomorrow's medical examination, you'll work for a probationary period.
Rent will be taken from your first week's wages.
There's no work for under nines.
It's illegal now.
Jack's nine.
Timothy's 14.
Looks like the new arrivals have started.
You could say that, yeah.
It's a boy.
Can I hold him? Once you've paid Mrs Goulbourn.
- Goodbye, Ma.
- Wish I was going with him.
Me too.
Walk on.
- Goodbye.
- God bless you.
(Church bell chimes) - Can I see Master Robert? - He's not here.
- But he's usually first in.
- Not any more.
(Sighs) I'll call back at dinner time.
Sarah Wood's gone.
Taken Susannah's place at the weaving shed.
So there's a position here now? An uncle again, eh? - Our Miriam says t'baby looks just like me.
- Never mind, as long as it's healthy.
Can you do this for me? Can you prove their dates of birth? No call for all that red tape, now, is there, sir? I'm obliged to assess their age by their height.
I know how old my own boys are.
It's the law now, we're all bound by rules and regulations.
Step over here, boy.
Come on.
Against the wall.
Other than the Bible, you'll never see a book put to better use.
Mr Howlett, I'm sorry As soon as I could walk, I was out with my father, planting seed, feeding the chickens.
That's all gone.
So, here we are.
And I will not allow some quill driver to tell me when my boys are fit for work.
Do you understand? Have you come to a decision yet? Not yet, ma'am, I'm sorry.
Everyone in England has a surname, Peter.
It's not just for the mill records.
Mr Sturge needs a full name to advertise your tour.
You're your own man now and you need a name to reflect that.
That's a lot to reflect.
May I ask how you chose your name, ma'am? Well, I didn't exactly choose it, I chose a husband.
Well, begging your pardon, Mrs Greg, perhaps if you've never had to do it yourself, you don't know how hard it is.
How about Freeman? Peter Freeman? Freeman? I'll give it some thought.
Mrs Greg.
Do you know where I might find Master Robert? He hasn't been in his office all morning.
He's a Member of Parliament now, Esther.
When will he be here next? I don't know.
Is it urgent? My sister and her family are looking for work is all.
Do you need any more help in the garden? Not just at the moment, no.
Oh, let's see him.
Have you got a name yet? Anthony.
Tony for short.
How is it? Two hands and three kids? I don't think I knew what I was letting myself in for.
Where's Martha? She's keeping her distance.
- Did you ask Robert? - He's not in.
You know there's a new family in the village? And Daniel says there's more to come.
So there must be positions here? Unless they've all been taken.
- Did you see your master? - Er no, not yet, but I will do.
He owes me a favour.
Can't you do it inside? We need to let people know we're here.
Knock on doors and tell 'em.
The knock of an artisan's hammer on his last is the best way to spread such news.
Anything else is just words.
Give him your stampers, he needs to look busy.
Have you come to work at the mill? Ah, we're shoemakers, madam.
Abraham Whittaker and apprentice.
Might you be interested in our services? I might, yeah.
Esther Price.
I'm an apprentice too.
My grandson, Will.
Feast your eyes on a craftsman in action.
She is doing, Dad.
I like what I see.
Shoes a bit shabby, though.
We can make you a new pair.
Finest leather made to measure.
If you're an apprentice, you don't get paid, do you? - Well, how much are they? ABE: Eight shilling.
Fit for a queen.
Comfort and durability guaranteed.
You can't afford it.
I'll be back with the money, guaranteed.
- Where have you been? - Sorry, Mr Boon.
- Saved you some dinner.
- Oh.
I lose three good hands to the weaving shed and what do I get in return? A big gollumpus and his yokel offspring.
- As much use as a nun's notch! - Yeah, well, he can't be nine.
Yeah, I know.
But what can I do? What's the problem here? Come on, put some more effort into it.
You're here to do a job, not make friends.
HOWLETT: He'll learn, sir.
- Mr Boon? - What now? One of the machines has stopped.
- Can't Boon see to it? - They say it needs an expert.
Eh, look at the size of the new boy.
There's nothing I can do.
Maybe with that union of yours, you could Where are you going? - To measure the boy.
- Stay away from him.
How old is he? - Nine.
- Does he take after his mother? - This is none of your business.
- Did you marry a dwarf? - Work! - I can't, it's broke! Look, I know it's grim down south.
- I know what you've come from - You know nothing about us.
You're a worker like us all.
People fought long and hard to change the law and bring in new rules to protect our children.
Your rules will starve my children.
He's nine and he's fit for work.
I've got an unemployed nephew who really is nine.
She sabotaged her machine and you both know it.
A bolt on the rail.
I'm not sure that would count as actual sabotage.
Master William, I was just about to tell him that, sir.
Don't let me stop anyone.
Daniel Bate, chief engineer.
William Greg.
My brother's told me a lot about you, Bate.
I hear you're building a new engine for the weaving sheds.
That's why my hands are dirty.
First of the migrants keen, grateful.
According to Dr Holland, the boy's underage and the father's somewhat truculent.
My father put me through the mill when I wasn't much older than you.
How's your sister? She's very happy.
Three children.
Glad to hear it.
The oldest one's his.
So what brings you here, sir? Master William will be in charge from now on.
He'll be taking over.
No keener worker than my sister.
Those southerners don't know what they're doing.
You mean they wouldn't know how to stop a mule with a stray bolt? I'd think carefully about my next remark, if I was you.
Look, she's desperate, sir.
She'll have to return to her own parish and apply to the workhouse.
Sorry, that's the law.
Well, can you loan me a couple of shillings to help her out? My indentures finish soon, I'll pay it off when I'm earning.
You think you'll be kept on? I had an understanding with Master Robert.
He gave me his word.
There's no record of any such understanding.
And if it's not written down, it doesn't count.
He promised.
Ask him, or ask your mother.
I make the decisions now.
But you'll find me a reasonable man.
I'll send you a couple of bob every week, I promise.
And the immigrants are useless.
They'll soon be sent back.
As soon as that happens, I'll let you know.
Don't worry about me.
She'll be all right.
How's the engine coming along? Nearly there.
William Greg's back.
No reason you should have to come into contact with him.
You'll see him every day.
Will that be a problem? No.
T'newcomers look desperate.
You should take them something over.
(Baby cries) Oh, what's up? Shhhh.
Is this to eat or to wash in? Uncalled for, Abe.
She knows I'm only joking, don't you, Bec? I can hear you smiling.
The man at the shop couldn't give me anything on account.
He's got a business to run.
He doesn't know us.
We're only here on approval for now.
When will we know if we're staying? We'll stay.
No master ever disapproved of a Howlett's work.
We'll prove ourselves.
You work hard, you get your reward.
I ain't hungry.
Will had his first order today.
Well, that's good.
How much? She was all talk, that girl.
She won't come up with the coin.
(Knock at door) We'll manage till payday.
My wife thought you might find a use for this until you get your wages.
That's very neighbourly.
Can I ask what they're paying you? You can ask, but I judge it bad manners.
There's been some rumours and I'm secretary of the union.
- I don't hold with unions.
- Well I'm chairing a meeting on Saturday, Horseshoe Inn.
Come along, get to know people, talk things through.
And spend my wages? Look, I know why you lied about your son.
- I've heard about the food riots down south.
- We're a law-abiding family.
Until it comes to factory law.
We don't need charity.
We stand on our own two feet in this house.
(Church bell chiming) ESTHER: Even though Master Robert's not here, he's still in charge, isn't he? HANNAH: No, his brother is.
Well, has he asked you about the agreement I had with Master Robert? We discussed it and I'm sure he'll speak to you.
Now run along.
The new master, what's his name? William Greg.
I know, it's the same as the old one.
How many Greg men are there? God knows.
Why are you here? Is there no muck to dig up where you come from? Plenty.
Esther! You'll be late.
He's good with machines, not so good with people.
He tries to do the right thing but sometimes he John's a proud man.
Pride never filled an empty belly.
Take it.
- Pay me back when you can.
- Thank you.
I'm Susannah.
ESTHER: Your brother promised me a position if I kept my mouth shut.
How does that affect me? It's history now.
I could tell him about your private maths lessons with Susannah.
Destroy your friend's reputation? Make a fool of her husband, embarrass the child? Everyone who knows her knows how you treated her, including Daniel.
Maybe everyone who knows you should know the same.
Does Mrs Greg know? I need the position I was promised.
And an advance on my wages.
Add to one column and we subtract from another.
If she stays, someone else has to go.
Well, one of the southerners.
Master Robert has left us somewhat contractually obliged in that regard.
Anyone else we could lose? Molly Murphy's indentures were two years and finished some time ago.
- But you can't split her up from her little sister.
- It's your choice, Esther.
I could ask Mr Windell to advance you a loan, you could pay it off weekly when you begin employment.
But I'll need something in return.
She's gone to the workhouse, I'm sorry.
Why? Her term has ended.
And there's less call for apprentices now there's more children in the village.
When did this get decided? You can't separate sisters without even telling them! - Or letting them say goodbye! - My hands are tied.
You'll have to sleep with Patience from now on.
What? James says you're an even number again.
Shared beds is the rule.
Keeps you warmer and saves on linen.
What are we going to do about this? Nothing we can do.
(Sobbing) (Sobbing continues) You can sleep on the floor! I'm sick of hearing you constantly mewling in my ear! - Leave her alone! She's missing her sister! - It's not my fault.
We've all lost someone, or we wouldn't be here! - Patience, have a heart! - Why should I suffer? It's Mary-Ann suffering.
She has to share with you! Back off and shut up! Everyone else is two to a bed.
(Sobbing) It's all right.
Hey, Molly's only in Stockport.
You can visit odd Sundays.
When trade picks up, they'll bring her back.
Eh? I've got to put meself first, though.
William said he'd abide by Master Robert's promise.
If Molly goes, he'll keep me on, as long as I don't cause any trouble between now and the end of my apprenticeship.
But William made promises to Susannah and broke 'em as soon as he put a pea in her pod.
Why am I trusting him? What if he's just keeping me quiet? Well done, Bate! Superb work.
My brother was right about you.
A little volatile, your misguided notion, but sometimes a temperamental genius has to be indulged.
I think I can get more from you.
How many looms do we have at the moment, Mr Windell? Room for 100 in those sheds.
We don't need more than 20 in current trading conditions, Master.
Conditions change.
Let's be ambitious.
How could you adapt and improve this magnificent machine so we could get five times more power from it? You could try an extra cylinder.
An extra cylinder, that's the spirit, Bate! You give it some thought.
Together we'll make it happen.
Is that wise, Master? The weaving sheds cost thousands, exports are down, trade's stagnant.
Can we afford to invest like that now? - We can't afford not to.
- There's a wage cut coming.
When the hands find out, they don't want to hear their new master talking about more machines.
They know I've their best interests at heart.
John Howlett and sons.
Master William wants to see you in his office.
Wait there.
This is it.
If there's a cup for me, there's a position.
They wouldn't give me a loan and not let me pay it off.
What's this? Most manufacturers cut their wages months ago.
Others are laying people off.
We have to compete.
I can't manage on this! Wages are down! Blame the Corn Laws, it's them that's strangling trade.
Why does a corn law affect cotton? Why doesn't every man have a decent shirt on his back? It's a good question, Master, I've often wondered.
Because the cost of bread is so high.
Why's it so high? Because the grain grows on land owned by aristocrats who pass laws to keep it high.
End the bread tax, end trade tariffs, we'll expand our markets.
Every man will be able to afford a shirt again.
There'll be more employment and higher wages.
I see, well, that does make sense, yeah.
That's what my brother, Robert, has gone to Parliament to achieve.
But until he succeeds, if we are to keep competing, then we must reduce costs.
I'm sorry.
Really, I am.
- Believe me, we have no choice.
- Thank you, Master.
I appreciate you taking the time out to explain.
If everyone's wages are cut, less shirts will be bought.
Exactly what I was going to say! Anything for me, sir? Eight bob loan, to be paid off a tanner a week.
Sign here.
It's enough to keep Martha going for a week or two, but will it make any difference in the long run? I've been watching you.
I made some enquiries and you're not suited to this work, are you? Let me work outside like that blackamoor.
I could do that.
Give me that.
Put a spade in my hand and I'll show you, Master.
I'll work twice as hard as any man you've got, black or white.
You little straw-bangers! It's your fault our wages are short.
Go home, you don't belong here.
That told them.
Yokels! Have you seen their dad? Hey, what's the matter? I hate it here.
I want to go home, we all do.
What's brought this on? BOON: It's nowt to do with t'Corn Laws.
It's William Greg coming in, wanting to make his mark.
They've cut our wages to pay for the weaving sheds - and that damned engine of yours.
- Machinery isn't the enemy here.
It'll improve our lives when it's used properly.
And the Slave Compensation Scheme paid for the sheds.
If we want to talk to you, we'll bang a drum! The government paid a £20 million ransom to the plantation owners for the release of their slaves.
Slave compensation, and it went to white men.
£20 million? Out of the pockets of poor white men, like us, in taxes! I should buy you a drink.
Seems I owe you my freedom.
You don't seem very grateful.
I don't feel very free.
You should join us.
- Ain't my fight.
- It's all our fight.
We're ruled by the rich and they look after their own interests.
Once we get working men in government, like us, things will change.
Tell me! Tell me your wage cut's my fault! It's not your fault! I've just been saying, it's the Corn Laws! - Don't tell my boys, tell a man! - No one's blaming you.
- You're a victim of the Poor Law.
- I'm no victim.
We all had the same wage cut.
You didn't know it was a cut.
It's my first week's wage in seven months! - But it isn't a full week.
- If it isn't enough for you, find another job.
You've got to understand that if you accept it, we all have to.
But if you join us, then we can fight it.
Put our master out of business because he can't compete? - That won't happen.
- Why not? Believe me, you can't trust William Greg.
I trust him more than you.
And if he can't compete, the mill shuts and no one works! You're an agricultural labourer, you plough your own fields.
Here, we depend on each other.
Have you heard of Tolpuddle? Those men were poor, southern farm labourers like you I'd send 'em back, back to Australia, back with all the other crooks like you, too lazy to work! - Oh, dear.
- Argh! You're my overseer and I respect you as my superior.
And all you threw away were the knuckles of a dead sheep.
But they belonged to my sons.
Find them or I'll rip the bones from your hands and my boys will play with them in future.
(Groans and winces) Another couple of fists, we'd have beat him.
Seems to me, you pick on a man's children, you ain't got the right to beat him.
How could you do that to your overseer? He won't be my overseer for long.
Master William's seen something in me he likes.
First time he clapped eyes on me, I was standing up to that union man.
And as soon as I get the hang of the mule room, he wants me to be the overseer - after one week! Everything I told you about working hard, refusing hand-outs, it was true.
We came looking for a better life and we found it.
But everyone hates us.
Not everyone, not the people who matter.
We're staying.
We're going to work hard and we're going to succeed.
Told you.
Once I set my heart on something, it's as good as mine.
I thought that was for Martha.
She's all the way in Liverpool, there's no way I could get it to her.
I said you northern girls have ways of making a shilling, didn't I? I'll let you know when they're ready.
Made-to-measure, you said.
Fit for a queen, so get measuring.
I can see what size you are.
For eight bob, I want them to fit properly.
Measure me.
- Have you no shame? - (Giggles) Do you want me money or not? What's up, Will? Is she a six-toer? - No.
- Then get on with it, Will! Yeah, get on with it, Will.
Lucy, you can tell he's got a skilled man's hands as soon as he touches you.
Now the other one.
- It's the same.
- Oh, come on, please.
I'll let you know when they're done.
I'll hang on to this for now, then.
I need it to buy leather.
Those men sacrificed their lives for their beliefs.
They were martyrs.
- They didn't die, Daniel.
- Because we saved them! The people said no and brought them home.
And he calls them lazy! As soon as you throw the first punch, you've lost the argument.
I know.
It couldn't have gone any worse.
After he left, the men voted to accept the wage cut.
They're afraid.
Once again, William Greg does what he wants and gets away with it.
You're her father.
He's just the man who pays her father's wages.
- He's the man I should have swung for.
- Don't lose your temper and we'll be fine.
(Banging at door) - Hello? - Oh, sorry.
I just wanted to ask I need to get money to my sister in Liverpool.
- Where'd you get money from? - A loan, from Master William.
He says I can pay it back from my wages.
He's promised to keep me on.
You think he's a man of his word? He's a man of his brother's word.
Here's the proof.
Now, how can I get it to Martha? She did nothing about Molly and now this.
She's changed.
She said she was going to start putting herself first.
And eight bob for Martha won't make much difference.
Scouse as well, what a good day.
What's up? You could have got that money to Martha somehow.
Daniel's mate, Patch Powell, the one-eyed carter, he's taking it tomorrow while he's at the docks.
You didn't seriously think I'd put a pair of shoes before me sister? So you're not getting them? Oh, I'll get them and me handsome shoemaker.
But now he's seen me money, he'll have to wait to get his hands on it.
(Laughter) - I need my mules to run quicker.
- That wouldn't be safe.
- Someone will get hurt.
- And you'll be around to kiss them better.
I'm keeping my distance, in case I smash his self-righteous face in.
Esther will be gone soon, then things will change.
I'll miss you, you know.
- A new home.
- New neighbours and old friends.
I can't walk out with you.
If you change your mind, you know where I'll be.
Dancing! (Singing) - Peter Gardener.
- Miriam Catterall.
I am very pleased to meet you, Miriam.

Previous EpisodeNext Episode