The Work Force
The industrialisation of the cotton industry sucked in workers like a fire sucks in air. The population of towns like Blackburn and Darwen increased threefold in the first half on the nineteenth century. With few exceptions living conditions were grim. When one worker complained to the mill owner that the houses weren't fit to live in, he was told they weren't for living in, they were for sleeping in, the mill was for living in.
The free and easy days of the handloom weaver were gone. Now lives were ruled by the factory whistle and the rattle of wires on the bedroom window as the knocker-up made his rounds.