Spinning Yarns

A History of the Cotton Industry
Paul Mason charts the rise and fall of the Lancashire cotton industry.

Episodes

EpisodeFirst
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0120070613

He visits Cromford Mill to discover how cotton ushered in the industrial revolution and grew to dominate British exports for well over a century.

0220070620

He examines how the trade changed the face of 19th-century British politics. From the Peterloo massacre to the American Civil War, he tells the story of cotton's role in winning the vote for the masses.

0320070627

He sets out to demolish the myth that life in the Lancashire cotton towns was all flat caps and rickets, arguing that the workers in the mill towns enjoyed the most developed leisure economy in the world.

04 LAST20070704

He describes how the decline of the industry shaped Lancashire as dramatically as its birth, leaving a multi-cultural population as its lasting legacy.