Q turned out to be a tricky letter in my Alphabet Adventure. I was expecting it to be hard to find something beginning with the required letter, but I wasn’t necessarily anticipating it taking so long for me to get there too.
I gave up waiting for the weather and made my way to Quarry Bank Mill, somewhere near Manchester Airport. Along the way, I passed Jodrell Bank Observatory which would have been a good stop for J! I would have stopped off and had a look around but just as I pulled into the drive, it started hailing good and proper. So, I settled for a photo from a distance.
The Quarry Bank Mill & Styal Estate is a National Trust property and comprises of three different sections – the actual Cotton mill itself, some extensive gardens, and an Apprentice House. I arrived just in time for a guided tour of the Apprentice House, the only way you are allowed to have a look round.
The tour was interesting, we went through each of the rooms laid out as schoolrooms, bedrooms and parlours, learning about the way the children that worked at the mill were treated. I thought there was a bit too much implied knowledge, particularly about the owners of the estate, but perhaps that’s because I went straight into the house instead of looking round the mill first.
I stopped into the mill next, a free exhibit with a lot of boards of information, a couple of machines that aren’t in use, and a couple with National Trust employees showing how they work. I also walked around the gardens which look like they could be nice, but it was the wrong time of year. Plus they are undergoing a bit of maintenance work so a lot of sections were roped off.
Overall, it was a nice way to spend a few hours and there was more to do than I had expected. I think I went at the wrong time of year, but if you can catch it in full flow it should make for a good day out.