Daily News, London, England; 26 Dec 1898, Mon, Page 5
THE CRY OF THE CHILDREN – WITH THE LITTLE “KNOTTERS” IN A BUSY HIVE.
SHALL THE AGE BE RAISED? WHAT SOME OPPONENTS SAY. MONTH BY MONTH IF AT ALL
(BY OUR SPECIAL CORRESPONDENT ) FARNWORTH.
Farnworth is supposed to be more or less ” in the country”. You wouldn’t think it for a moment. The Isle of Dogs wears quite as rural an appearance, and the small allotments down by the Millwall Docks are much less modest about their vegetation than this distant suburb of Bolton. I have spent a goodlv portion of to-day going through a couple of large mills, with Mr. Rowland Tinker H.M. Inspector of Factories acting as my ” guide, philosopher, and friend.” What is more, I have come expressly with the object of talking with those who are professedly opposed to the age of half-timers being raised. I first visited Messrs. John Phethean and Co. (Limited).
Mr. John Phethean himself courteously conducted me through the mill, and gave me a free hand to speak to any of the operatives I liked, and to put to them any questions I desired. It is perfectly evident that Mr. Phethean is conscientiously opposed to any change, and has profound belief in the strength of his case. But it should be made clear that the work of this firm, the manufacture of quiltings, toilets &c, is more or less of a special character, and though throughout Lancashire a very large number of half-timers are engaged in it, it only forms a fractional part of the whole cotton trade.