Sunday, 19 July 2009

Horses Work

The Middlesbrough News. Friday 7th September 1866.
Boulby is a small village about ten miles further up the coast south from Redcar. Alum works have been established there this two hundred year. Persons going to inspect these works on Rawcliffe have being struck with the strange garb of the men working at the alum pits and with the dangerous nature of the avocation of the alum miners. At the end of the alum pits is a small shed and a large wheel is whizzing round at a rapid rate, and drawing water from neighbouring reservoirs to the pits. In the summer we have seen two woman turning the wheel, and dressed in a manner quite "shocking" to our modern idea of propriety. The laborious nature of their work necessitated them to work in a half-nude state, and even in that condition the sweat stood upon them in great drops like peas. Here surely was woman degraded, and doing not man's work but "horses work." Joseph Richardson