This section covers the living and working conditions for thousands of people who came from the land into the towns attracted by the prospect of new and better paid jobs in textile production. In the 19th century much of Lancashire's 'green and pleasant land' changed to 'a sordid blackened squalidness' (Dobbs, 1978). However during this period England became a world leader in cotton goods production and textile machinery manufacture, enjoying unparalleled wealth and trade, which led to the saying in the North West of 'where there's muck there's brass'.
In Living there are sections on housing, health and diet, education, and social reform; and under Working there are details of mill owners and managers, mill workers, child labour, apprentices, female workers and home workers.
Leisure shows how working people spent what little spare time they had and includes information on Whit Walks, Wakes Weeks, music, sport, literature and theatre.
Reform covers worker's protests (including Peterloo) against harsh conditions, unfair practices, and lack of electoral representation; strikes, disputes and the growth of the trades unions.