Published: 6th Oct 2016

I recently visited Ironbridge and the museums there that record how the industrial revolution came about. The highlight for me was a completely unexpected conversation with a volunteer guide in the house built for and occupied by Abraham Darby and his family. Our guide, Dorothy, was well versed in Quaker industrial history. She explained how the structure of the Quaker movement presented opportunities for networking. That, she said, was how Darby the industrialist came to meet Gurney the Norfolk banker. All this at a time when travel was far from easy and LinkedIn not invented! What defined these early Quaker entrepreneurs were their values. They literally walked their talk and treated their workers with respect and fairness, in an era when exploitation was common. My own grandmother attended a school in Norfolk funded by the Gurney family for the children of estate workers. Without them, she might not have attended … (To read the full article, subscribe below)