nantgarw pottery was a small one -- no more than 20 folk were employed .. at least half of those were children

Millward described Billingsley as 'a thin man of middle height , fair with grey hair, but had no beard: was a pleasant speaking man but very hot tempered. He kept a horse whip to thrash the boys and girls if they neglected work' Billingsley and Walker at Nantgarw

'Social reformers attempted as early as 1802 to obtain legislative restrictions against the worst features of the child-labor system, but little was done even to enforce existing laws limiting work hours and establishing a minimum age for employment. Conditions as bad as those imposed on pauper children rapidly developed in enterprises employing nonpauper children. Often with the approval of political, social, and religious leaders, children were permitted to labor in hazardous occupations such as mining. The resultant social evils included illiteracy, further impoverishment of poor families, and a multitude of diseased and crippled children.

Popular agitation for reform steadily increased. The first significant British legislation was enacted in 1878, when the minimum age of employees was raised to 10 years and employers were required to restrict employment of children between the ages of 10 and 14 to alternate days or consecutive half days. In addition to making every Saturday a half holiday, this legislation also limited the workday of children between 14 and 18 years of age to 12 hours, with an intermission of 2 hours for meals and rest.'

“It is totally unacceptable that in every continent of the world child labour
still exists. For many children this means growing up in hazardous environments away from families, and missing out on an education. Their lives are a daily ritual of repetitive labour. For millions, childhood is over by the age of five.”

Anna Feuchtwang, Chief Executive of EveryChild
june 2009