The story starts with Stanley Freese, who in the 1920s and 1930s cycled across the country sketching, photographing and gathering information on rural England, particularly the mills of rural Buckinghamshire. Stanley had planned to write a book but his plans were put on hold. James Venn met Stanley while a teenager and remained friends with him, inheriting his research on his death. He intended to publish Freese’s manuscript with additional information. While the work was never published, we now have the combined research notes, sketches and photographs of both collectors.