“Any help possible will be given”: the work of the Manchester and Salford Women’s Trade Union Council 1895-1919
Event location: Working Class Movement Library, 51 Crescent Salford M5 4WX.
Date: 10th March 2018, 2pm to 5pm
This event will celebrate the deposit by the Mary Quaile Club at the Working Class Movement Library of the two volumes of the original handwritten minutes of the Manchester and Salford Women’s Trade Union Council (MSWTUC) . We came across them during research for a pamphlet Dare To Be Free about the life of Mary Quaile, an organiser for the Council 1911-1919. Mary had obviously taken them when the Council office closed in 1919 and fortunately her family had kept them after her death and kindly gave them to us.
Bernadette Hyland from the Mary Quaile Club has transcribed the entire set of minutes (130,000 words) for a Web site on the MSWTUC which was launched earlier this year. http://www.mswtuc.co.uk.
The minutes are an invaluable record of the work done by the MSWTUC to organise low-paid women into trade unions in Manchester and will add greatly to knowledge of women’s trade unionism in this period.
The MSWTUC employed organisers to carry out the work of the Council: Sarah Dickenson, Frances Ashwell, Eva Gore-Booth, Mary Quaile, Olive Aldridge and Kate Wallwork. The Minutes reveal the very hard work done by these women to encourage and support women to set up or join trade unions, and the issues that arose, particularly pay and working conditions. They also reveal the sharp divisions that arose on the Council over the issue of Votes for Women, culminating in a split in the autumn of 1904 and the establishment of a rival Women’s Trades Council.
The speakers will be Maggie Cohen, chair of the WCML Trustees; Bernadette Hyland from the Mary Quaile Club: and Lauren McCourt (BFAWU). Joan McGee will perform a short extract from a play about Mary Quaile written by Jane McNulty.
The event is free and has been organised jointly by the Mary Quaile Club and the WCML. There will be refreshments after the speeches.
Advance booking is advised – please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
This event is part of Wonder Women 2018. Explore the full programme running throughout March at creativetourist.com/wonderwomen.