On Saturday 4 June, as part of the Manchester Histories Festival, we will be launching our second publication, “Dare to Be Free”: women in trade unions, past and present. This publication has two parts: a biography of Mary Quaile, written by Michael Herbert, and ten interviews with women of today active in trade unions at grass roots level, written by Bernadette Hyland. The common thread is the belief of Mary Quaile, and her modern-day sisters, that trade unionism can make a real difference to the lives of working women and men.
This event will take place at Three Minute Theatre, Afflecks Arcade, 35 Oldham Street Manchester M1 1JG. It is free. The launch will start at 2pm with speakers followed by discussion; we are delighted that Sarah Woolley (BFAWU) and Nilufer Erdem (UNITE), who are amongst the women interviewed for the publication, will be joining us for the launch.
At 3.30pm there will be a final performance of “Dare to Be Free,” a play commissioned by the Mary Quaile Club and written by Jane McNulty. The play takes place in the past and present. It’s 1908 and waitresses in a Manchester cafe are fed up and ready to strike for proper pay and decent working conditions. It’s 2016 and workers in a Manchester “fast food experience” are fed up and ready to strike for proper pay and decent working conditions. Linking the two eras is Mary Quaile, a pioneer of women’s trade unionism in the C20th, come to help out her modern-day sisters because the issues she fought on 100 years ago are back with vengeance…The play premiered at Manchester May Day Festival and has been very well received by audiences. It lasts about 30 minutes.
We are very pleased to have received donations for the play from the following trade unions: BECTU, Chartered Society of Physiotherapists, Communication Workers Union, Fire Brigades Union (Region No 5), General Federation of Trade Unions, Bristol branch of NUJ, Calderdale branch of NUJ, Glasgow branch of NUJ, Manchester and Salford branch of NUJ, the Professional Footballers’ Association, Bolton branch of NUT, Bolton branch of UNISON, and UNITE (North West region). We have also received donations from the following individuals: Geoff and Judy Brown, Christopher Eccleston, John Finch, Tony Garnett, Gaynor Lloyd, Rita Machin, Maxine Peake, Sheila Rowbotham, and Margaret Ward.
The publication of the pamphlet has been made possible by grants from the Barry Amel and Norman Melburn Trust and the General Federation of Trade Unions.
The Mary Quaile Club can be contacted by email ; email@example.com
Our twitter account is @MaryQuaileClub