Tag Archives: March of the Women

The Bridport Wildcats!

One Friday afternoon in February 1912, the women who worked on the French netting machines at Gundry’s net-making factory in the market town of Bridport, Dorset, SW England, were informed (without notice) that their pay was to be reduced to match the wages of the girls and women who worked on the other machines in the factory.  The women refused to accept this pay cut and immediately came out on strike.  There was no precedent for this, and the women were on their own, there was no union backing, it was regarded as a wildcat strike.

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Dame Ethel Smyth: Composer and Suffragette

Ethel Smyth was a composer, suffragette and writer known for her passionate public and private life.

Born on 23rd April 1858 Ethel developed an interest in music from a young age. At 12, when she learned that her governess had studied music at the Leipzig Conservatory in Germany, she decided that was where she needed to go.

Unfortunately her father saw things differently, and was completely against the idea. He even stopped her music lessons to try and change her mind. Ethel was having none of it, and over the next seven years she persistently pressured her father; refusing to eat, locking herself in her room, skipping church and other social occasions until he finally gave in! At the age of 19 she finally left to attend the music school.

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