Born in Bradford in 1886, the daughter of an illiterate millworker and a colourful but absentee father, Florence White knew, at first hand, the hardships working women faced. A clever child, her limited time at school provided a solid education but no immediate escape from her hardships. At the age of 12 she too was working a 12 hour day in Tankard’s Mill. By the age of 18 Florence suffered a nervous breakdown and had left the Mills behind her. She moved away from the back-to-backs to better housing with the support of her extended family and was able to start a small dressmaking business with her sister.