Artist: Abigail Ward

Archive: Working Class Museum & Library

Project: Minutes of the Manchester and Salford Women’s Trades Union Council 1895-1919

Abigail Ward is a curator, musician and DJ. Her work explores the place at which music, politics and protest meet. She is a co-founder of Manchester Digital Music Archive and regularly produces podcasts focusing on music, history and queer culture for a range of audiences. For her Artivist project, she was paired with the Working Class Movement Library in Salford and given the task of responding to a recently discovered set of minutes books relating to the Manchester and Salford Women’s Trades Union Council, 1895-1919.

Abigail has created a podcast that brings to life some of the trailblazing, risk-taking women who fought hard to improve pay and conditions for poor female workers in the early 1900s and contrasts their triumphs and challenges with those of young female trade unionists today. In it you’ll hear about the Women’s TUC organising secretaries Eva Gore Booth and Mary Quaile, and a contentious resolution put to the Council by Christabel Pankhurst.

Interviews with contemporary activists include: Bernadette Hyland (Mary Quaile Club), Sarah Woolley (BFAWU), Claire Trevor (Unite), Alison Surtees (Bectu), Mary Sayer (Unite) and Michael Herbert (Mary Quaile Club).

Image: Mary Quaile, 1925.

Music: Jennifer Reid, Wildbirds & Peacedrums, Electrelane

Special thanks to: Working Class Movement Library, Manchester Histories and Greater Manchester Combined Authority.

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