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WOManweb January/February 1991

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“Many minds, but one heart.” (Chelmsford Branch banner of the NUGW).

All of the banners collected together for this exhibition, with the exception of the Suffrage banner, were the work of women in Merseyside and the North West. Some of them were simply made – produced quickly for a demonstration; some of them contained months and months of intricate work and patience.

All pointed to the work and diversity of interests that concern contemporary women: old institutions, new ventures; traditional women’s work; new skills and opportunities; small local groups; national organizations. A number of them were relatively old (or, as in the case of the Suffrage banner, a replica of the original now lost to us) and indicated the interests and concerns of our mothers and grandmothers. And some of them reach out to much younger generations, like the ‘Girls Friendly Society’ and the ‘Merseyside Child Care Workers’ banners. But more importantly, they symbolised the increasing banding together of more and more women, who are thus affecting the world we live in - whether it is through a small local group that serves to remind individual members that they are not alone, or through bigger organisations that travel the country and the world with the purpose of influencing “world opinion” on major issues.

The Banners

Girls’ Friendly Society – Melling church, Merseyside –made by local women parishioners in 1910.

Girls’ Friendly Society – Rainford church, Merseyside –made by local women parishioners in 1946 and recently refurbished on new background cloth.

Liverpool Federation of Townswomen’s Guild – designed and made by Mrs. Carline, member of the guild, commemorating the organisation’s Golden Jubilee in 1988.

Merseyside Child Care Workers – designed and made by members of the branch with Thalia Campbell.

Mothers’ Union – Rainford Church Branch, Merseyside - made by local women parishioners in 1946.

National Alliance of Women – North West Manchester Branch (affiliated to the T&G) – made by a group of teenage mothers.

National Association of Women’s Clubs – the Liverpool Branch’s 30 year old banner.

Rotunda Community College, Liverpool – (Banner in progress) – Created by textile students after meeting Thalia Campbell. Textile work by the Textile course, design by Dave Jaques.

Second Chance to Learn – made by ex-student, Maeve Cocker, to express thanks to the ‘Women’s History-Women’s Lives’ course, Central College, Liverpool and ‘as tangible evidence of real history and the ability of ordinary women to express themselves.’  Loaned by City College.

Suffrage Banner (replica) made by Thalia Campbell and loaned by Liverpool Museum of Labour History.

Women and Children’s Aid Centre, Liverpool – made by the residents.

                                           

                 Two of the banners that were on display during the exhibition

All banners were loaned by the organisations that made them, except as noted above.

 

 

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