East End Women's Museum

We're looking for new trustees

  • Voluntary position
  • 1 year term from appointment (renewable) 
  • Monthly meeting in east London plus 3 hours work per week / 12 hours per month

The East End Women's Museum is recruiting a board of trustees to help shape our vision and make it a reality. We are looking for people with practical skills and experience, a hands-on, collaborative approach, a commitment to women's rights and an interest in east London's history. 

Background

We are currently working towards opening the East End Women's Museum in a permanent home in Barking in 2020. After a busy year in 2018 delivering exhibitions and events across three east London boroughs, our focus for 2019 – 2020 will be firmly on fundraising and business planning, consultation and outreach, developing our permanent exhibition and designing the space.

In 2016 we became a Community Interest Company with a small board of three directors. In 2018/19 we aim to secure charity status and we are recruiting a group of people who will be ready to become trustees as soon as that occurs. Our goal is to recruit enough people for a board of 7 – 8, including the three current directors.

We currently have two part-time staff, and we are seeking trustees who are willing to work closely with them and take a collaborative, hands-on approach to the project.

Knowledge, skills, and experience

Trustees must have at least one of these areas of expertise:

  • HR and personnel

  • Buildings and capital project management

  • Legal

  • Corporate planning and business/commercial development

  • Fundraising

  • Finance

History and heritage knowledge is welcomed, but not essential. We aim to develop an advisory network of expertise in east London and women's history at a later stage.

How to apply

Please submit a completed application form via email to Sarah Jackson at eastendwomensmuseum@gmail.com by 12pm on Monday 10 September 2018.

Interviews will be held via Skype in the week commencing Monday 1 October 2018. If you know you are not available at this time please let us know when you apply.

If you have any queries about the role please contact Sarah Jackson on eastendwomensmuseum@gmail.com.

Seeking a Museum Coordinator

Museum Coordinator, East End Women’s Museum

  • £32,000 per annum pro rata
  • 17.5 hours per week
  • 12 month contract with extension pending funding
  • Home-based with travel in east London
  • Reports to the Board of Trustees, line manages Volunteer Coordinator

The East End Women’s Museum is a public history project established in 2015 to record, share, and celebrate women’s stories and voices from east London’s history. We’re currently working towards opening the East End Women's Museum in a permanent home in Barking in 2020.

We are looking for someone resourceful and flexible to take on the rewarding, challenging, and varied role of Museum Coordinator as the project enters its next stage.

The Museum Coordinator will hold responsibility for fundraising, financial management, communications, and maintaining our virtual office; project manage the move to the museum’s new site; and act as an ambassador for the organisation, building strong relationships with stakeholders.

This is an exciting time to join the project, offering a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for the right person to shape not only a new museum but a new kind of museum.

Please submit a completed application form via email to Sarah Jackson at eastendwomensmuseum@gmail.com by 12pm on Monday 30 July 2018.

Interviews will be held on Monday 13 August 2018. If you know you are not available on this date please let us know when you apply.

If you have any queries about the role please contact Sarah Jackson on eastendwomensmuseum@gmail.com.

New exhibition explores the untold story of Sylvia Pankhurst’s radical East End suffragettes

The Women's Hall 30 May - 20 October 2018

Opening on 30 May 2018, The Women’s Hall at Tower Hamlets Local History Library and Archives is the first major exhibition about the East London Federation of the Suffragettes (ELFS).

The free exhibition and accompanying events run until 20 October 2018 and explore the ELFS campaign for the vote, their split from the WSPU and their wartime projects, which included a co-operative toy factory, a health clinic, and a nursery in a former pub. Visitors will learn about little known local working class suffragettes like Melvina Walker and Daisy Parsons, and the venues in Bow and Poplar which were taken over by the ELFS for use in their projects.

Thanks to support from the Heritage Lottery Fund, the exhibition hall at Tower Hamlets Local History Library & Archives will be transformed into a unique space evoking the headquarters of the ELFS, a former Baptist mission hall on Old Ford Road in Bow which the suffragettes named ‘The Women’s Hall’. The building no longer stands.

The exhibition includes a recreation of the ELFS Cost Price Restaurant, which will serve refreshments for visitors on a 'pay-what-you-can' basis using redistributed food from Fare Share. The Cost Price Restaurant will be open 12.30 - 2.30pm Wednesday - Friday and on Saturdays when the exhibition is open. There will also be a donation point for Bow Food Bank.

Objects and archive materials on display include a rare ‘Ealontoys’ teddy bear made in the toy factory started by the ELFS just behind Roman Road; and the handwritten diary of suffragette Gertrude Setchfield which describes her trips to the East End in 1914 to attend ELFS rallies, on loan from the LSE Women’s Library.

A free public programme of talks, creative workshops, film screenings and guided walks will accompany the exhibition, and a learning resource will be developed for Tower Hamlets teachers to use to explore local suffrage stories.

Local Somali cultural organisation Numbi Arts will also stage a takeover of the space in August, presenting Repair and Rebellion - a strand of free events linked to Numbi’s new mobile museum exploring histories of women of the East African diaspora, their links with London’s East End, and anti-imperialism - a cause to which Sylvia Pankhurst was dedicated.

Speaker of the Council, Cllr Sabina Akhtar said: “Sylvia Pankhurst and the East London Federation of Suffragettes used Tower Hamlets as a base, campaigning for the rights of working women in the East End and improved conditions for the poor.

Since then, numerous other women have played equally vital roles in shaping the future of our community. That’s why we are extremely delighted to bring this amazing part of our history to life with this major new exhibition which will hopefully resource and inspire present and future generations to continue to campaign for equality for all.”  

John Biggs, Mayor of Tower Hamlets said: “We are proud of our rich history of campaigning for the rights of women and the less privileged.  Especially in the year that marks the centenary of women’s right to vote in the UK, I am pleased that this new exhibition and accompanying public programme illustrates how important it is  to continue the legacy of the East London Federation of Suffragettes.” 

A public launch event will take place 11am – 4pm on Saturday 2 June, including:

  • Pay-what-you-can-cafe in the recreated 'cost price restaurant' - 12.30 to 14:30

  • Drop-in toy making workshop with artist Judith Hope. No experience needed and all materials provided – 11.00 to 13.00

  • Guided tour of the exhibition – 13.00 to 13.30

  • ‘Forgotten Suffragettes’ talk by Esther Freeman – 14.00 to 15.00

  • Research volunteers showcase - hear about some of the fascinating things we couldn't fit in the exhibition! – 15.15 – 16.00

 

NOTES TO EDITORS

Press preview Tuesday 29 May

Members of the press are invited to attend a preview of the exhibition on Tuesday 29 May, 3.00 - 5.30pm at Tower Hamlets Local History Library & Archives, 277 Bancroft Road, London E1 4DQ.  Please RSVP by email to localhistory@towerhamlets.gov.uk with ‘Press preview’ in the subject line.

Images, further information and interviews

For further information, images and interviews please contact Sarah Jackson at eastendwomensmuseum@gmail.com

About the East London Federation of the Suffragettes

In January 1914 the East End branches of the Women’s Social and Political Union (WSPU) broke away and formed an independent, democratic organisation called the East London Federation of the Suffragettes (ELFS) which focused on the rights of working women in east London. It was led by Sylvia Pankhurst, the daughter of Emmeline Pankhurst and sister of Christabel Pankhurst, leaders of the WSPU.

The ELFS marched through East London, held huge public meetings, opened their own women’s social centres like the Women’s Hall at 400 Old Ford Road, organised benefit concerts and parties, and produced a weekly newspaper called The Woman’s Dreadnought. They even recruited a small ‘People’s Army’ of supporters to defend them from police brutality.

When the First World War broke out in August 1914, factories across East London closed and food prices spiralled. The suffragettes led community action to support those most affected by the sudden wave of unemployment, organising the distribution of milk for starving infants and opening a volunteer-run children’s health clinic, a nursery school and a series of canteens serving nutritious food at “cost price”. They even opened their own cooperative toy factory, which paid a living wage and included a crèche.

The organisation changed its name and focus over the years but didn’t close down until 1924.

About women’s suffrage

In February 1918 the Representation of the People Act enfranchised women over 30, subject to a small property qualification, extending the right to vote to 8.4 million women in the UK. However, this only represented around 40 per cent of the total population of women in the UK. In July 1928 the Equal Franchise Act finally gave equal voting rights to women and men at the age of 21.

About the Women’s Hall project

The Women’s Hall exhibition is part of a larger partnership project with the East End Women’s Museum, Four Corners, and Alternative Arts, which has been made possible through a Heritage Lottery Fund grant.

Other activities include:

  • East End Suffragettes: the photography of Norah Smyth (Four Corners Gallery, 26 October-26 January 2019), a unique exhibition of forgotten photographer Norah Smyth’s photographs which provide an intimate documentation of the ELFS’ activities, accompanied by gallery talks and local history walks that explore Norah’s story and the work of the East End suffragettes.

  • The regular East London Federation of the Suffragettes stall at Roman Road Market will be recreated on Saturday 16 June 2018, sharing local suffragette stories with shoppers.

  • A new ‘Suffrage in the East End’ Education Pack will be created for all Tower Hamlets schools, and newly digitized archive materials will be made available to the public at Tower Hamlets Local History Library & Archives.

  • A photography workshop for mothers will run at Four Corners in summer 2018, leading to a final exhibition in autumn 2018.

More information about the project partners can be found at:

Four Corners http://www.fourcornersfilm.co.uk/

Tower Hamlets Local History Library & Archives http://www.ideastore.co.uk/local-history

East End Women’s Museum http://www.eastendwomensmuseum.org

Alternative Arts http://www.alternativearts.co.uk

Numbi Arts http://numbi.org/

Funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund https://www.hlf.org.uk/

 

Support the East End Women's Museum this Women's History Month

It's hard to believe how much has changed for us over the last year. At the start of Women's History Month 2017 we didn't have a bank account, the banner we were using at events was paint on an old curtain, and we were running out of flyers. Our Women at Watney project was just getting started, and our exhibition with Hackney Museum still seemed very distant. We had some big ideas for 2018, but no firm plans. 

Today Women at Watney: Voices from an East End market is complete. We've got new, professional banners for events, plenty of flyers, and a new logo to boot. Our Making Her Mark exhibition is on display at Hackney Museum right now, and we have a whole programme of events and exhibitions on the way this summer in Barking & Dagenham and Tower Hamlets. And, incredibly, we are working towards opening our doors in late 2019 or early 2020.

Help us reach our Women's History Month target

Donate now

Last year we ran a crowdfunding campaign during Women's History Month. Your contributions made a huge difference to us. You gave us the security, the independence, and the confidence to take a leap into our future. Thank you. 

We're asking people to think of us again this Women's History Month and make a small donation if you can.

Donate now

Although we've secured some grant funding, it has been very, very helpful to have a pot of our own to spend on needs as they arise.

As well as some of the same ongoing costs like transport and printing, we hope to offer payment for speakers and performers at our events this year and childcare facilities to help ensure that parents and carers can attend. These aren't fully covered by our grants. 

If you'd like to make a donation to help renew our fund to cover items like this and any other unexpected costs along the way we would be very grateful.

Thank you so much for your support. Everything that we have achieved so far has been made possible by individuals like you who have supported us and cheered us on along the way. There's still a long way to go before we open our doors, but with your help we will make the East End Women's Museum a reality.

Press release: Women’s Hall project celebrating East End suffragettes receives Heritage Lottery Fund support

 
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100 years after UK women first won the right to vote, an exciting project in Tower Hamlets supported by a £100,000 grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund will celebrate the little-known history of the radical East London Federation of the Suffragettes (ELFS).

Developed by Four Corners, Tower Hamlets Local History Library & Archives, East End Women’s Museum and Women’s History Month in East London, The Women’s Hall project will run from March to December 2018 and include two major exhibitions, a volunteering programme and public programme of talks, events and workshops.

The project’s name is inspired by the Women’s Hall at 400 Old Ford Road in Bow, the headquarters of the ELFS from 1914 to 1924, and home of their leader Sylvia Pankhurst and her friend, suffragette and photographer Norah Smyth. Run largely by and for local working class women, the Hall was at the heart of the community’s response to sudden unemployment and rising food prices caused by the outbreak of the First World War, housing a ‘Cost Price Restaurant’ where people could get a hot meal at a very low price and free milk for their children.

The project launches through Women’s History Month in East London in March 2018, inviting local organisations, libraries, venues and women’s groups to explore and celebrate the heritage. There is a drop-in event for anyone interested in finding out more at Tower Hamlets Local History Library & Archives on Thursday 15 March, 6.00pm– 7.30pm.

Carla Mitchell, Development Director at Four Corners said:

“The East London Federation of the Suffragettes were a remarkable group of women, but their story is little known. As the centenary of women’s right to vote is celebrated nationally we aim to help East End communities discover the amazing suffrage stories on their doorstep.”

Mayor of Tower Hamlets John Biggs said: 

“We can rightly be very proud of the role Tower Hamlets and the wider East End played in the suffragette movement. I look forward to joining visitors from across the borough and beyond at these fantastic events. I am particularly proud that the Tower Hamlets Local History Library and Archives team will be bringing history to life with their community kitchen and crèche initiatives – it is the sort of activity that I’m sure the East London Federation of the Suffragettes would have been fully supportive of.  I am also clear that as a council and community we need to restate, revisit and refresh our commitment to gender equality. This centenary will offer a clear opportunity not only for us to look backwards, but to look forwards too.”

Stuart Hobley, Head of Heritage Lottery Fund London, said:

“We’re delighted to support this timely project, which will reveal a significant but untold dimension of suffragette history. Thanks to National Lottery players, the legacy of these extraordinary and community-spirited women will be celebrated through a programme of activities, so we can all learn this both locally and important heritage for the first time.”

Notes to editors

Women’s Hall project activities will explore and celebrate the heritage of the East London suffragettes throughout 2018 through:

  • The Women’s Hall exhibition (Tower Hamlets Local History Library & Archives, 29 May-20 October 2018) will evoke the interior of the original Women’s Hall. Visitors will be able to learn about the ELFS and the First World War in the East End, view original materials, handle replicas, and attend events and workshops. A pop up community kitchen will serve hot meals for the public at set times throughout the exhibition’s run, and a crèche facility will be available one day per week.

  • East End Suffragettes: the photography of Norah Smyth (Four Corners Gallery, 26 October-26 January 2019), a unique exhibition of Norah Smyth’s photographs which provide an intimate documentation of the ELFS’ activities, accompanied by gallery talks and local history walks that explore Norah’s story and the work of the East End suffragettes in more depth.

  • The regular ELFS stall at Roman Road Market will be recreated on Saturday 16 June 2018, sharing local suffragette stories with shoppers.

  • A new ‘Suffrage in the East End’ Education Pack will be created for all Tower Hamlets schools, and newly digitized archive materials will be made available to the public at Tower Hamlets Local History Library & Archives.

  • A Photography workshop for mothers will run at Four Corners in Summer 2018, leading to a final exhibition in autumn 2018.

  • 20+ local volunteers will gain skills in archival research and digitisation, heritage interpretation and curation, public speaking, photography and darkroom practice, events production and customer support.

About the project partners

Four Corners

Four Corners is a creative centre for film and photography, committed to promoting community-wide participation for over 40 years. Its programme seeks to support projects that engage with social and cultural themes, and open up perspectives for audiences, particularly in East London. http://www.fourcornersfilm.co.uk/

Tower Hamlets Local History Library & Archives

Tower Hamlets Local History Library & Archives covers the area of the present-day London borough of Tower Hamlets - the original East End of London which, until 1965, comprised of the boroughs of Bethnal Green, Poplar and Stepney. http://www.ideastore.co.uk/local-history

East End Women’s Museum

The East End Women’s Museum is a public history project aiming to record, share, and celebrate women’s stories and voices from east London’s history. The project was established in 2015 in response to the 'Jack the Ripper Museum', as a positive, sustainable protest. Find out more at www.eastendwomensmuseum.org

Women’s History Month in East London

Running 1 – 31 March, Women’s History Month 2018 will celebrate women artists, activists, writers and performers, the Suffragette movement and winning the right to vote for some women in 1918 and all women over 21 in 1928 with exhibitions and events across East London. info@alternativearts.co.uk www.alternativearts.co.uk

Heritage Lottery Fund

Thanks to National Lottery players, we invest money to help people across the UK explore, enjoy and protect the heritage they care about - from the archaeology under our feet to the historic parks and buildings we love, from precious memories and collections to rare wildlife. www.hlf.org.uk. Follow us on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram and use #HLFsupported.

About women’s suffrage

In February 1918 the Representation of the People Act enfranchised women over 30, subject to a small property qualification, extending the right to vote to 8.4 million women in the UK. However, this only represented around 40 per cent of the total population of women in the UK. In July 1928 the Equal Franchise Act finally gave equal voting rights to women and men at the age of 21.

Further information

For further information, images and interviews please contact Sarah Jackson

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Press release: New women’s museum finds home in Barking and Dagenham

A new museum of women’s history is set to open in a permanent home as part of the new Barking Wharf development at the end of 2019.

The East End Women’s Museum was established in 2015 in response to the Ripper Museum which opened on Cable Street, but has since operated without a building, organising events, workshops, and pop up exhibitions with local partners.

As well as highlighting pioneering women with links to east London such as Mary Wollstonecraft, Sylvia Pankhurst, Mala Sen, Annie Brewster, Mary Driscoll, and Hannah Billig, the new museum will explore everyday local history from women’s perspectives. The museum aims to challenge gender stereotypes and offer new local role models for girls and young women, creating a resource for schools, community groups, and historians.

The venue for the museum has been made available through the support of the London Borough of Barking and Dagenham and housing developer Be Living. The East End Women’s Museum will work with experienced local partner Eastside Community Heritage to open the museum in the new space and local women and girls will be invited to help shape the museum’s collection.

Sara Huws, co-founder of the East End Women’s Museum said:

“Women make history too. But without their voices and experiences the history books are only telling half the story. We want to put women back in the picture, and share new perspectives on east London’s rich history.
“We believe Barking and Dagenham is the right base for the museum and we’re excited to start working in the borough this year. Everyone we've spoken to has had a story to share: about a woman from their family, their street, or their community, and we know there are many more still to be told.”

Judith Garfield, Executive Director of Eastside Community Heritage said:

“For far too long female voices have been overlooked. Women’s stories may be very different to men’s, and it’s not just about what is told but how. A history of local women, their struggles, their rights and their victories is a history of Barking and Dagenham.
“At Eastside Community Heritage the social and cultural ties between the past and the present are at the heart of our work and we’re delighted to be a part of the East End Women’s Museum development.”

Councillor Sade Bright, Barking and Dagenham Council’s Cabinet Member for Equalities and Cohesion said:

“Here in Barking and Dagenham we are proud of our history while celebrating our present and future aspirations.
“From Mary Wollstonecraft to the women of the suffragette movement who used to meet at the Three Lamps to the Ford machinists in “Made in Dagenham” who fought for equal pay, our borough has always been at the forefront in the struggle for equal rights. Today is another landmark for our borough.”

Vinny Bhanderi, managing director at Be Living, said:

“We are delighted to support the creation of the East End Women’s Museum at our development. It’s a brilliant idea and will become another landmark at Barking and Dagenham that recognises its role in making our society a better place.
“We’re also looking forward to our part in marking the borough a better place through the homes we’ll be creating that attract a new generation to live in Barking and Dagenham.”

Throughout 2018 the East End Women’s Museum will be in residence in Barking and Dagenham, delivering a Heritage Lottery-funded project, ‘Working for Equality’, in partnership with Eastside Community Heritage. A mobile exhibition, series of events, and volunteering programme will explore women’s fight for equal rights in the workplace, from suffragette equal pay campaigns to the strike at Ford Dagenham which took place 50 years ago this year and inspired the Equal Pay Act.

The East End Women’s Museum’s 2018 programme will also include an exhibition at Hackney Museum celebrating 100 years of women’s activism in the borough, and a programme of exhibitions and events exploring the women’s suffrage movement and the First World War in Tower Hamlets.

Notes to editors

About the East End Women’s Museum 

The East End Women’s Museum is a public history project aiming to record, share, and celebrate women’s stories and voices from east London’s history. The project was established in 2015 in response to the 'Jack the Ripper Museum', as a positive, sustainable protest, and delivers events and exhibitions about women's history across east London. https://eastendwomensmuseum.org/

About Eastside Community Heritage

Eastside Community Heritage was established in 1993 as part of the Stratford City Challenge community history project and became an independent charity in 1997. Over the years, Eastside have worked with over 900 community groups, produced over 100 exhibitions, and created the East London Peoples Archive which contains over 3500 oral histories. http://www.hidden-histories.org.uk/wordpress/

About Working For Equality

Working For Equality is a joint project developed by the East End Women’s Museum and Eastside Community Heritage and funded by National Lottery Players through the Heritage Lottery Fund.

Taking place in multiple venues around Barking and Dagenham between April and November 2018 it explores 50 critical years in the struggle for working women’s rights, from suffragette equal pay campaigns in 1918 to the Ford Dagenham strike in 1968. Women factory workers in Barking and Dagenham are at the heart of the story.

Local volunteers will be trained to collect oral histories and carry out archive research which will be used to create a mobile exhibition touring summer festivals in the borough and several events making up the Working For Equality programme, including (dates and venues TBC):

  • July: Votes for Women Garden Party. Marking 90 years since women won the vote at the age of 21, this free event will celebrate the ‘munitionettes’ who missed out on the vote in 1918 and the ‘flappers’ who voted for the first time in 1929. Visitors will be able to enjoy some refreshments, try dancing the Charleston, make a suffragette sash, and visit the Working For Equality exhibition.

  • September: Strong Women Family Day. In 1926 boxer Annie Newton challenged people who said women shouldn’t box by asking if it was “half as hard work as scrubbing floors? Is it any more risky than in a munitions factory?” An event celebrating strong women and girls past and present with exhibitions, games, activities, and sports demonstrations.

  • October: Girls Do Science Family Day. Inspired by women engineers and scientists during the First World War this family event celebrates women’s contribution to science, technology, and engineering, highlighting role models and exciting innovations along the way. Visitors can enjoy inspiring talks, games, activities and demonstrations, find out about studying and working in STEM, and visit the Working for Equality exhibition.

  • October: Women of colour in labour history. Screening of a documentary about the Grunwick Strike in 1976/77 and panel discussion about the often overlooked contribution of black and Asian women in labour history.

  • Throughout the project: A series of free film screenings about women who challenged discrimination and exploitation in the workplace, including Made In Dagenham, Hidden Figures, and Norma Rae.

What to expect in our 2018 programme

This year marks several important anniversaries, including 100 years some women won the vote and 90 years since all women did. It’s also 50 years since the Ford Dagenham strike that inspired the Equal Pay Act.

We’re delighted that the suffragettes are taking their place in history 100 years on, but we also want to use the anniversary to talk about what happened next. Not only about the women who didn’t get the vote in 1918, but the story of women’s struggle for equality in the decades that followed, and today.

Our programme links 1918 and 2018, and focuses on the experiences of working class women in east London.

Making Her Mark, Hackney Museum

6 February – 19 May 2018

Our Making Her Mark exhibition was created in collaboration with Hackney Museum and takes 1918 as the starting point in a look back at 100 years of women-led activism in the borough, on issues ranging from education, workers’ rights, and healthcare to domestic violence, the peace movement, and police relations.

Making Her Mark explores how local women have brought about change in their community and in wider society through political campaigns, industrial action, peaceful protest, direct action, and the arts.

Working For Equality, Barking & Dagenham

April – November 2018

Our Working For Equality project with Eastside Community Heritage takes 1918 as the starting point in the story of 50 critical years in the struggle for working women’s rights, and connects the dots between the suffragettes’ equal pay campaigns during WWI and the Ford Dagenham strikers.

Women factory workers in Barking & Dagenham are at the heart of the story. We’ll be collecting their histories and sharing them through a mobile exhibition and a series of free, fun events. Funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund.

Votes for Women Garden Party, July

Join us for a garden party marking 90 years since women won the vote at the age of 21. We’ll be celebrating the ‘flappers’ who voted for the first time in 1929 and the young women who followed them by dancing down the decades: watch demonstrations of the charleston, the jitterbug, rock n roll, and the twist, and maybe try some steps yourself! Enjoy some refreshments, make a suffragette sash, and visit our exhibition about women’s fight for equality in the workplace from the suffragettes to the Ford Dagenham strikers.

Strong Women Family Day, September

In 1926 boxer Annie Newton challenged people who said women shouldn’t box by asking if it was “half as hard work as scrubbing floors? Is it any more risky than working in a munitions factory?” Our family event celebrates strong women and girls past and present: from Annie Newton to Nicola Adams, the courage of the suffragettes and the ‘munitionettes’, and every woman who has ever scrubbed a floor. Visit our exhibition and enjoy games and activities, fascinating stories, and demonstrations by sports clubs.

Girls Do Science Family Day, October

You might have heard of the ‘munitionettes’ who worked on the assembly line in factories during the First World War, but did you know women worked as scientists too? Our family event celebrates women’s contribution to science, technology, engineering, maths and manufacturing then and now, highlighting role models and exciting innovations along the way. Join us for inspiring talks, games, activities and demonstrations, find out about studying and working in STEM, and visit our mobile exhibition.

Women of colour in UK labour history: film screening and panel discussion, October

Join us for a documentary screening about the 1976 Grunwick Strike, which was led largely by migrant women workers of South Asian origin. The film will be followed by a panel discussion about the often overlooked contribution of WOC in labour history, as well as interactions of race, class, and gender in industrial action and activism.

The Women’s Hall, Tower Hamlets

May – December 2018

The Women’s Hall project, developed in partnership with Tower Hamlets Local History Library and Archives, Four Corners, and Women's History Month in east London, will explore some lesser-known suffrage stories from east London through two major exhibitions, a series of events, and a participatory photography project.

The East London Federation of the Suffragettes were a radical group who split from the WSPU in 1914 and fought for working women’s rights throughout the First World War. The Women’s Hall at 400 Old Ford Road in Bow was their headquarters from 1914-1924, a women’s social centre, and the home of their leader, Sylvia Pankhurst. Funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund.

Could you be our Treasurer?

Treasurer

  • 3-5 year term (with 3 month trial period)
  • Unpaid company director

We're looking for someone with substantial bookkeeping experience, an interest in history and community heritage, and a commitment to women’s rights and gender equality to join our board of directors in an unpaid role as our Treasurer.

The East End Women’s Museum is an exciting public history project established in 2015 to record, share, and celebrate women’s stories and voices from east London’s history. We put on events, exhibitions, and make resources for schools and researchers to use.

In 2016 we became a Community Interest Company and currently have a board of three company directors. We are seeking to expand by recruiting another director who will act as our Treasurer, taking the lead in overseeing the financial affairs of the organisation and assisting with day to day financial management.

The role requires attendance at directors’ meetings in person or via Skype once a month and at least 8 hours available per month to carry out tasks in between meetings.

Treasurer role description (PDF)

To apply, please submit your CV, details of two referees, and a short personal statement saying why you would like the role and showing how your skills and experience match the role description.

Send to Sarah Jackson at eastendwomensmuseum@gmail.com with ‘Treasurer’ in the subject line.

Deadline: Wednesday 10 January

If you have any questions about the role please contact Sarah on eastendwomensmuseum@gmail.com

We're hiring! Volunteer Coordinator, Working for Equality Project

Volunteer Coordinator, Working for Equality Project

  • 17.5 hours per week
  • £17,300
  • Fixed term contract for 14 months
  • Based in Barking & Dagenham and Ilford

In 2018 the East End Women’s Museum and Eastside Community Heritage will develop Working for Equality, a Heritage Lottery Funded exhibition and programme of events focusing on working women’s activism, in particular the contribution of women factory workers in Barking and Dagenham from the suffragettes to the Ford Dagenham strikers.

As part of the project 20 volunteers from the local area will be trained by Eastside Community Heritage in oral history, archive research, learning facilitation or heritage interpretation skills. Volunteers will conduct oral history interviews, contribute to a mobile exhibition, and work with a videographer to make a short film.

We’re looking for an enthusiastic individual with experience of working with community groups and volunteers to recruit volunteer participants and manage their participation and training throughout the project.

Project Volunteer Coordinator job description and person specification (PDF)

To apply, please submit your CV, details of two referees, and a personal statement of fewer than 1,000 words saying why you would like the role and showing how your skills and experience match the person specification.

Send to Sarah Jackson at eastendwomensmuseum@gmail.com with ‘Volunteer Coordinator’ in the subject line.

  • Application deadline: Wednesday 10 January 2018
  • Interview date: Thursday 25 January 2018

If you have any questions about the role please contact Sarah on eastendwomensmuseum@gmail.com.

East End Women’s Museum and Eastside Community Heritage win National Lottery support for women’s workplace rights project in Barking & Dagenham

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The East End Women’s Museum in partnership with Eastside Community Heritage has received £80,900 from the Heritage Lottery Fund for an exciting new project, Working For Equality, which will run in Barking & Dagenham from April to November 2018.

Made possible by money raised by National Lottery players, the project focuses on 50 critical years in the struggle for working women’s rights in Britain, 1918 to 1968.

Beginning with suffragette equal pay campaigns during the First World War and ending with the Ford Dagenham sewing machinist’s strike that inspired the Equal Pay Act, women factory workers are at the heart of the story.

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A woman’s place

In 1918 many wartime ‘munitionettes’ found themselves pushed out of ‘men’s jobs’ when the War ended. There is a pattern in this 50 year window: women factory workers were hailed as heroic in wartime, but in peacetime met intense pressure from politicians, employers, and union leaders to go ‘back to the home’.

Women workers routinely faced sexual harassment and discrimination, were expected to resign or were dismissed when they got married or became pregnant, and were paid half a man’s wages to boot. Women of colour often faced additional challenges and discrimination, whether through a formal ‘colour bar’ or casual racism.

Despite this, factory work offered successive generations of young working class women freedom and camaraderie, as well as opportunities to organise for better pay and conditions.

About our project

Our project will explore changing ideas about the ‘proper place’ for a woman and celebrate the economic, cultural, and political contribution of women factory workers.

With the support of the Heritage Lottery Fund we will create a mobile exhibition, put on a range of accessible public events, run workshops with local schools, and collect oral histories from women in the area. Volunteers from the local area will help to shape the exhibition and receive training in oral history, archive research, or heritage interpretation skills.

About us

The East End Women’s Museum is a public history project aiming to record, share, and celebrate women’s stories and voices from east London’s history. The project was established in 2015 in response to the 'Jack the Ripper Museum', as a positive, sustainable protest.

Eastside Community Heritage was established in 1993 as part of the Stratford City Challenge community history project and became an independent charity in 1997. Over the years, Eastside have worked with over 900 community groups, produced over 100 exhibitions, and created the East London Peoples Archive which contains over 3500 oral histories.

Thanks to National Lottery players, the Heritage Lottery Fund invest money to help people across the UK explore, enjoy and protect the heritage they care about - from the archaeology under our feet to the historic parks and buildings we love, from precious memories and collections to rare wildlife. Follow HLF on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram and use #HLFsupported.

For further information about the project please contact Sarah Jackson at the East End Women’s Museum.

Help us put women’s history on the map

Have you seen our women's history map of east London? We've been adding women's histories from the Middle Ages to the modern day.

We know women make history, and yet just 2.7% of UK public statues feature historical women who weren't royalty. In fact there's just one statue of a named black woman in the entire country. And only 13% of English Heritage blue plaques in London honour women.

We want to balance the history books, starting with east London. By marking women's stories on a map we can show in a simple, visual way the rich history which is yet to be discovered. It also gives us lots of leads for our own research!

Send us your suggestions for stars on the map

Our map is a work in progress. We want to add even more East End women's stories and we need your help. Please send us your suggestions using the form below.

We just need a name, rough birth and death dates, a street or building they are associated with, and a link to a webpage for more information if there is one.

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Help us tell a woman's story

If there isn't a page about this person on the web, why not write one? We would LOVE to have a profile on our blog for each star on the map.

Just write 300 - 800 words in an email or a Word doc and send it to us at eastendwomensmuseum@gmail.com. You don't need to be a historian, everyone can join in!

And/or you can add an entry for that person on Wikipedia. It's free and easy to create an account and then add a new page.

Setting out their Stall: researching women’s work at London’s markets

roman-road-market-western-entrance A new project from University College London and King's College London, funded by the London Arts and Humanities Partnership, seeks to introduce doctoral students to the creative opportunities and challenges of public history and community heritage and contribute to the East End Women's Museum.

Who should apply

Students in the first or second years of their doctoral programmes are eligible to participate. Sessions will be held fortnightly on Monday evenings during semesters two and three and fieldwork will also be required on two Saturdays in May/June 2017.

Targeted at historians of gender and modern London, as well as those wishing to work with oral history or in archival and heritage management as well as cultural institutions, this intensely practical and outcome driven initiative will provide demonstrable methodological and employability skills as well as the opportunity to work with local volunteers and feminists activists.

What's involved

Following an introduction to academic literatures and methodologies surrounding community-based archives, heritage and the practice of oral history, students will participate in a ‘pop up reminiscence project’ examining the history of market stalls in East London.

They will undertake archival research on the economic, social and political dimensions of women’s work at East London markets - such as Chrisp Street, Roman Road or Rathbone Market - then conduct oral history interviews with East End residents who operated or shopped at these markets.

The group will then produce a series of outputs (encompassing blogs/microsites, poster displays and potential exhibitions) to feed these findings back to participants and residents as well as producing a lasting legacy for the intended museum.

How to apply

Please see this document for more information. Applicants for one of the 15 available places should forward their CV and a one page covering letter outlining their interest in the project and its contribution to their career development to alana.harris@kcl.ac.uk by Friday 25 November 2016.

East End women take action: 1888 to 2016

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In September we held an event with East End Sisters Uncut at St Hilda's East community centre, bringing together some fantastic speakers to talk about about the different ways east London women have challenged sexism, racism, exploitation, and injustice then and now.

Watch talks from the day online

Thanks to filmmaker Bea Moyes we have videos of all the talks on the day, take a look:

Around 70 people attended on the day. We've made a Storify collecting some of the tweets from the event which you can see below.

What is your activist object?

We also had some sheets of flipchart paper up on the walls asking some questions for our guests to answer about their activism:

What object is essential for your activism? answers on post it notes include pen, bike, phone, friends, tea
What object is essential for your activism? answers on post it notes include pen, bike, phone, friends, tea
How does activism make you feel? answers on post its include powerful, tired, happy
How does activism make you feel? answers on post its include powerful, tired, happy

Lend us your histories!

We planned to have some time at the end of the day for the audience to share their stories, whether about their own experience of activism or a story about their friends, family, or the wider community.

Sadly we ran out of time, but we'd still love to hear your histories. Please feel free to share them in the comments or use our contact form to tell us more.

We would especially love to hear any stories about Bengali women's housing activism in the 1970s or black women's organising in the 1980s, as we had speakers lined up to talk about these movements that had to pull out.

Raising money for East End Sisters Uncut

On the day we had donation buckets and a cake stall raising money for East End Sisters Uncut which raised £235, and around 25 people made a donation online when they registered for the event.  Thank you everyone!

If you would like to support the brilliant work of East End Sisters Uncut you can donate via Paypal on their website.

[<a href="//storify.com/EEWomensMuseum/east-end-women-take-action-1888-2016" target="_blank">View the story "East End Women Take Action 1888 - 2016" on Storify</a>]

Happy Birthday to the East End Women’s Museum!

It’s the East End Women’s Museum’s first birthday today! We'd like to say a huge thank you to all our friends, followers, community partners, mentors and fellow museum nerds: we couldn’t have got this far without you.

Women sat at a new year's party, 1960

Our journey started (as the timestamps remind me) over lunch in July 2015. The Ripper Museum had just been unveiled that day; part of a ghoulish bait-and-switch that had led locals at Cable Street to believe that a women’s museum was about to be opened on their doorstep. I sent this email, from Cardiff, to Sarah J, who would become my partner-in-not-another-crime-museum:

a message I sent to Sarah asking if she would like to make a museum of some sort

Within the hour, Sarah had passed this message on to twitter: in a matter of days we’d received offers of support, practical help, donations and advice.  People’s generosity, warmth and encouragement has been overwhelming. Mostly in a good way. When something starts with a tweet, and gathers momentum so quickly, it’s enough just to trot alongside the snowball for a while.

Where we are today

A year later, we’ve steadied our course, and are well along the way to making the missing museum a reality. We’ve had our first exhibition (in partnership with Eastside Community Heritage) and our next, with Hackney Museum, is in the pipeline. We were proud to take part in the East End Women’s Collective’s ‘Real Story’ exhibition, too, as well as learning from women who are making history right now.

We’re also a bit more of an official entity as of this week - at least, I just signed some very serious-looking paperwork so I hope so. In the last couple of weeks, we’ve been able to plan for the long-term future of this project - and as soon as we’re able to, we’ll let you know more about that.

A huge thanks to the East End (and the Internet)

As we approach the 80th anniversary of the Battle of Cable Street, I’m proud to be part of a growing chorus who want to amplify the voices and stories of East End women, past and present. It’s thanks to the this chorus, the communities we work with, and our online supporters' thirst for stories about awesome women, that we’ve got this far.

When the whole thing starts feeling a bit unreal, unachievable or unbelievable; I take refuge in history. Even when things feel hopelessly broken, as they might have for you, too, in the last few weeks. I look at what our sisters achieved, what they made, what they left behind, and honour what they couldn't - those lost stories we will never hear.

 

Woman drinking tea during the Blitz

And every now and again I revisit what I wrote, on the day the Ripper Museum opened, this time last year:

“I would love to build something, physical or otherwise, that will keep and share these stories, long after this sideshow is gone.”

Here’s to another year. I can't wait to see what we make together.

Help us create an exhibition about women in Hackney

Illustration of a group of women protesting with placardsHackney Museum and the East End Women's Museum are joining forces to tell the story of women who have led political and social change in Hackney.

Why now?

2018 will be 100 years since some British women first won the right to vote.

To mark the occasion an exhibition exploring how women in Hackney have changed society both with and without the vote will be on display in Hackney Museum.

Join the community forum

We are holding an event for anyone who is interested to share their ideas and tell us what they would like to see in the exhibition.

You can also find out about joining the team of volunteers to create the exhibition, helping to uncover hidden stories by exploring the borough’s rich archives.

The community forum will be held at Hackney Museum, 1 Reading Ln, London E8 1GQ on Thursday 21 July 6 – 7.30pm, no booking required. Join the Facebook event.

Volunteer for the exhibition team

There are lots of ways to get involved, and no prior experience is needed – just enthusiasm!

There are some key roles we'd like to fill. Take a look at the role descriptions below to find out if one might suit you:

 

Ripper Museum refused planning permission for shopfront

Black and red Ripper Museum shopfront sign The latest twist in the sordid tale of the Ripper Museum is that their appeal for retrospective planning permission for their garish sign, black shopfront and security shutters has been denied. Apparently "Tower Hamlets Council will now be moving to enforcement action to secure the removal of the signage."

Sarah Jackson, co-founder of the East End Women's Museum said:

It's satisfying to see that the Ripper Museum's bizarre bait-and-switch approach to heritage management has begun to backfire. Hopefully taking the signage down will be the first step towards dismantling the whole rotten project.

There's a real women's history movement building in east London now, with brilliant new projects starting every day. Whether or not the Ripper Museum's doors stay open, the real East End Women's Museum is on its way.

And we agree with Mayor John Biggs that you should go and see East End Women: The Real Story at St George's-in-the-East around the corner!

East End Women: The Real Story

  East End Women: The Real Story Logo

Hopefully you've already heard about East End Women: The Real Story, a pop up women's history museum which will be on display at St George’s-in-the-East church, just round the corner from the Ripper Museum.

The exhibition - and the brilliant billboard right opposite the Ripper Museum - was funded in large part by donations to 38 Degrees, who have been supporting this work. If you haven't already please sign the petition against the Ripper Museum.

There's a bit of confusion about the relationship between our two (painfully awesome) projects, so we've tried to answer a few questions here.

Are the East End Women's Museum and this pop up museum separate projects? 

The East End Women: The Real Story pop up museum / exhibition and the East End Women's Museum are independent, linked projects working towards a common goal: sharing the stories and voices of women from east London's rich history.

The East End Women's Museum is part of the East End Women's Collective - a group of volunteers who have put this brilliant exhibition together. You can find out more about the exhibition on the East End Women: The Real Story website.

So wait - what is your project about?

The East End Women's Museum is a long term project to create a permanent museum of women's history in east London. Right now we're doing things like securing funding, establishing ourselves as an organisation, recruiting a steering group, and planning some community consultation events (fun ones, we promise).

We're not going to be able to open our doors any time soon, so we're thrilled that there's an exhibition open right now for people to visit, and we hope to build on what the East End Women's Collective have achieved.

That sounds good. How can I get involved?

Thank you! While we get ourselves set up the best thing to do is to join our email list. That way you'll get monthly(ish) updates about our project, plus links to women's history events and exhibitions from our friends and partners, and be the first to know about meetings, volunteering opportunities, and general pleas for help!

When can I visit East End Women: The Real Story?

The exhibition is on display at St George-in-the-East Church, E1 0BH 26 May – 9 July

Mon – Thurs 9.30am – 8.30pm Fri & Sat 10am – 5pm Sun 12.30pm – 5pm

Unfortunately the church is not wheelchair accessible.

Are there any events coming up connected to the exhibition?

Yes! The first one is a Family Fun Day on Saturday 28 May, 12-4pm. Come and see the exhibition, plus a talk by children’s author Alan Gibbons, history walk by David Rosenberg, craft activities, face painting, boxing display by Girls Who Fight, as well as games, books, tea and cake. See the Facebook event for more details.