We are looking for Communications Volunteers!

The East End Women’s Museum (EEWM) is a virtual/ pop up museum aiming to celebrate women’s stories from East London. It was founded on social media, the result of a Twitter-based campaign, and this is one of the first ways that audiences encounter us, and a vital mechanism for engaging with them. Soon we’ll have a permanent venue in Barking but in the meantime we are seeking to increase our outreach and digital communications ambitions.

This is an ideal opportunity for someone with an interest in communications, marketing, museums and women’s history. It is a chance to be part of a small but enthusiastic team and help maintain the museum’s presence, especially in its current phase while waiting for the permanent venue to be built to move in.

Download the Role Description here

Interested? Anyone over 18 years old can apply. We particularly encourage applications from people identifying as BAME, and/or with links to Barking and Dagenham.

How to apply: Fill in the online application form.

Closing Date: Monday 2nd September, noon

Help the museum design its new home!

June 14, 2019

Mothers, carers, artists, campaigners, sports stars, entertainers, inventors, rogues. East End women have changed the world. It’s been home to the ‘first feminist’ and the last-surviving suffragette, the Bow match women and the Ford Dagenham strikers.

But all too often women’s stories are missing, their voices underrepresented. That’s what we want to put right - to research, record, share and celebrate the lives of east London women past and present.

Previously a pop-up museum, we now have a permanent home, and will open in a brand new building in Barking town centre in 2021.

We’d like your help to design the museum!

Help us create a space that is inspiring, empowering and fun. We want your views on the stories we tell, how we tell them, and the experiences you might like to have there.

Please answer our short survey now.

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

February 28, 2019

 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

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.

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.


East End Women’s Museum is looking for artist/s to design a creative participatory workshop

February 19, 2019

The East End Women’s Museum is seeking an artist/s, with a collaborative and inclusive ethos, to create a new participatory creative workshop as part of our local audience consultation project. The workshop will help us to understand our audience’s ideas and interests about our new Museum site in Barking. The workshop will be delivered independently of the artist by the museum staff and volunteers during our consultation phase. We welcome applications from artists working in any discipline, and from all backgrounds.

Budget

  • We can offer a fee of up to £1,800;

  • There is a budget of up to £1,400 for production costs (equipment, materials, print, etc)

Timeline

  • Deadline for applications is 5pm on Sunday 24th March 2019;

  • Interviews with Museum staff and our local residents’ Steering Group will be on Monday 29th and Tuesday 30th April 2019;

  • Artist/s selected by Friday 3rd May;

  • Production to take place over May 2019. We anticipate this will be an iterative process, with the artist/s in discussion with Museum staff and Steering Group, to ensure the workshop meet the project’s aims;

  • Finished workshop to be delivered by Friday 31st May 2019.

For more information please download the call here.

If you have any queries please contact Fani on fani@eastendwomensmuseum.org

Join our “Making the Museum” steering group

February 6, 2019

Update: we have now closed the application period for the Steering Group. However, if you would like to be involved with the development of the new museum, please get in touch! We would especially love to hear from you if you are part of a community group in East London, that would be interested in taking part in our consultation workshops over summer. You can reach us by email on eastendwomensmuseum@gmail.com or using the form on our website.

Are you a local resident with strong ties to your local community? Are you interested in women’s history? Do you want to see a museum representing the amazing women of east London, past and present? Then, we are looking for you!

We are starting a Steering Group made up of people from our local communities. This group will help us reach the most people of east London that we possibly can, by talking about the museum with their family, friends and neighbours. The group will help create and promote the consultation activities, working with artists and museum staff to do so. They will give their ideas about the museum’s design, and ask other locals what they think.

The role involves attending regular Steering Group meetings (approximately monthly, though this will depend on members’ availability), at which you will give your ideas and help make decisions about the consultation. Outside of these meetings, you’ll act as an ambassador for the museum in your area, spreading the word to your local community, and helping to organise collaborations and events.

In return you will get any training you might decide as a group (e.g. public speaking, engaging people) and the opportunity to be part of the exciting process of building a museum from scratch, including making your voice heard in terms of what should be in it. We will cover travel expenses and of course coffee, tea and cake will be on us!

We are looking for local residents (living or working in Barking & Dagenham, Tower Hamlets, Hackney, Newham, Redbridge, Waltham Forest and Havering) with close ties to their community and a passion for women’s history and representation. You must be willing to represent the museum and to speak with people about it in an engaging way. You can be any age (18+), of any gender, and do not need any specific experience, education or training to take part.

If you’re interested please fill in this form by Sunday 10th March 11pm. We will select participants based on their application and an informal interview, to be held on Monday 18th and Tuesday 19th March.

Meet the new team!

January 29, 2019

We’re very excited to let you know that we now have our new team in place, ready to embark on the next big phase for the Museum, moving to its new home in Barking in 2020. The team are raring to go, and can’t wait to meet our supporters and audiences. 

Our two Museum staff members are:

Rachel Crossley, Museum Director 

Rachel comes with a wealth of experience in the museums sector. She has previously worked at the V&A Museum, Museum of London and Historic Royal Palaces, chiefly in learning and programming roles. Most recently she was at Arts Council England, supporting artists and organisations to access funding. Rachel will be responsible for managing the Museum, its strategy and finances, as we move to the new site.  

Fani (left) and Rachel (right) outside their temporary home in Upney, Eastbury Manor House

Fani (left) and Rachel (right) outside their temporary home in Upney, Eastbury Manor House

Fani Arampatzidou, Volunteer and Outreach Manager 

Fani has a background in activism, education and theatre, working as an education and community engagement manager in various charities. Alongside her work at the Museum she is a member of the MayDay Rooms collective, a radical history archive and social space in the heart of London. Fani started at the Museum in March 2018, working on our Working for Equality project. She will be leading the forthcoming audience consultation project, for us to find out what local people want the Museum to be. 

Both Rachel and Fani work part-time, 2 ½ days per week. We are grateful to Eastbury Manor House, a beautiful Elizabethan house in Upney, for giving us office space, meaning we have a home in Barking and Dagenham whilst our building is a hard-hat only site..! 

We will be charting the journey of the Museum throughout this important phase, so watch out for regular updates via our blog and e-newsletter. Soon we will be doing a call out for volunteers to help us explore what the new Museum should look like and do. And from spring onwards we will be taking part in lots of local events – hopefully see you there! 

Throughout this phase, we’ll be working with partners including local community groups, artists and archives to support us to reach new audiences and to create the Museum. We will also be exploring different fundraising options. If you think you can help us at all, please do get in touch


We’re looking for New Trustees

July 5, 2018

 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

June 20, 2018

 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

May 23, 2018

The+Women's+Hall+30+May+-+20+October+2018.jpg

 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/


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

February 2, 2018

HLF.jpg

 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 TwitterFacebook 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.

For further information, images and interviews please contact Sarah Jackson

PRESS RELEASE: NEW WOMEN’S MUSEUM FINDS HOME IN BARKING AND DAGENHAM

January 24, 2018

 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

January 24, 2018

 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 Heritagetakes 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 ArchivesFour 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.