Queen Coal? Why Remember Women in Post-War Mining Communities
Women In Their Own Words
These quotes from women are recorded in a local history publication
Mobile Memories, Looking back and forward. (Edited by Ian Clayton, Yorkshire Art Circus, 1989)
"Friday morning was much morning. Black leading was done then, with Reckitts Zebra which came in a tin, You’d brush it on the fireplace – happen missed with a bit of paraffin- leave it to dry, then brush it off again, that’s when you needed elbow grease. Then you’d go round with a bit of velvet to finish it off, it came up lovely. You did you steel edging with emery and brasso."
"If you did all your steps and scouring first, neighbours would think you were done inside. We used tins of mansion polish. Houses smelt much sweeter when you’d done a job than they do these days with fitted carpets."
"When you got your work done on a Friday it was lovely. All your windows sills and steps scoured. You never heard tell of women having nervous breakdowns. There was always too much to do."
"Mother used to send me with a few rags to exchange for some donkey stone. She used to say’ Make sure you get yellow and not white"
The extracts below are the words of women reprinted as accompanying text in a photography book World Famous Round Here the Photographs of Jack Hulme (Edited by Richard Van Riel, Olive Fowler, Harry Malkin, Yorkshire Art Circus in association with Wakefield Metropolitan District Council, 1990)
"Turbans in my day were worn by most young lasses be it for work purposes, or as a lot of us did, for covering a head full of rollers. Putting on a turban became quite a skill. Some had no idea while others did them really neat."
"There were no thoughts or ideas of girls going into further education- just the idea of girls taking exams was seen as a waste of time."
"Girls generally went to school, got a job, got married and had kids. That was the overall thought at the time."
Coal News was a magazine produced on a monthly basis for miners and their families by the National Coal Board.
- Read the four extracts from Coal News
- What can you learn from these documents about the life and concerns of the housewife from a mining community?
- Does the evidence you have gathered from this source change the view you have formed of the miner's wife?
To read more quotes from women download the worksheet of extracts 'Post-War women in their own words'