What was the Headscarf Campaign? Mary Denness 1
What was the 'Headscarf Campaign'?
You amaze me because this is the first time I’ve ever heard it being called the Headscarf Campaign! And I was part of it! I really don’t know why they called it that, unless it was because headscarves were very fashionable at the time. Everyone had very bouffant hairstyles and there was lots and lots of work in the factories in Hull at the time. Because of machinery ladies were expected to cover their hair with nets or scarves- you had work ones and also ones for going out in. That was headscarf era. So that must be where the name has come from and I think it’s wonderful!
Did you resent Big Lil being in charge?
(Lillian Bilocca, or 'Big Lil' was seen as the figurehead of the women’s campaign for better safety at sea).
Oh no, no I was quite happy to be one of her deputation she was a remarkable person. She was a very charismatic person, that means she had lots of personality, she was someone you would admire, like a celebrity these days. She was very plain speaking and she had a strong hully-gully accent- and this was part of her charm she was a wonderful campaign leader no one could better her, certainly couldn’t have done.
Did you like campaigning?
I did like it, but like is a strange word, because remembering 40 years ago, this campaign was brought about by a most shocking tragedy at sea, with 58 trawler men lost. So it was more an urge to do something about it. What I like is now the idea I did it 40 years ago. Although the trawling industry wasn’t going to last that much longer, what we achieved may have saved someone’s life, a trawlerman’s life and that is something to be proud of, and yes I like that.