THE SUTTON AND WAWNE MUSEUM'S CURRENT
[Autumn 2020 - Spring 2021 under Lockdown rules]
Frances Kelly & Liz Knight
for the main exhibiton in the Old School hall will be
by the Heritage Lottery Fund ; funding does not involve
H E A D S C A R V E S
a taster to an exhibition
which we should have held
back in the spring of 2020 - but ....
as we all know, it was not to be.
However, it is hoped that we can still hold
Stories of Women’s work in Hull
this excellent exhibition of this fascinating
aspect of local social history in 2021.
in the 20th Century
talking about it – It’s like it was yesterday”
We know that many of the jobs Hull people were employed in and
the places they worked in have disappeared completely. Some
industries are, rightly, celebrated and relatively well
recorded. Others not so much.
Many of these “others” just happen to be women, who worked on
factory floors, on the docks, in stores and shops, teaching,
nursing, caring, cooking, cleaning, in admin and
finance, and many other occupations, not to mention managing a
home and often bringing up children.
The Headscarf Project is an attempt to capture something of
women's experience of working in Hull in the last century, and
in their own words. Men weren’t excluded and offered stories
of their female relatives along with their own experiences.
So, from October 2019 till lock down 2020, we visited coffee
groups, community groups, Drop-ins and invited people to tell
us their memories and design a headscarf.
The memories and views are personal, reflecting individual
lives. They were collected during lively conversations, and
range from short comments right through to life stories. They
illustrate good times and bad; work and family life are
It’s not a scientific survey, but we hope, as you read them,
the stories give you some flavour of women's working lives and
the attitudes that prevailed in the latter part of the 20th
We have had a great response and many who took part did design
headscarves, some reflecting work, or family, patterns, or
whatever their imagination dictated.
No story of women’s work in Hull could be told without a nod of
respect to 'Big Lil' and those legendary 'Headscarf
Revolutionaries', coupled with the fact that head scarves and
‘turbans’ were a prominent feature in women’s working dress.
We chose this as a symbol of their working lives; to represent
the creativity and resourcefulness with which women deal with
we say in Hull, “You just get on with it!”
first, here we have a brief image of another
very famous headscarf, at least, to those that
can remember her . . . click this image!
Oh, yes we can, Girls!
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