Leigh & District

Women & History

Facilitator:Barbara Joyce 07516 225608
Venue & time:Leigh Miners1pm3rd Tuesday in month
repeated on the Monday (day previous to the 3rd Tuesday)

The January 2019 meetings will be held on MONDAY 14TH JANUARY 2019 and repeated on the next day TUESDAY 15TH JANUARY. The topic is Lancashire Actresses. Long standing members will recall that we covered this topic a while ago but thought that is deserved a second outing. There are lots of great actresses from our area
- both from the present and the past.

In February the topic will be servants

Our December 2018 meeting took the form of a quiz. This was good fun - completely noncompetitive and all the better for that

As I write this Christmas is just round the corner. Its a mixed blessing for women. On the one hand a chance to celebrate and enjoy gift giving, eating and drinking and all the other things that make the holiday great. On the other hand a lot of the work and stress falls to women. So I hope that all our members (men and women) have a relaxed and enjoyable holiday and get as much help as you can to make the day go well! See you next year for another full programme of Women in History.


Our next meetings are on MONDAY 17th DECEMBER and repeated on Tuesday 18th December 2018. Both meetings start at 1pm. All members welcome to either group and no need to book. We will be having a very light hearted and non competitive quiz. Our quiz topic will be women - some famous and some infamous. Members are also welcome to bring some Christmas snacks - forget the diet and get eating the stollen.

Our November meeting produced some very interesting research. The topic was 'pioneers' and we heard about women as diverse as Ida Lupino, Ada Lovelace and Annie Kenney - along with many more. Thanks to all members who brought information.


These are the dates for next year - meanwhile don't forget we have meetings this year (2018) in November and December - see below for details
Lancashire Actresses 2 January 14/15
Servants February 18/19th
Charlotte Blears – presentation on local woman transported to Tasmania and back! March 18/19th
Women on TV - 50s to date April 15/16th
Female Criminals May 20/21st
Mistresses and courtesans June 17/18th
Female philanthropists July 15/16th
Beatles WAGs September 16/17th
Women of the 40s October 14/15th
Pankhurst women –presentation November 18/19th
Christmas meetings December 16/17th 2019

Our meetings on 19th November and repeated on 20th November will be about 'Pioneers'.Please bring your research on women who were the first to do things. You do not only need to bring details of famous women. The pioneer could be your own mother or a friend or yourself. However if you want to look at a famous woman there are many suggestions on the internet.

The next meeting after that will be our Christmas get together. These will take place on 17th or 18th December. I have made up a very light hearted quiz with 'women' as the theme. Only a bit of fun but there will be a prize for the winning team and a wooden spoon for the losers. Please bring food or drink - with a festive theme if possible.

We had fun at our October meetings looking at the clothes we wore in the 70s, 80s and 90s - it seems almost unbelievable that we wore some of that stuff. But we did and our own grandchildren/children will look back and appreciate that their latest gear will be tomorrow's fashion faux pas!

Please join us for pioneers and our Christmas parties. No need to book - just turn up and a warm welcome awaits


15th October 2018 repeated on the 16th - our meeting will be part 3 of our examination of clothes and the way that dress reflects social change. This is a presentation so no need to do any preparation. However if you do happen to still have a pair of 70s loon pants, platform heels, kipper tie or other gear that was all the go it would be great to see them. This presentation looks at male and female clothing and is a great opportunity to reminisce about the fashion faux pas of the 70s, 80s and 90s. Did we really wear those 80s shoulder pads?

Our September meeting was about sports and women who excelled in this area. We looked at lady cricketers from the 1890s, footballers in the inter war period, Ellie Simmonds, Mary Peters and Marie Marghin. The latter French women was a skier, pilot, swimmer, cyclist and all round super women. We also looked at reasons why women are less likely to join in team sports and prefer undertaking more individualised sports. We blamed teachers for a lot of our lack of enthusiasm in the 50s and 60s. Things seem to be better now - as with many things.

All members welcome and hope to see you on October 15th or 16th at 1pm.

NO WOMEN'S HISTORY MEETINGS IN AUGUST 2018. We had to cancel our Cotton Queens talk and so we are taking a break for August only

In September Monday 17th and repeated on the Tuesday 18th September 2018 the topic is sportswomen. Please bring your research on any sports women - any nationality and any sport.

Advance notice of October's meeting which is part 3 of the clothes we wore and how they reflect social change. This will look at the last 3 decades of the 20th Century - from the 70s to the end of the millennium. If anybody has any photos they are prepared to share please contact me.

The Princess Margaret presentation was very well attended and provoked a lot of interest and gave rise to some discussion about the role of the Princess and why she went somewhat off the rails. Thanks to Brian for a fascinating presentation. Brian mentioned two books which are Dominic Sandbrook, Never Had It So Good and David Kynaston, Family Britain


NEXT MONTH (JULY) is a presentation on both days 16th and 17th July. This is on Princess Margaret.

My apologies for the advance notice of the August meeting (one meeting only on Tuesday 21st August 2018) as I got my 'Queens' wrong. Not coal queens but COTTON QUEENS.

This month (June 2018) we looked at women journalists - mainly those who work in radio and television. We came to a few conclusions. First that the days of the 'auto cutie' may not yet be over. Women may still be chosen to appear on television for their looks. This may not apply to male presenters or newsreaders. Secondly that the pay gap is alive and kicking. Mishall Husain receives two thirds less remuneration than John Humphrey's for undertaking the same work on Radio 4.

An interesting two sessions with varied research and thanks again to all members who bring information. Especially the Monday members as I often cite it at the Tuesday group

Next month (July 2018) is a PRESENTATION

Brian Joyce will be giving a presentation on MONDAY 16th July and repeated on TUESDAY 17th July entitled 'Princess Margaret and the Men in Her Life'. Please feel free to invite people who do not normally attend the group s we can deal with a large audience for presentations.

Then in August 2018 there is ONE MEETING ONLY. Tuessay 21st August only and the Topic is Coal Queens.

Hope to see you all for the Princess Margaret topic.


In May 2018 our topic will be Women of the Sixties. Think of a woman who you would associate with the 6os and we will look at her life. Some examples are
Jackie Kennedy
Julie Christie
Barbara Castle and many more.

Please bring your research (not compulsory) and your own reminiscences of the era. The group will meet on Monday 14th May and is repeated on Tuesday 15th May and there is no need to book. I know the 14th is the second Monday but the group is based on the Third Tuesday and repeated the day previous. Complicated I know.

Our April meeting was about actors (female) who were born in Lancashire. We had a lot of material and some excellent contributions. It may be worth repeating this topic in the future as we only scratched the surface this time. Thanks for all members who brought information. Also thanks to Jo who - even though she is currently in Australia - contributed some delicious wedding cake. Superb.


Our April meeting will be about actresses.

What do actresses Alison Steadman. Amanda Barry, Dora Bryan and Miranda Richardson have in common? Answer – they were all born in Lancashire. Our topic is Lancashire born actresses – there are loads of them and your research on one or more would be most welcome.

Monday April 16th repeated on Tuesday 17th – both at 1pm. All members welcome and no need to book

The March meetings were different from usual as we had 2 different topics on the Monday and Tuesday. The Monday meeting looked at a female ancestor or relative. This gave the group a chance to reflect on women’s life in the past. Two members looked at their mother’s life and the challenges involved in entering training or education. A good session with much food for thought – talking of which - thanks as ever to Jo for the lovely tea bread – it was delicious.

On Tuesday we had a speaker. Shirley – one of our members – has a son who works as an environmental officer which involves liaison with structural engineers who are building new roads in order to preserve habitats etc . The Project Manager for the M56/Bowdon by pass agreed to talk to us and was recommended by Shirley’s son. Rachel works for Costains and is responsible for hundreds of staff and millions of pounds. She began her engineering career as an officer in The Royal Engineers. She then moved to Costains and has worked on large constructions schemes throughout the country. She combines this with being the mother of two small children. She is inspirational and gave a fascinating presentation about some of the engineering problems she has had to solve and on how it is to be a woman in what is still a male dominated career.


Our meetings next month will be different from the normal pattern.

We have a presentation on TUESDAY MARCH 20th. The presentation is by Rachel – a female working in a man’s world and the challenges this presents. Rachel will talk for about 45 minutes then take questions from the members. All members are welcome

On MONDAY 19th March 2018 our meeting will look at a female relative or ancestor and you are welcome to bring any information on your current or past family members. This could be an ancestor who you know about or just some reminiscences about one of your recently deceased or living relative. This does not have to be an extraordinary story and the day to day life of our mothers, for instance, could form an interesting story. Many of our mothers lived through the war and you may want to consider how she coped with that. Photos, letters, diaries are welcome. All members (including men) are welcome to attend one or both meetings.

In February we looked at A List celebrities. Members brought information on

• Paulette Goddard
• Jean Simmonds
• Ethel Merman
• Emma Thompson
• Olivia de Haviland (3 members looked at her)
• Lauren Bacall
• Jodie Foster
• Nell Gwynne
• Gloria Grahame
• Cher

So it was a mixed bag to say the least

Thanks to all for your research and just a note that a few books and a DVD were mentioned. The books by Emma Thompson’s mother – actor Phyllida Law – about her mother’s dementia were called

Three Mothers and a Camel
How Many Camels in Holland
Notes to My Mother in Law

The book about Gloria Grahame mentioned in the Tuesday meeting is Film Stars Don’t Die in Liverpool. This was released as a film last year, and is probably now available as a DVD.

I am always looking for members who would be prepared to give presentations, as a change to the usual format is refreshing. You do not have to be a ‘lecturer’ – just someone with an interest related to our subject and a passion to share your interest.

For more information please contact Barbara Joyce.

Dates for your Diary
Mon Feb 18th
→Tue Feb 19th
Mon Mar 18th
→Tue Mar 19th
Charlotte Blears – presentation on local woman transported to Tasmania and back!
Mon Apr 15th
→Tue Apr 16th
Women on TV - 50s to date
Mon May 20th
→Tue May 21st
Female Criminals
Mon Jun 17th
→Tue Jun 18th
Mistresses and courtesans
Mon Jul 15th
→Tue Jul 16th
Female philanthropists
Mon Sep 16th
→Tue Sep 17th
Beatles WAGs
Mon Oct 14th
→Tue Oct 15th
Women of the 40s
Mon Nov 18th
→Tue Nov 19th
Pankhurst women – presentation
Mon Dec 16th
→Tue Dec 17th
Christmas meetings
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More Group Pages
Art Appreciation Astronomy
Bird Watching Board Games
Book Reading & Armchair Critics Bowls
Creative Writing Crime & Punishment 1
Crime & Punishment 2 Culture Club
Egyptology Family History
French iPads & Tablets
Italian Knitting
Local History Luncheon Club
Maths Mixed Crafts
Musical Instruments Play Reading
Poetry Appreciation Quilters & Needlework
Relaxation/Support Scrabble
Shakespeare Singing for Fun
Ukulele Watercolour Painting
Women & History