An island awakening

On Friday 21st February 1947 Edie Rutherford, a South African housewife and Socialist, living in Sheffield, wrote in her diary:
‘So the Government wants women back in industry, whole time or part time. I shudder at the thought. Willing though I am to do my bit; the memory of crowded trains, standing around waiting for them in the dark and cold, scrambled meals, and no time to do a thing properly – I just HATE and DREAD the thought of all that again. Especially as, if one works part-time, about 30 shillings a week is thought an adequate return. It just isn’t worthwhile for that. When a woman gets to middle life, and is as capable as I am, her sense of values is outraged by such reward’.

On this same day the Nottingham Evening Post and the following headline and message: ‘WORKS REOPENING’
‘Charles Butler Ltd announce that all employees of their Daleside Road (Nottingham) and Keyworth factories should report for work on Monday at 8.30 am.
Messrs C Myers, Alfred Street Central are re-opening their factory at 8.30 am on Monday.
All departments of Messrs Wilson and Iliffe, blouse manufacturers, Handle Street, Nottingham, will resume work on Monday at 8 am.
The aero division of Rolls-Royce at Sawley, resume fully on Monday.
All machinists at Adams factory should report on that day. Other employees in Nottingham dispersals will be notified individually.
The Barlock Typewriter Co, Basford state the majority of their departments will resume work on Monday, but the coal position is critical, and failing a supplementary allocation, they may have to close the following week.’

Slowly the industrial world of Great Britain is rising from the challenges of the recent past.


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